Fun Rattlesnakes Facts For Kids

Divya Raghav
Apr 25, 2023 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Dimple Panchal
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One of the best rattlesnakes facts is that the rattlesnake got its name due to the fantastic rattlers at the end of its body. These rattles play a major role in the determination of their age as well.

Rattlesnakes, as beautiful as they may look, are a dangerous species. Inhabiting the plains and desserts of Canada, Mexico, Argentina, and some American states, the rattlesnake species exhibits various unique survival tactics and adaptations.

This set of snakes tends to grow from 1.6-8.2 ft (0.5-2.5 m) long. They are marked with various skin patterns, including diamonds, rhombuses, or hexagons, accompanied by their beautiful light-shaded background skin covered in gray or light brown scales.

The rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) is known for its shy and timid behavior. They tend to avoid any kind of aggressive behavior unless they are provoked.

If poked or mishandled, it will take just seconds for the rattlesnake's mood to turn aggressive. A rattlesnake's bite is dangerous and its venom can be fatal.

but thankfully advancements in medicine mean that it is normally treatable today (time, obviously is essential though and any bite should be treated with urgency). Despite medical treatments, bites from rattlesnakes longer than 3.3 ft (1 m) are more dangerous and are more likely to be fatal.

Discover some fun facts about rattlesnake animals and some baby rattlesnake facts in this article. If you like these, you can also check out our facts about the sea snake or the olive ridley sea turtle too!

Rattlesnake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a rattlesnake?

Rattlesnakes (Crotalus adamanteus) are venomous snakes belonging to the genera Crotalus and Sistrurus in Crotaline subfamily (the pit vipers). All rattlesnakes are vipers.

What class of animal does a rattlesnake belong to?

A rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) belongs to the Reptilia class of animals.

How many rattlesnakes are there in the world?

Rattlesnakes are venomous snakes belonging to the Crotalus and Sistrurus genera in the Crotalinae subfamily. There are between 65-70 subspecies of rattlesnakes among the 36 known species.

Where does a rattlesnake live?

They are commonly found in the forests, swamps, deserts, and grasslands of California and Arizona in the United States.

What is a rattlesnake's habitat?

Rattlesnakes can be found in Central as well as South America, in places like Arizona and California. As well as Arizona and California, they are also found in Mexico.

Who do rattlesnakes live with?

Although rattlesnakes are not territorial in nature, they occupy set home ranges that offer a supply both of food and suitable mates. You might spot two rattlesnakes with each other during their mating season, otherwise, they are hardly be observed in pairs or groups.

How long does a rattlesnake live?

A rattlesnake's age can be worked out by counting the number of rattles at the end of her body. Each rattle approximately accounts for two years. Technically the lifespan of a rattlesnake ranges from 10-25 years, but whilst some live for just 10 years others can last for 37 years and more.

How do they reproduce?

The prime season for mating in rattlesnakes is either during spring or early summer. While the southern species prefer mating in spring the northern species prefer early summer.

Although most snakes are oviparous, rattlesnakes are ovoviviparous. Their eggs are incubated inside the mother's body and she releases them only when the infants are ready to hatch. The mother abandons her newborn after merely a week or two and the young spend their first few weeks shedding their skin.

Finally, after four to six years young rattlesnakes become adults. This happens a little later for females, at 7-13 years of age.

What is their conservation status?

Although the rattlesnake species is not endangered, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), three subspecies need immediate attention. These three are Santa Catalina Island rattlesnakes (listed as Critically Endangered), long-tailed rattlesnakes (listed as Vulnerable), and the Tancitaran dusky rattle-snake (listed as Endangered).

Rattlesnake Fun Facts

What do rattlesnakes look like?

The rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) species can grow long up to 8.2 ft (2.5 m) in length. They have thick and scaly bodies with triangular heads.

Their color scheme varies from black and gray to brown and olive, with patterns like the diamond or spots imprinted on them. They are similar to pit vipers.

As their name suggests they can be identified by the rattling sound made by their segmented body as well as their tails. However, newborn rattlesnakes do not possess this feature (a rattlesnake only attains it after it sheds its skin for the first time).

Although the western diamondback rattlesnake looks extremely fascinating, they are extremely vicious, similar to pit vipers.

How cute are they?

The rattlesnake species is not very cute because they are dangerous animals and their venom can cause serious illness in humans as well as in their prey. A bite from the fangs of this snake species can be very dangerous.

How do they communicate?

The rattlesnake species uses various ways and different signals to communicate. For instance, when a rattlesnake flicks its tongue it means that it is collecting the chemicals from its surroundings.

