6 hours ago
Snow female western hognose trying to dig down into my hand. Western hognoses head structure is specifically adapted for digging. The large upturned scale at the end of their nose referred to as the "rostral scale" helps them to dig in sandy loamy soil. They dig to bury themselves, to get away from the elements, to thermoregulate their body temp, or simply to hide. The other main use for their rostral scale is to dig up and eat prey. Which includes toads, frogs, salamanders, and reptile eggs, especially lizard eggs as babies and in a lot of ranges turtle eggs as adults ( bird eggs too sometimes, such as killdeer eggs ). They will also eat small baby rodents in burrows. Hognose also utilize abandoned rodent burrows. This is smart as they are pre dug out for them and a lot of these rodent burrows are tunneled out way deeper than a hognose could ever tunnel itself. Hognose rely on a healthy prairie habitat and ecosystem to thrive. Without pocket gophers or pocket mice and other prairie rodents that tunnel. Hognose wouldn't have abandoned burrows to utilize for their homes.
Credit : @jmgreptile
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