David Smith was enjoying a warm day on the Pinellas Trail near Innisbrook Golf Club in Tampa, Florida, when he stumbled upon a remarkable site -- two male diamondback rattlers battling it out for dominance.
Smith, who just posted the video on YouTube, said he filmed the scene in late October 2018.
"At the time, we were all mistaking what the snakes were doing, thinking it was two snakes mating, but a ranger friend explained it to me that they were battling over territory or trying to impress a female rattlesnake that would of been watching close by. We were clueless. There could of been a third snake around there or near us."
According to Earthtouchnews.com, this behavior is often misconstrued as mating; in fact it is sometimes referred to as a mating dance, which adds to the confusion. A typical rattlesnake battle involves raising the body and head as the rival attempts to prove to a nearby female that he is the stronger individual.
Smith said the ranger explained that the way the battle dance works is the snake that tires out first is the winner.
"They don't battle for blood because they would kill each other if they bit into each other," Smith said. "The battle dance is how they settle things. This is a very rare sighting."
Have you ever witnessed rattlesnakes battling it out?
Stephanie Mallory is a mom, a hunter and Realtree’s PR Coordinator. She’s here to deliver an insider’s look at the outdoor business and give her opinion on all things outdoors—whether you asked for it or not.