They use their vomeronasal systems to track down prey and predators, as well as to communicate with their fellow snakes. Leaving behind pheromones helps these snakes to communicate their age, gender, or reproductive status as snakes are technically regarded as deaf to any airborne sounds that are produced.

How big is a rattlesnake?

The average length of a typical rattlesnake ranges from 3-6 ft (91-183 cm). However, some can be found outside of this average range, for example, some adults have been able to reach the length of 8.2 ft (2.5 m).

In general, they weigh between 2.2-4.4 lb (1-2 kg) but more specifically, western diamondback rattlesnakes have an average weight of 10 lb (4.5 kg) and eastern diamondback rattlesnakes (highly venomous snakes) weigh approximately 34 lb (15.4 kg).

How fast can a rattlesnake move?

Rattlesnakes are pretty fast when it comes down to speed. The average speed of a rattlesnake is 9.68 ft per second and 2.95 m per second.

How much does a rattlesnake weigh?

The average body mass of a rattlesnake is roughly 2.2-4.4 lb (1-2 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Both genders have the same name. Despite this, one of the best ways to differentiate between a male and a female rattlesnake is by looking at the complexities and minute details of their tails. While males tend to have thicker and longer tails, females have a more narrow structure of tails.

What would you call a baby rattlesnake?

Baby rattlesnakes are simply known as baby rattlesnakes.

What do they eat?

A rattlesnake's favorite prey includes small rodents and lizards. This snake only looks for prey when they're hungry and an adult rattlesnake can go weeks without eating depending on how large its last meal was. Interestingly, younger rattlesnakes tend to eat more often (about once a week) than older rattlesnakes.

Are they poisonous?

Rattlesnake bites are venomous and their bites can be fatal. However, these snake bites can be treated now and their venom is not as strong as some other snakes' venom.

Would they make a good pet?

As fascinating as rattlesnakes are to watch, they are very dangerous. Therefore they cannot be kept as pets.

Did you know...

One of the most interesting facts about rattlesnake creatures is that although this snake has a bad reputation, it is very helpful to the wider ecosystem. These snakes eat lots of rodents hence eliminating rodent-borne diseases from areas.

Rattlesnakes tend to shed their skin between three and four times each year and they don't have many predators. The only predators this snake has are eagles, hawks, owls, raccoons, roadrunners, bobcats, and coyotes.

Rattlesnakes are nocturnal in nature, so they prefer exploring, laying eggs, and hunting during the nighttime.

One of the best rattlesnake facts for kids is that it is tough to determine the age of the snake if you do not know when it was born. However, one way to figure out the age of any rattlesnake is by counting the number of rattles on its body.

Each rattle usually accounts for two years of life, so a snake with 14 rattles will be roughly six to seven years old.

Almost all snakes have teeth (an upper jaw as well as a lower jaw) but not all are equipped with fangs (only the poisonous ones). One peculiarity about rattlesnakes is that they are born with highly functional fangs and venom, making them capable of killing from birth.

The exact number of teeth a rattlesnake has varies depending on the different subspecies.

The famous rattlesnake sound is created by the segments of a rattlesnake when it shakes its tail. This produces the signature rattlesnake sound and only happens after the rattlesnake sheds its skin for the first time.

Different Types Of Rattlesnakes

There are many different types of rattlers of snake, including the pygmy rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake, western diamondback rattlesnake, West Coast rattlers, Mojave rattlesnake, South American rattlesnake, Cascabel rattlesnake, and the copperhead rattlesnake.

Are rattlesnakes endangered?

Although the entire species is not endangered, a few subspecies are at risk. For example, the eastern Massasauga rattlesnake has been marked as a 'Threatened Species' under the Endangered Species Act.

The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is also at risk of becoming 'Endangered' under the same Endangered Species Act. This eastern diamondback rattlesnake also qualifies as 'Endangered' according to the United States Fish and Wildlife Services.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including the sand lizard, or bog turtle.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our angry snake coloring pages.

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Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

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Fact-checked by Dimple Panchal

Bachelor specializing in Economics, Master of Arts specializing in Economics

Dimple Panchal picture

Dimple PanchalBachelor specializing in Economics, Master of Arts specializing in Economics

With a background in economics and a passion for creative writing, Dimple pursued higher education and gained a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Gargi College and a Master's degree in the same from Indira Gandhi National Open University. Along the way, she tutored kids and discovered her passion for art as a means of self-expression. An introvert by nature, she finds solace in watching anime films and documentaries, reading books, and taking walks with her dog. She admires the work of Hayao Miyazaki and Haruki Murakami.

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