Science Past from the issue of October 21, 1961 | Science News

Support Science Journalism

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.

50 Years Ago

Science Past from the issue of October 21, 1961

12:12pm, October 7, 2011

‘ALARM CLOCK’ BRINGS SNAKES TO SURFACE — A built-in “alarm clock” apparently helps a brightly-banded little desert snake come to the surface at night after he has buried himself to escape the day’s heat…. It had been noted that these snakes, which remain buried in the sand most of the time, appear to come to surface virtually in unison over a wide area every night. It was thought that they followed a rising heat barrier in the sand which rises as the sand cools off each night. Laboratory studies ... have indicated that there may be a little more to it than this. The investigation has suggested that the snake has a biological alarm clock which “wakes” him up about 23 hours after his last emergence at the surface.

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content