A woman in Montana has managed to capture on camera the rare sight of a ‘ball’ of mating snakes – but viewers on social media are more disgusted than fascinated by it. A snake ball is literally a ball that is formed when mating snakes coil on top of each other. Such behaviour is usually seen in garter snakes, like the ones in this video filmed by Kasey Morrissey.
Ms Morrissey, of Billings, Montana, shared the video on Facebook this Friday, where it has received a number of shocked and intrigued comments. The video shows about a dozen snakes writhing and slithering on top of each other to form a tangled ball of sorts.
“The ball is made up of nearly all male snakes writhing around a single female in an attempt to mate,” said Ms Morrissey. “This ritual happens once per year in the spring and only one male gets the chance to breed.”
On Facebook, reactions to the video ranged from appalled to fascinated. “Burn the entire forest down,” suggested one user, while another said, “Yuck! That is repulsive!”
“That is really cool! I’ve read about those but never gotten to see one. Thank you for taking the video,” a Facebook user wrote.
According to Earth Touch News, the phenomenon of snake balls is common throughout North America, but it’s still pretty rare to spot.
“If you see something like that, you’re lucky to see it,” said Jeffrey Beane, Collections Manager of Herpetology at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
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