A toothy critter...
Ellie's one was a pretty black crappie, which I thought went very nicely with her light blue fishing shirt, watch band, and nail polish. A well-coordinated angler, to be sure!
I was born on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay
Maryland and Virginia have faded away
And I keep thinking tomorrow is coming today
So I am endlessly waiting...
—A. Duritz and Counting Crows, "St. Robinson and His Cadillac Dream"
Owing to its coloration, dorsal pattern, and semikeeled scalation, the bullsnake superficially resembles the western diamondback rattler (Crotalus atrox), which is also common within the same range. The bullsnake capitalizes on this similarity by performing an impressive rattlesnake impression when threatened. First, it hisses, or forcibly exhales through a glottis or extension of the windpipe. The end of the glottis is covered by a piece of cartilage known as the epiglottis which flaps back and forth when air is exhaled from the right lung, producing a convincing rattling sound. It also adopts a rattlesnake-like "S-curve" body posture as though about to strike. It commonly vibrates its tail rapidly in brush or leaves, and flattens its head to resemble the characteristic triangular shape of the rattlesnake. These defensive behaviors are meant to scare away threats, however, and not to sound an attack.