kolleamm

Avoiding snakes/scorpions while fossil collecting?

40 posts in this topic

I use my rock hammer to flip rocks over and want not. I also use a long pry bar as well in areas I know to have venomous snakes. If out west where these snakes are heavily populated I wear snake guards. Many of these snakes give a warning and its best to be cautious and keep an ear out. Using thick heavy duty leather gloves(for cattle/livestock) can help minimize your chances from being stung by a scorpion.

 

A buddy from earlier in the year....he seems happy aye? Lol Be careful and have fun!

20170429_130901.thumb.jpg.575184ba82968776cceb690cf652ccc1.jpg 

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1 hour ago, Raggedy Man said:

I use my rock hammer to flip rocks over and want not. I also use a long pry bar as well in areas I know to have venomous snakes. If out west where these snakes are heavily populated I wear snake guards. Many of these snakes give a warning and its best to be cautious and keep an ear out. Using thick heavy duty leather gloves(for cattle/livestock) can help minimize your chances from being stung by a scorpion.

 

A buddy from earlier in the year....he seems happy aye? Lol Be careful and have fun!

20170429_130901.thumb.jpg.575184ba82968776cceb690cf652ccc1.jpg 

 

An eastern milk snake, Lampropeltis t. triangulum, if I remember correctly. 

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I never worry, I stand back and let my wife flip any rock that needs flipping. 

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Great question. Everyone else has already provided some great feedback that you should definitely heed. Your being aware of the potential hazards is very wise and should help you down the road-- just remember that there are risks in life everywhere, accept them and minimize/prepare for them as best you can.  I've been out wandering around picking things up for over 50 years too (being outside is overwhelming calming too and that's always been the draw) and love seeing the snakes and spiders and scorpions and even stop to watch stupid fire and other ants doing stuff. We wont even go in to the bigger critters...

 

My final comments are just to have you pay attention and dont get so focused on collecting that you forget your surroundings-in your immediate area and elsewhere. Its far too easy for me to get so absorbed in looking and picking up fossils that nature can get too close...In 2 of my last visits out I forgot this wise advice which I'm trying to pass along---I was so absorbed in picking up some broken shark teeth recently that I didnt notice I was standing in an ant trail that ultimately made me do the spontaneous happy fire ant dance all of us Floridians and Texans know.  A couple weeks before that I was pond side crouching down looking at an outcrop just above water level and actually felt like I was being watched. I turned my head and could see just the profile of a gator head with both eyes looking directly at me. Luckily when I stood up he/she went under and my heart raced for a moment--well maybe more than a moment. So pay attention! It's certainly more dangerous getting in a car and driving to your destination with all crazy bad human drivers than having to be aware/avoid/respect snakes and scorpions. 

 

Good luck out there and your question reflects you already have a healthy respect for these critters. 

 

Regards, Chris 

 

 

 

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@kolleamm I use a rock hammer to flip rocks, never leave your backpack open, always check your surroundings (including where you sit or kneel), and when you see a critter don't underestimate it. Here's a velvet ant stinging a guy for you (have fun watching it):

 

 

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Here's another one. I'm moving out to Utah next week and will probably see a Gila monster amongst other things. Apparently the venom feels like lava coursing through the veins and there's not antibody for the venom. It's not fatal but can be if the individual has an allergic reaction and goes into shock. There's a lot out in the wild wild west (and east) that can bite, sting, or claw you if you're not careful.

 

 

 

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Rattlers etc. may be more dangerous, but I don't like the sound of those big centipedes... one of the few things that give me the willies too. I don't know why there is so much fuss about spiders and scorpions and nothing said about them. I'm with Kane - glad I live up here in the north!

Yesterday I came back into my computer room to find a small garter snake under my desk where my feet normally are. Startled for a moment but I know they're harmless so it was no problem to scoop him up with a dustpan and plastic garbage bucket and evict him. If I went collecting down south I figure I would be able to handle any encounters with spiders/scorpions/snakes, but those centipedes would make me think twice... Yet I'm willing to brave Lyme disease to go fossiling up here (we do have ticks and I've had a couple scares recently while out collecting. Irrational I know, but I'm still alive..)

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On 7/8/2017 at 6:01 AM, kolleamm said:

I think fossil collecting is great but I've encountered a snake and a scorpion while collecting and it's really made me more fearful of any rock I try and flip over. Any tips for staying safe out there?

 

I have a perfect method, have NEVER had any issue at all with snakes, scorpions etc....

 

My trick - Live in a country with none of them!  We have a poisonous spider.  Yes one.  And I dont think theres been a recorded death from one in a hundred plus years.

 

Always had a fascination with snakes and scorpions tho, recon if I could I would have pet ones.

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3 minutes ago, 6ix said:

My trick - Live in a country with none of them!  

:rofl::rofl:

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Working out pretty well for me so far!

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1 hour ago, 6ix said:

 

I have a perfect method, have NEVER had any issue at all with snakes, scorpions etc....

 

My trick - Live in a country with none of them!  We have a poisonous spider.  Yes one.  And I dont think theres been a recorded death from one in a hundred plus years.

 

Always had a fascination with snakes and scorpions tho, recon if I could I would have pet ones.

 

Yes our poisonous spider ( the Katipo) is in the same genus as the Redback from Australia and the Black Widow from the U.S.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katipo But it has a very specialised habitat. You would probably have to go and find one and stick it on you (like some of the chaps in the posted videos for the velvet ant) to get a bite.

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Interesting that Wikipedia says the Katipo is an endangered species of spider. I wonder if it has any natural predators or what's keeping their numbers down.

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2 minutes ago, Fossil-Hound said:

Interesting that Wikipedia says the Katipo is an endangered species of spider. I wonder if it has any natural predators or what's keeping their numbers down.

Also from Wikipedia, invasive South African spiders displace them.

I just found out there are black widows in Maryland. Worse is the fact I've seen and probably touched them, and there is no antivenin for the northern black widow.

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Living in temperate areas , there are periods which are more favorable for safe collecting ( i.e winter) , and periods less favorable ( i.e Spring) , specifically when our little friends are coming out of their long slumber and may not yet be totally aware of their surroundings . That's the time I always take extra precautions , because probability for close encounters and unfortunate misunderstandings are maximum ...

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Yep, those little critters i do not like.

Luckily, germany has only one poisenous snake which may be dangerous for kids and older people.

Met it several times in the fields, mostly under the rocks in the quarries. But as already written several times: watch your step and hands, do not use your hand to switch the stones and wear safety equip. Since they are camouflaged very good, you may not see them immediately.

Black widow is coming up from Italy to the very south of germany, but still rare.

More and serious problems with the ticks, near half of germany is "risky-area" (the south) for tick-borne encephalitis and lyme boreliosis. You need to be aware and vacination is recommended.

 

Best regards,

Pemphix

 

 

 

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