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Canyon de la Nesque rempli de dépots alluviaux
websize photograph
Description de la photo
Titre: Grass Snake
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Im the Nesque Canyon, south-west of Monieux.


The Grass Snake (Natrix natrix), sometimes called the Ringed Snake or Water Snake is a European non-venomous snake.

The Grass Snake is typically dark green or brown in colour with a characteristic yellow collar behind the head, which explains the alternative name ringed snake. The colour may also range from grey to black. The underside is lighter in colour. In Great Britain the Grass Snake is the largest reptile reaching up to 190 centimetres total length.

They prey almost entirely on amphibians, especially the common frog, although they also occasionally eat mammals and fish. Their bite delivers a toxin that, while not harmful to humans, is effective against their small prey. Grass Snakes are strong swimmers and are usually found close to fresh water.

Grass Snakes hibernate over the winter and mate soon after they emerge in the spring during April or May. The leathery skinned eggs are laid in batches of 8–40 in June to July and hatch after about 10 weeks. As eggs require a temperature of at least 21° C to hatch, rotting vegetation, including compost heaps, are preferred locations. The young are about 18cm long when they hatch and are immediately independent.

Not being venomous, their only defenses are to produce a foul-smelling fluid from the anal glands and/or feigning death by becoming completely limp. Sometimes, they will also perform fake attacks, striking without actually opening their mouths. They bite in defense rarely.

This snake is found in lowland areas of England and Wales but is almost absent from Scotland and not found in Ireland, nor is any other snake. It has a wide distribution in continental Europe, from southern Scandinavia to southern Italy. It is also found in north-western Africa. British Grass Snakes belong to the subspecies N. n. helvetica, but experts differ on the number of subspecies.

Two of the subspecies are considered critically endangered: N. n. cetti (Sardinian Grass Snake) and N. n. schweizeri. In 2007, the Grass Snake was included on the updated UK Biodiversity Action Plan as a species in need of conservation and greater protection.

Mots clés: snake
Données image
Image sizes: 1454*1510px, 1630kb
Origin: Originally a digital image, with postprocessing
Date/Time: 20080725-153820
Camera: PENTAX Optio W60
Iso: 400
Speed: 1/50s
Focal length: 5.0mm
Aperture: 28mm
Destination coordinates;WGS84 LONG 5.3367805481°, LAT 44.0439822669°
Author: André M. Winter
Photo copyright: This photograph is copyrighted (©) by André M. Winter and others. A free permissions for re-use may be given for non-commercial purposes. Commercial use requires a license. Contact André M. Winter for any kind of use. This extended copyright notice applies in all cases. Infringements always will be persecuted worldwide. Legal court: Innsbruck, Austria, E.U.
Text copyright: The description of this photograph (or parts of) is based on this article of the free Wikipedia encyclopedia and are covered by the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). Authors are named on the Wikipedia page.
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