Paul Colangelo. These snakes are part of the largest snake gathering in the world.

Canada isn't famous for its reptiles, which usually prefer warmer climates. However, the combination of a short summer and some unusual geology create the circumstances for congregations of red-sided garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis infernalis) on a scale seen no where else in the world. And they're all looking to get it on.

This National Geographic video provides some insight into the way this remarkable event is being used as a science communication tool.

 

 

As filmmaker Paul Colangelo explains, 3000-4000 people travel to this remote part of Manitoba every day during the mating season. They witness snakes that have spent eight months hibernating come to life in these limestone dens, with sex uppermost in their minds, followed by food. The drive to get laid is so intense, that one study recorded 301 small males killed by suffocation at the bottom of these piles.

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