What are some facts about the bull snake?


Quick Answer

Ranging from 3 to 6 feet in length, the bullsnake has a pointed head that is perfectly adapted for burrowing through the sand. While the bullsnake is not poisonous and kills its prey through strangulation, it can mimic a rattlesnake by hissing, puffing up and shaking its tail when threatened.

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Full Answer

The body of a bullsnake is yellow or beige with black and brown splotches that make it highly camouflaged in its desert habitat in the southern United States and Mexico. Its underside is a pale yellow color, and its splotches become rings near its tail. Wild bullsnakes eat small mammals, such as mice and gophers, and are also known as "gopher snakes" due to their eating habits.

Bullsnakes prefer habitats with sandy soil and open prairies, woodlands and grassy meadows. Throughout winter, they enter a state of dormancy together with other snakes in burrows or rock crevices. Because they are good at controlling prairie dogs, mice and gopher populations, bullsnakes are useful to humans.

Bullsnakes reproduce by laying eggs. Mating takes place in March and April every year, which is around the time that the snakes emerge from winter dormancy. The female bullsnake lays up to 20 eggs at once in a nest and abandons them. In the wild, several females may lay their eggs in the same nest. After up to 80 days of incubation, the hatchlings emerge in early fall.

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