Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

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by olona1
Last updated 5 years ago


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Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

A rattlesnake can move its rattle back and forth 60 or more times per second. Their venom is hemotoxic, meaning it effects the heart, veins, and blood. In the winter, they retreat into caves or similar places to hibernate. The rattle of the rattlesnake is made up of a protein called keratin (the same protein that your hair and fingernails are made of). A new segment is added each time a rattlesnake sheds, but they can shed at different rates. Because of this, and the fact that segments can break off, you really can't tell a snakes age by counting the segments. This snake ranges in size from 3 to 5 feet long with a few reaching 7 feet long. Western diamondbacks are pit vipers. This means that they have a heat sensing pit (Jacobsen’s organ) located behind each nostril. Heat given off by an animal is detected by the snake helping it to determine predator from prey. Rattlesnakes are viviparous – give birth to live young. Gestation lasts six or seven months, and broods average about a dozen young which may be as long as 30 cm (12 in). The young are fully capable of delivering a venomous bite from the moment they are born. Mice, rats, rabbits, gophers, ground dwelling birds, lizards and other small animals make up the diet of this snake.



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