Return to
Home page

RATTLESNAKES   

The rattle is the most distinguishing feature of the snake, and is a horny section at the end of the tail, which serves to scare off intruders. After each molt, the rattle of the snake will gain a new section in the rattle. However, adequate information about the age of the rattlesnake cannot be determined by counting the sections of the rattle, as it may have been broken or the snake may have shed more than once a year. However, the shape of the sections of the rattle can be used to determine if the snake is an adult or a youth. In the picture above, the rattle sections are all symmetrical in size and do not taper thus indicating that this snake is an adult.
Hear the sound a rattlesnake makes

13 USEFUL TIPS TO REMEMBER
NATURAL HISTORY
RATTLESNAKES AND YOUR HOME
SNAKE ENCOUNTERS
Snakebite Doe's / Dont's / Pets
CONSERVATION AND PROTECTION

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

FAQ's:

What do Rattle Snakes Eat? Rodents, including mice, rats, and chipmunks, make up the bulk of the rattlesnake's diet. Large snakes may also prey on larger animals, including squirrels, prairie dogs, rabbits, and young groundhogs, as well as ground-nesting birds, bird eggs, and occasionally, frogs and toads. Some small rattlesnakes rely on lizards as a dietary staple.

Where do you find Rattle Snakes? Rattlesnakes are sit-and-wait predators. They remain coiled next to a regularly used animal path, often for days at a time, and wait silently for prey to come within striking distance. After stunning their prey with venom, they swallow the animal, and then move to another favored ambush site. Feeding ceases when winter approaches; these cold-blooded animals cannot digest food when it is cold, so rattlesnakes retreat into deep dens to hibernate until the following spring.

Return to Snakes

Return to Wildlife