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Sep 02 2014

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Texas Rattlesnakes

10. There are ten different species and subspecies of rattlesnakes that reside in Texas, which is more than any state other than Arizona.  The most common to interact with people in the region are the western diamondback, the prairie, and the eastern timber.

9. Fatalities from rattlesnake bites are actually more rare than most think. Less than ten percent of victims that are bitten will die. People who are very young, small or in poor health are much more likely to face death from a bite.

rattlesnake face

8. Though it will often leave humans alone, if provoked, one of the largest species of rattlesnake, the western diamondback, will provide an aggressive defense.  By delivering large amounts of venom into its victims with each bite, it has been labeled as one of the most dangerous snake species in North America.

7. A common myth was recently debunked, proving that the length of a snake’s rattle is no indication of its age.  Though a new piece will be added onto the rattle each time the snake sheds, since the material it is made of is keratin, which is the same substance our fingernails are made of, the pieces often break or tear off, leaving the rattle unable to serve as a true determinant of the snake’s age.

the rattle

6. Most of what rattlesnakes eat ranges from small birds to insects, but it can sometimes vary, depending on the species of the snake and the availability of prey.

5. The breeding of rattlesnakes takes place in both Spring and Fall. During these seasons, the snakes will be found in closest proximity to humans.

snake tongue

4. Rattlesnakes hibernate during the Winter, so during the Fall, many snakes will be out hunting, even more frequently, so that they will be well stocked up for hibernation.

3. Excluding the rattle, the largest species of rattlesnake, known as the western diamondback, will likely not be found with a length greater than seven-­and-­a-­half feet.

western diamondback pattern

2. The hues and tints of rattlesnakes range from greenish to pinkish, which is an indicator of the specific species that they are.

1. Baby rattlesnakes are abandoned by their mothers right after birth. They are born equipped with fangs and even stronger venom, enabling them to immediately find food on their own.

 

What to do if you are bitten by a rattlensnake


snake species

rattlesnake about to strike

close look at rattle and body