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Because they hiss and strike violently when aroused, the harmless little hognose snakes are often considered to be poisonous by people who encounter them. They are not venomous but are truly remarkable animals with specialized behavior and anatomy unusually well suited for life in the grasslands of central North America.
The University of Nebraska State Museum has recently acquired fossil evidence regarding the evolutionary history of these common Great Plains reptiles. We can now trace the record of the hognose snakes back to a time long before the arrival of man, the bison, or even the mammoth on the North American Continent.