(Originally posted on our 2012 Field Blog — by Renee Rosier)
I’m sure for those of you who have followed our field blogs for the past three years (2010,2011, and now 2012) it has become clear that we’re excited about herps. Although the lab’s research focuses on eastern fence lizards, there are so many other exciting snakes, frogs, and lizards! Many of us do research with some of these other species, including Dr. Tracy Langkilde, our fearless leader, who has done some fascinating work with red-sided garter snakes (picture below, photo compliments of Tracy Langkilde).
Tracy has collaborated on some exciting research investigating garter snake mating behavior in Canada, which involves cool things like “she-males”, mating balls, and potentially disturbing, giant mounds of snakes in a mating frenzy (see Tracy a la medusa, below – photo also from T. Langkilde). This work has been highlighted in another science blog, The Scorpion and the Frog. You can read this great article here, titled “Snakes Deceive to Get a Little Snuggle.”
This article is so well-written and the science is so exciting, it has been nominated for the 2012 Science Prize from 3 Quarks Daily, a web news blog. Indeed, this fascinating research is in the top 20 of the nominees! However, to move on to the next round this article needs votes from the public.