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An Indiana hiker captures video of two giant rattlesnakes blocking his path and performing a bizarre dance

Snake, rattle and roll: An Indiana hiker captures amazing video of two giant rattlesnakes on his trail, performing a rare combative DANCE to compete for the attention of a nearby female

  • Hiker Nick Engler spotted two male rattlesnakes blocking his path on the Grubb Ridge Trail near Bloomington, Indiana
  • The rattlesnakes engaged in a unique mating ritual, which is actually a competition to woo a nearby female
  • Although the snakes are venomous, they were very caught up in their own behavior and didn’t seem to notice Engler
  • There are 32 species of snakes in Indiana, four of which are venomous

A hiker in Indiana found his path blocked by two giant rattlesnakes twining around each other in a strange dance.

Nick Engler was hiking the Grubb Ridge Trail near Bloomington, Indiana, when he captured video of the snakes moving back and forth in a combative dance while their heads were raised a few feet off the ground.

Engler shared his video on Facebook, where it drew many comments from people who were alternately shocked and intrigued.

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A hiker in Indiana found his path blocked by two giant rattlesnakes twining around each other in a strange dance

A hiker in Indiana found his path blocked by two giant rattlesnakes twining around each other in a strange dance

Nick Engler was hiking the Grubb Ridge Trail near Bloomington, Indiana, when he captured video of the snakes moving back and forth in a combative dance while their heads were raised a few feet off the ground

Nick Engler was hiking the Grubb Ridge Trail near Bloomington, Indiana, when he captured video of the snakes moving back and forth in a combative dance while their heads were raised a few feet off the ground

“These are two male snakes engaged in a ritual battle,” Engler commented on his post.

“They’re trying to assert their dominance to impress a nearby woman. None of the snakes die and did not die in this case, one of them slithered away after about 20 minutes.

“I didn’t know that at the time and wouldn’t have filmed for 8 minutes if I had.”

According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the state is home to 32 native species of snakes — only four of which are venomous — including the timber rattlesnake, which several commenters on Engler’s Facebook post say may have been the one he encountered.

Male timber rattlesnakes have been known to engage in a strange mating ritual that resembles a fight dance when they both attempt to court a nearby female.

According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the state is home to 32 native snake species — only four of which are venomous — including the timber rattlesnake

According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the state is home to 32 native snake species — only four of which are venomous — including the timber rattlesnake

Male timber rattlesnakes have been known to engage in a strange mating ritual that resembles a fight dance when they both attempt to court a nearby female

Male timber rattlesnakes have been known to engage in a strange mating ritual that resembles a fight dance when they both attempt to court a nearby female

The female is not visible in Engler’s video, but is likely lurking somewhere nearby.

According to experts, witnessing such a sight is quite rare as these particular snakes are known to be more reclusive and shy.

“Rattlesnakes are really mysterious animals, let alone in battle, but once you’re there and see them, they’re oblivious to the world around them. They’re laser-focused on this fight,” Knoxville Zoo herpetologist Phil Colcouch told WBIR after a similar incident in 2019.

Timber rattlesnakes can grow up to 60 inches in length and are known to be vivaparous, meaning they give birth to up to 13 live young instead of laying eggs.

They can also be found throughout much of the Northeastern US – but they do not typically behave aggressively unless provoked.

Engler’s videos sparked a flurry of comments on Facebook.

“I shouldn’t have seen that. I’ll probably have nightmares. Glad you saw her first. Take care.’ wrote one user.

‘Absolutely unbelievable. A beautiful representation. A great video. Thank you very much.’ wrote another user.

Earlier this month, a nationally known West Virginia rattlesnake expert died after being bitten by a timber rattlesnake.

William H. “Marty” Martin, 80, was killed when he was bitten by a log rattle on his property in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

Martin—once dubbed “the rattlesnake ambassador”—frequently hiked into the mountains and visited remote locations to document the snakes’ activity and record their numbers.

Other venomous snakes native to Indiana include copperheads, cottonmouths, and eastern Massasauga rattlesnakes.

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-11164885/Indiana-hiker-captures-video-two-huge-rattlesnakes-blocking-path-doing-bizarre-dance.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 An Indiana hiker captures video of two giant rattlesnakes blocking his path and performing a bizarre dance

Bradford Betz

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