[35][36][37] Although it has a comparatively low venom yield,[38] the venom toxicity of C. tigris is considered to be among the highest of all rattlesnake venoms, and among the highest of all snakes in the Western Hemisphere based on LD50 studies conducted on laboratory mice. [66], Species with long periods of brumation tend to have much lower reproductive rates than those with shorter brumation periods or those that do not brumate at all. [15], Rattlesnakes are believed to require at least their own body weight in water annually to remain hydrated. [64], Rattlesnakes often return to the same den, year after year, sometimes traveling several miles to get there. Most trees crops that are found in this county that are at risk for hosting these snakes are avocados, citrus and dates. National Wildlife Federation. 21385. Habitat Note where the snake occurs - desert, forest, mountains, marsh, in water, grassland, etc. Philadelphia: American Association of Poison Control Centers' Annual Reports. Additionally, the red diamond rattlesnake (C. ruber) is prohibited from being taken or killed by state wildlife regulation. A majority of victims (about 72%[73]) are males, often young and intoxicated. Rattlesnakes are ovoviviparous, which means that eggs incubate inside the mother's body. California Department of Fish and Wildlife Code classifies rattlesnakes as native reptiles. Rubio, 1998: p. 59 -- Knowledge that rattlesnakes are so afraid of kingsnakes' odor led to the development of effective synthetic rattlesnake repellents. [16], Newborn rattlesnakes are heavily preyed upon by a variety of species, including ravens, crows, roadrunners, raccoons, opossums, skunks, coyotes, weasels, whipsnakes, kingsnakes, and racers. [51], The skin of rattlesnakes is intricately patterned in a manner that camouflages them from their predators. [6] Rattlesnakes prefer a temperature range between 80 and 90 °F (26 and 32 °C), but can survive temperatures below freezing, recovering from brief exposure to temperatures as low as 4 °F (−16 °C), and surviving for several days in temperatures as low as 37 °F (3 °C). In larger bodies of water (streams, ponds, etc. [25] Due to the small sizes of the pit openings, typically these thermal images are low in resolution and contrast. The National Wildlife Federation reported that rattlesnakes typically live for 10 to 25 years. [17][33] Adult rattlesnakes shed their fangs every 6–10 weeks. [10] They lie in wait for their prey, or hunt for it in holes. https://calpoison.org/topics/rattlesnakes. Accessed 20 June 2019, https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Reptiles/Rattlesnakes, http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74119.html. These pits are temperature-sensitive structures that assist the snake in finding prey, even in complete darkness. They often gather together for brumation in large numbers (sometimes over 1,000 snakes), huddling together inside underground "rattlesnake dens" or hibernacula. California Poison Control. Rattlesnakes are thick-bodied snakes with keeled (ridged) scales in a variety of colors and patterns. [19], Like all pit vipers, rattlesnakes have two organs that can sense radiation: their eyes, and a set of heat-sensing "pits" on their faces that enable them to locate prey and move towards it, based on the prey's thermal radiation signature. Symptoms include swelling, slight bleeding, sensitivity, shaking, and anxiety. [5] However, rattlesnakes fall prey to hawks, weasels, king snakes, and a variety of other species. Accessed 20 June 2019. [49] The typical rattlesnake, genus Crotalus, has the top of its head covered with small scales, except, with a few species, a few crowded plates directly over the snout. The resulting serum is purified into a lyophilized powder, which is packaged for distribution and later use by human patients. [82][83], Because antivenin is derived from animal antibodies, people generally display an allergic response during infusion, known as serum sickness. It is not known exactly how the rattlesnakes find their way back to the dens each year, but may use a combination of pheromone trails and visual cues (e.g., topography, celestial navigation, and solar orientation). [30][90], Journalist Alistair Cooke claimed that rattlesnake tastes "just like chicken, only tougher". To maintain a stable body temperature, they exchange heat with their external environments. [7], The most probable ancestral area of rattlesnakes is the Sierra Madre Occidental region in Mexico. The red diamond rattlesnake is found in Baja California and in southwestern California south of Los Angeles. Nonvenomous snakes, such as gardener snakes should also be left alone wherever found. ), instead relying on subtle earth tones that resemble the surrounding environment. The elevated coil is used to strike the attacker, and is also used to shield the head from the kingsnake. If the prey is small, the rattlesnake often continues hunting. These pits have a relatively short effective range of about 1 ft, but give the rattlesnake a distinctive advantage in hunting for warm-blooded creatures at night. [30], Caution is advised even when snakes are believed to be dead; rattlesnake heads can sense, flick the tongue, and inflict venomous bites reflexively for up to an hour after being severed from the body. [26][27] However, rattlesnakes are not exclusively nocturnal, and their vision is more acute during daylight conditions. First, remember that the desire to avoid any kind of an interaction is mutual. They are widespread in California and have been found in cities, on riverbanks, parks and even golf courses. If a domesticated animal is bitten, the hair around the bite should be removed, so the wound can be clearly seen. [3] The 36 known species of rattlesnakes have between 65 and 70 subspecies,[4] all native to the Americas, ranging from southern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and southern British Columbia in Canada to central Argentina. If drinking dew, or drinking from small puddles, they sip the liquid either by capillary action or by flattening and flooding their lower jaws. Most species are patterned with dark diamonds, rhombuses or hexagons on a lighter background. Rattlesnake populations in many areas are severely threatened by habitat destruction, poaching, and extermination campaigns. Females often remain with their young in nests for several weeks, and mothers have been observed cooperatively parenting their broods. Seek veterinary care immediately for proper treatment. Nat. Toxicol. [54], Creases in the epidermal tissue connect the scales of rattlesnakes. [87], The Feathered Serpent of Mesoamerican religion was depicted as having the combined features of the quetzal and rattlesnake. [91] Others have compared the flavor to a wide range of other meats, including veal, frog, tortoise, quail, fish, rabbit, and even canned tuna. [1][42][43] The muscles that cause the rattle to shake are some of the fastest known, firing 50 times per second on average, sustained for up to three hours.[44].

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