Rattlesnake Facts

There are a lot of amazing rattlesnake facts out there. For many people, just the idea of coming across a rattlesnake while out on a hike or gardening is too much to bear. They illicit a type of fear that is very intense and most times unwarranted. Often, people who run across these snakes will assume the worst and go running for the hills. While they are indeed animals that you want to keep your distance from, it's not necessary to recoil in horror at the very mention of them. They're actually really interesting little animals. Here are ten of the amazing rattlesnake facts that set them apart from other animals.

  1. The larges rattlesnake is the eastern diamondback rattlesnake. It can grow to a length upwards of 8 feet.
  2. They are extremely venomous. The majority of rattlesnakes have a hemotoxic venom that causes a shutdown of bodily organs and can cause significant tissue damage at the site of the bite.
  3. They belong to a group of snakes known as "pit vipers." These are venomous snakes that utilize specialized heat-sensing pores near their mouths to sense the body heat of their prey. They can tell differences in temperature by fractions of degrees.
  4. Rattlesnakes are oviviparous. Females retain the eggs of their young internally until the eggs hatch. The female gives birth to the live young, not a clutch of eggs.
  5. By counting the amount of "buttons" that have grown on a rattlesnakes rattle, you can accurately tell about how many times it's shed its skin.
  6. A rattlesnake's rattle is made out of keratin. This is the same thing that your fingernails are made out of.
  7. Most reptiles just leave their young to fend for themselves from birth. There are, however, two species of rattlesnake that are known to stay with their young until after their first shed. These are the black-tailed rattlesnake and the rock rattlesnake.
  8. One of the most commonly known amazing rattlesnake facts is why they rattle. The rattle is used as a deterrent against predators. It is meant to be a warning that says "stay away or I'll bite".
  9. About 20% of defensive bites that a rattlesnake makes toward predators are considered "dry" bites. This means that no venom is secreted with these bites.
  10. The last amazing rattlesnake fact is the way their fangs are built. Their fangs are like hypodermic syringes. Hollow in the center, or grooved depending on the species, they can inject their venom deeply into their prey.
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