Ectotherms, or what many people refer to as “cold-blooded” animals, are the topic of this post. Last weekend I traveled to northwest Oklahoma to survey bats (which are endotherms – “warm-blooded”) and while I was there I happened upon a number of reptiles and amphibians (ectotherms). I really enjoyed my trip and wanted to share some video and photographs I captured while I was there.
One of my favorite finds was this black rat snake. These snakes get quite large and feed primarily on mammals and birds which they subdue by constriction. This one is in a defensive posture because it of course perceives us as potential predators. Remember, many predators consider snakes to be perfectly desirable prey and as a result, snakes have evolved a number of different defensive behaviors.
Ornate box turtles were also quite common in northwest Oklahoma. They occur in the Texas panhandle but seem to be more scarce here.
This spunky species is a racer, also known as a yellow-bellied racer. As a juvenile, they have this mottled appearance but this fades to a more solid blueish green above and yellow below as they age.