Rattlesnakes are found in a diverse range of habitats across the world since they are adaptable enough to live in green meadows, wet swampland, and desert sand dunes.
The rattlesnake is one of the most misunderstood species in the animal kingdom—they are not as mean or as dangerous as we view them. In fact, they play a major role in nature as they control the small mammal populations (as predators) and provide larger animals food (as prey).
Fun Facts About Rattlesnake
- Rattlesnakes can control the amount of venom that they use as they bite—even babies. The theory that baby rattlesnakes are more dangerous because they can’t control their venom output has been proven wrong.
- Even though rattlesnake venom can severely injure or kill people, these snakes prefer to avoid confrontation with humans.
- In addition to their infamous rattling, these snakes also make a hissing sound in order to warn others to stay away.
- Research shows that these snakes are the newest and most evolved snake species.
- Rattlesnakes only eat when they are hungry, which equates to one meal every two to three weeks. The exact time period between meals depends on the quantity of their last meal.
- Rattlesnakes range in size between 1ft to over 8ft long.
- Like other snakes, a rattlesnake’s inner ear structure does not have an eardrum. Therefore, it cannot detect airborne sounds. Instead, it hears by sensing vibrations through its jawbones.
- Rattlesnakes have vertical pupils, just like cats.
- They are ovoviviparous (they have live births/they do not lay eggs).
- There are 36 species and 65 subspecies of rattlesnakes, three of which are endangered owing to hunting and habitat loss.
- The endangered species include the Santa Catalina rattlesnake, the Tancitaran dusky rattlesnake, and the long-tailed rattlesnake.
- Rattlesnakes’ rattles are made up of multiple interlocking rings of keratin—keratin is the material that human nails, hair, and skin are made of. Each time a rattlesnake sheds, its body naturally adds a rattle segment.
Very interesting and informative.
I was born and raised in New Mexico, so rattlesnakes were very much a part of our daily lives. We were taught, from a young age, how to treat a rattlesnake bite. But, the things were taught in the 1940’s are NOT the correct things to do now. Many people somehow survived our mistaken “doctoring”. I had a deep fear and respect for rattlers, and happily didn’t ever have a personal encounter with one. It you were on horse back, your horse “knew” before you did that a rattler was close by, warning us, and would immediately take you out of harm’s way. I’m happy to know they, the snakes, were not really MEAN, just protecting themselves as nature intended.
Love reading updated information. Thank you!