“By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.”
Mention snakes or other crawly reptiles, and people usually shy away. Typically, snakes have a reputation for being dangerous or, at best, completely unable to show affection. New research shows us that in many cases this isn’t true at all.
A number of studies have now shown that at least some snakes take care of their young, have friends and even prefer to hang around with relatives. Mother pythons will stay coiled around their eggs for the two months they take to hatch, not even leaving them for food. Though she is cold-blooded, should the temperatures drop too low, she can generate muscle heat by shivering. A black-rattler mother will stay with her hatchlings for nine days. During that time, she can protect them from predators. The young snakes can barely see at all until they shed their skin at nine days, after which they set off on their own. Cage studies involving non-sibling and sibling rattlesnakes, showed that non-siblings distance themselves from each other. However, rattlesnakes that were siblings would touch each other frequently and often intertwined. Live-bearing skinks, found in Australia, are monogamous for life.
While evolution leads people to think of reptiles as primitive, here we see that their Creator, the God Who is love, blessed them with feelings for one another. This, too, is testimony of His loving nature.
Prayer: Father, I thank You for Your gift of love through Jesus Christ. Help me show that same love to others. Amen.
Ref: Science News, 3/27: 2004, pp. 200-201, Susan Milius, “The Social Lives of Snakes.” Photo: Black-headed python at Cameron Park Zoo. Courtesy of Dawson. (CC BY-SA 2.5)