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Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology Commons

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Physiology

Charles J. Amlaner

1997

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Full-Text Articles in Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology

Behavior Patterns In Free-Ranging Black Rat Snakes, Charles Amlaner, James Withgott Aug 1997

Behavior Patterns In Free-Ranging Black Rat Snakes, Charles Amlaner, James Withgott

Charles J. Amlaner

While activity patterns of some animals are guided strictly by light-dark cycles or circadian rhythms, others show more flexible behavior. For ectothermic animals such as snakes, the temperature of their surroundings is a key factor in their physiology, behavior, and ecology. Various other factors, e.g., hunger, reproductive behavior, ecdysis, prey availability, and predation risk, also influence a snake's patterns of activity, often in conflicting and unpredictable ways. Studies of sleep patterns in such animals with variable and irregular activity may yield insights into the functions of sleep.