We’ve collected interesting facts about rattlesnakes.
Rattlesnake is a vast subfamily that combines 224 species.
Description of rattlesnakes
A distinctive feature of rattlesnakes – two dimples, which are located between the nostrils and the eyes of the snake, acting as a thermal imaging camera. They help the snake to hunt because of the difference in temperature between the environment and the prey’s body. Like all poisonous snakes, the rattlesnake has two long hollow fangs.
Long rattlesnakes grow from 60 to 80 centimeters. But some species can reach three and a half meters (Bushmaster). And the smallest member of the family is only fifty centimeters long (ciliated viper). The color of the snake’s skin is very much dependent on the genus, but all species have yellowish-beige dark spots.
The sight and hearing of rattlesnakes are not very well developed and they can only be seen from a short distance, but the snake is sensitive to fluctuations in air and ground, as well as temperature changes (even the difference of 0.1 degrees is noticeable for them).
The main feature of this subfamily is rattles. At the end of the tail (6-8 vertebrae) there are corneal cone plates, nested one in one. These are altered tail scales.
Habitat of rattlesnakes
Most of the subfamily of rattlesnakes live on the American continents. Approximately 70 species live in southeast Asia. You can see rattlesnakes in India and Sri Lanka. Also in the east, countries such as China, Japan, and Korea have learned to use these snakes.
What do rattlesnakes eat?
Small warm-blooded animals (mice, birds, rats, and even rabbits) get into the basic diet of rattlesnakes. The diet of rattlesnakes also includes frogs, small snakes, fish, and some insects (caterpillars and cicadas).
Rattlesnakes kill their victims with poison, attacking them from an ambush. Hunting is usually once a week. It eats for hunting about half its weight.
Natural enemies of rattlesnakes
For many species of reptiles, the first danger for rattlesnakes is man, killing snakes out of fear or in the excitement of hunting.
Natural enemies at rattlesnakes quite a lot. It’s a weasel, a ferret, and a marten. Birds are eagles, peacocks, and ravens. Snake venom has very little effect on these animals. Also, some big fish can be dangerous for rattlesnakes.
Raccoons and coyotes are also dangerous for both adults and young animals.
But perhaps the most amazing enemy is the pig. Since the skin is thick and the subcutaneous fat is thick, the poison does not get into the blood, even with a strong bite, and the pigs themselves will not refuse to eat the snake. This is used by farmers (pigs graze on them before plowing the fields).
For young snakes, low temperature is a danger.
Interesting facts about rattlesnakes
- Some species of rattlesnakes once chose a burrow for many years to live in it. Burrows very often pass from generation to generation for many decades.
- Despite their formidable appearance, rattlesnakes are quite fearful animals. They’ll never attack first. And if a snake starts rattling its tail, it does not mean that it is ready to throw. That’s how it marks its discontent and gets nervous, trying to scare away the unwelcome guest.
- The rattlesnake has one of the most dangerous poisons that can kill a grown man in a few minutes. But to the snake itself, the poison is not a threat. And even in moments of panic, when the snake makes random throws and bites everything around it, and in particular, itself, it does not cause much harm to it.