A climbing snake in Jim McCalpin’s paleoseismological trench

In Mai 2013, Jim McCalpin’s field course on Field Methods in Neotectonics and Paleoseismology took place in Crestone, CO. Our friend Jack Mason from the Institute of Neotectonics and Natural Hazards of RWTH Aachen University took part and sent me this amazing video. They encountered a bullsnake in the paleoseismological trench! Surprisingly, the snake decided to climb out of the trench via the vertical wall. 

As you can see on Jack’s sketch, the snake had chosen the highest part (~4 m) for its journey:

The snake’s path


Bullsnakes are not really rare in this region and they’re just big, but not poisonous. The trench  belongs to Jim McCalpin who trains geologists in the fine art of trenching past earthquakes, see http://www.geohaz.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22&Itemid=23.

So, be carefull when you go back to your trench! I also have some experience with snakes in the field.

A gopher snake in Utah:

A rattle snake in the Canyonlands NP, Utah:

A viper in Morocco

A viper in Morocco

A snake in Sparta, Greece

A snake in Sparta, Greece

A snake in Baelo Claudia, Spain


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Christoph Grützner

Christoph Grützner

works at the Institute of Geological Sciences, Jena University. He likes Central Asia and the Mediterranean and looks for ancient earthquakes.

See all posts Christoph Grützner

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