Watch Three Cottonmouths Fight for Dominance

The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Watch Three Cottonmouths Fight for Dominance

Posted 2019-07-08T23:03:00Z

Male water moccasins battle it out in Alabama swamp

There must have been some good-looking female cottonmouths in the wetland that drove these three male snakes to battle it out in North Alabama.

Claire Ciafre, botanist in residence at Herpetology at Austin Peay State University, shot the fascinating footage of these pit vipers in June at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. The video shows three snakes bobbing and weaving as if they're dancing, but experts say they're males fighting to establish dominance, with the victor winning the opportunity to mate with the female snakes in the area.

According to Live Science, during the mating process, male cottonmouths slither around, waving their tails in an attempt to lure the females away from other suitors. Cottonmouths are ovoviviparous, which means that their eggs incubate inside the mother's body for a gestation period of three to four months. Females give birth to live young every two to three years, in litters of 10 to 20 babies. Juvenile cottonmouths are born brightly colored, and they begin fending for themselves immediately.

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