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 a thick and scaly body with a triangular head. 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 a thicker and longer tail, females have a more narrow structure of tail.
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 is.
Would they make a good pet?
As fascinating as rattlesnakes are to watch, they are very dangerous. Therefore they cannot be kept as pets.
Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.
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 night time.
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 rattlesnake
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.
You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our angry snake coloring pages.