Crotalus mitchelli

Abstracts of Presentations

Click here to download a PDF document of the following instructions and sample abstract submission.

Call for Abstracts

We invite submissions of technical papers and posters that involve the study of rattlesnakes. Topics for submissions should fall into one (or more) of the following session topics:

  • Systematics
  • Morphology & Physiology
  • Behavior
  • Ecology & Conservation
  • Venom & Snakebite


Abstracts must be received for both oral and poster presentations by
May 1, 2011. Oral presentations will be scheduled for 15 minutes, which includes 2-3 minutes for questions. Oral presentations will be limited to LCD-PowerPoint or 35 mm slides.  Overheads and VHS tapedeck videos will be accepted only by special request and if they can be accommodated. Depending on space availability, we might be able to accept abstracts submitted after the deadline; feel free to inquire.

Instructions for Submitting Abstracts

Send the abstract in either MS Word (preferred) or Rich Text Format (RTF) as an attachment in an e-mail message to  If you are unable to submit an abstract electronically, please mail a hard copy to Lori King, 707 Griegos Road NW, Albuquerque, NM 87107, USA.  You will be notified when your abstract is received.

Format for Submitting Abstracts

Your submission must include both presentation details and the abstract. Please see the sample submission, below.

Presentation details
Please provide the following details to help us organize the program:

  • Corresponding author: full name, full address, e-mail, telephone, fax
  • Presentation: indicate whether this abstract is submitted as an Aoral presentation" or "poster"
  • Media: for oral presentations, indicate whether you intend to use "PowerPoint" or "Slides." For posters, type "N.A."
  • Session: please indicate the session for which the presentation/poster should be considered:
    • Systematics
    • Morphology & Physiology
    • Behavior
    • Ecology & Conservation
    • Venom & Snakebite

Please prepare your abstract according to the following requirements: single space and left justify all lines; do not use hard returns except for creating blank lines; do not hyphenate words at the ends of lines; include the following:

  • Line 1 - provide name(s) of author(s) and address(es) of author(s). For multiple authors, please indicate (in bold) the name of the presenting author. With multiple addresses, please use superscripts to denote individual authors= affiliations (see sample). 
  • Insert blank line
  • Next line - type the title of the presentation (in bold)
  • Insert blank line
  • Next line - begin text of abstract; include a statement of objectives and a brief description of methods, principal results, and conclusions. The abstract text should be no longer than 300 words. Scientific names should be indicated in italics (do not underline).

Accepted abstracts may be edited and will be provided to conference participants.

Sample Abstract Submission

Corresponding author:  Stanley E. Laurel, Department of Biology, Sensation College, 1 Hollywood Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, E-mail:, Tel: (555) 555-5555, Fax: (555) 555-5555.
Presentation:  Oral Presentation
Media:  PowerPoint
Session:  Behavior
Laurel, Stanley E.1 and Oliver M. Hardy2. 1Department of Biology, Sensation College, 1 Hollywood Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 2Department of Rumors and Untruths, Myth and Legends College, Nowhereville, CA 92345.

Why the rattlesnake forms a hoop with its body and chases prey downhill

Rattlesnakes are well known for their speed and stealth.   Rattlesnakes, along with several other snake species (water moccasins and indigo snakes) have an advantage in their speed and agility over most species.  They are able to form a hoop and roll downhill very quickly.  There have been numerous eye witness accounts regarding rattlesnakes forming hoops and chasing them down a hill.  Early theories were that the rattlesnakes had an advantage in taking human prey items by exhibiting such behavior due to their added speed in overtaking prey.  However, since no one has ever seen a rattlesnake actually devouring a human, a new theory had to be developed.  We now believe that rattlesnakes are behaving in such a fashion only to intimidate or scare humans.  We further believe the snakes are having fun by doing so, as evidenced in several Gary Larson cartoons.  They seem to think it is humorous to rattle and make noise to further terrorize people as they roll down the hill.  If you have ever witnessed a rattlesnake forming a hoop and chasing someone down a hill, you will believe us.


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