The cottonmouth rests, crawls, and swims with the head raised at
an angle of 45 degrees, it has excellent vision and can detect
movement at distances of at least 50 feet. Locomotion is usually in
undulating curves. It has been noted that this snake practices "rib
walking" in a straight line (Roger Conant) When the snake is
disturbed it may dive and even burrow into the mud. When
threatened it will coil up and display the white lining of the mouth
with its head thrown backward and jerks it nervously up and down.
When it becomes annoyed by an aggressor it will vibrate its tail and
at times discharge an acrid musk.
Hibernation of Agkistrodon piscivorus is
either very brief or does not occur at all during the mild
winters of the southeastern climate of the states. Pending on where
the cotton mouth inhabits itself they seek shelter in crevices,
decaying stumps or logs, clumps of vegetation, burrows of tortoises
or rodents or any other suitable place.
The Cottonmouth is known to
attack man when it is approached. It at times will charge its
aggressor with an open mouth but this is more of a bluff than a
pursuit. They have the potential to resist wildly when being
captured and yet they readily become adapted to captivity.
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