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Snakes don't hibernate. .

Snakes don't hibernate. They do not wear plaid either. What they do is called "Brumation", our word for today.

If it its sunny in mid "winter" you can still see snakes out sunning themselves and getting that much needed drink. From personal experience it seems as tho the larger snakes are more likely to be seen in sunny spots, along with some other smaller hardy species like the common wolf snakes. In fact I have found that even with the ambient temperature around 15 degrees, this can be a great time to find the big pythons out sunning themselves...
OK, so here is a test...can you find the python in the picture below.....taken earlier this week....

hint this is what they look like....

While endotherms and other heterotherms are described scientifically as hibernating, (things like bears and hedgehogs and previously my teenage daughter, when it was time for school), the way ectotherms - like snakes and lizards - become dormant in cold is very different, and a separate name was invented for it in the 1920s, brumation. So what does it mean? well ....

Brumation differs from hibernation in the metabolic processes involved.

Reptiles generally begin brumation in the later months of the year, which in Hong Kong is around November, depending on the weather and more specific times may depend on the species - as some like it colder. These snakes can wake up to drink water and return to "sleep", and, being snakes, they can go for months without food.

here it is...now can you see the body....and how about the head??

A good time to look for snakes is before the cold weather, as these guys may eat more than usual before the colder months when they slow down. The brumation period varies, and normally in hong kong is only a few months. Brumation is triggered by lack of heat and the decrease in the hours of daylight in winter, similar to hibernation.



oh, here it is! look for that twig in the pictures above and it all becomes clear...it is in the bottom left of the photo above........you can see the head.....a python out sunning itself....






And here is a shot of a Bamboo Pit Viper that I found in the Lung Fu Shan Country Park.




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