Are you interested in searching for reptiles and amphibians such as snakes, frogs, toads, salamanders, and the like? Then you might be a so-called “herper.” The term “herping” refers to searching for and finding amphibians or reptiles.
This famous YouTuber and fellow herper, Dāv Kaufman, ventures down the well-known “Snake Road” within the Shawnee National Forest in Illinois. This place gained its name as limestone bluffs surround it, which serve as a home for migrating species of snakes. The road is automatically closed during spring and fall as hundreds of snakes cross the road to migrate to swamplands. Still, the road is open for people who want to hike and witness unique snake encounters.
Earlier in the video, Dāv explains a small type of snake called the ring-necked snake, which only measures about 8 to 14 inches. The snake fits right into his palm as he describes one of the defense mechanisms the snake had, which was to curl up its body and expose its belly to play dead in the presence of a potential threat.
Dāv and his companion also discovered a juvenile cottonmouth in the middle of their search. They identified it as a juvenile based on its reddish-brown coloration. Later, they found adult newts along the way and even tadpoles that might soon turn into toads in their adult stage.
As Dāv and his team drove, they stumbled upon a giant snake in the middle of the road. Dāv immediately stepped out of the vehicle only to see the unexpected— a giant adult cottonmouth snake!
Adult cottonmouths measure 30 to 42 inches, and the cottonmouth that Dāv and his team discovered was the biggest cottonmouth they’ve ever seen. As he approached the cottonmouth, it seemed threatened and opened its mouth wide as a means of defense to look scary to potential predators. Dāv was amazed to see such a big and beautiful snake in an unexpected situation in the middle of the road.
After the encounter with the giant cottonmouth, Dāv and his team headed out to camp at Snake Road and discovered more amazing wonders along the way.
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