Natural History

Top 10 Craziest Animal Lifestyles in North America

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Garter Snakes

6. Garter Snakes

If you have ophiophobia (an abnormal fear of snakes), then in certain parts of North America (Manitoba and Oregon, for instance) you may want to stay indoors during the entire spring season.

That’s because it’s garter snake mating season!

And mating is a very popular activity among garter snakes — as evidenced by the crowds it draws.

After six months spent underground in semi-hibernation, male garter snakes are what you might call “in the mood.”

They emerge to join a mass gathering of as many as 30,000 males — all warming up in the sun and waiting for their dates to arrive.

[This, of course, is the nightmare situation for ophiophobiacs that we referred to previously.]

The females are larger, and as if to perpetuate a human stereotype, they always show up late.

But the wait is worth it for the boys.

Drenched in pheromones, the females drive males crazy — up to 100 males wrap around each female, but only one lucky dude will get to mate with her.

And one final thing a female has in her bag of tricks — in case she doesn’t feel like mating every spring, she’s able to store the male's sperm for years before fertilization.

It’s a woman’s world if you’re a garter snake!

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