When someone is talking about the most iconic group of north American snakes, it’s a high probability that they are talking about the rattlesnakes. These snakes are found in many habitats and places in the Western Hemisphere. They are highly specialized and venomous reptiles. They have triangle-shaped heads and large bodies. They are called rattlesnakes because of the characteristic rattle found at the tip of the tail. There is a series of interlocking scales in the rattle. Each time the snake molts it adds to this series., In the world, more than 24 rattlesnake species are present. Do you know what colors are most rattlesnakes? Or what are prairie rattlesnakes? If not, then find out in this article.
1. What are Features of Prairie Rattlesnake?Image by Foto-RaBe from Pixabay
The prairie rattlesnake is scientifically known as Crotalus viridis and is one of the many rattlesnake species present in the world. Its features are as follows:
- Prairie rattlesnake has a life span of about 16-20 yrs.
- Its length typically exceeds 3.3 feet (100 cm).
- It’s usually centered in the middle of the United States, from Idaho east to Iowa and from Canada south to Texas.
- Its habitat ranges from wooded mountains to prairies.
- Usually, it is olive green, greenish gray, or greenish brown in color.
- It has a rattle and each time it sheds its skin a new segment is added to the rattle.
- It mates between mid-summer and early fall.
- It hibernates in winter.
- Prairie Rattlesnakes sometimes gather in hibernation dens.
2. What Colors are Most Rattlesnakes?
After learning about the prairie rattlesnake, let’s learn about its colors. There are more than 24 types of rattlesnakes in the world and the USA alone homes about 15 species of rattlesnakes. These snakes are among the four most venomous snakes found in the USA. Rattlesnakes around the world exist in a variety of colors depending on the species. Their color can range from rust to grey, and brown. Different species exhibit unique patterns like diamonds or bands. With this, you must have acquired basic knowledge of what colors are most rattlesnakes. (See Why Do Snakes Shed Their Skin?)
3. What is the Most Venomous Rattlesnake?
In this world, there are a variety of rattlesnake species and these species are capable enough of inflicting death, injury, or some serious harm to an unsuspecting human. The most venomous rattlesnake in North America is no doubt the eastern diamondback rattlesnake. It is the largest of its species in the world. It has unique coloration patterns of diamond-shaped dorsal blotches. A border of yellowish scales defines these blotches.
The most venomous rattlesnake in the world is however considered to be Mojave Green Rattlesnake. They are from the Viperidae family and are typically found in the southwestern United States and central Mexico. These snakes are extremely dangerous to humans because of their potent venom. They can be easily distinguished by their distinct coloration which varies from light brown and green. Its rattle is also large with white bands. Must read What is the Meaning of Seeing a Snake in your Path?
4. What do Rattlesnakes Drink?
Prairie rattlesnakes are found in a large variety of habitats ranging from swamps, deserts, forests, grasslands, and scrub brushes. These snakes also drink water to fulfill their biological needs. In desert habitats like the southwestern United States and Mexico, there is sparse rainfall and thus these snakes do not waste water even by urinating. They have an incredible sense of smell and taste which they use to detect water from great distances. They find enough water to survive in deserts. Some rattlesnakes use scales on their back to drink rainwater during storms. This helps them survive in the desert environment. (See How Snakes survive in Hot Desert Conditions?)
5. Which Snake Bite Kills Fastest?
Snakes don’t have powerful claws or jaws to tackle their prey but they do have venom. Their venoms contain several different proteins and enzymes. The venom is capable enough of killing a snake’s prey easily. Different snake venoms act differently, some venoms interfere with the beating rhythm of the heart, some block nerve transmission, some cause blood vessels to suddenly become leaky, and some break down muscle tissues.
The black mamba is a snake whose bite can kill you the fastest. In a single attack, it can bite you as many as 12 times and it can inject 12 times the lethal dose for humans in each bite. This snake has the fastest-acting venom among other snakes. Its bite can kill a human in about 20 minutes. It kills smaller prey pretty faster but due to the size difference between small prey and humans, it is given that its venom will take more time to work on humans. (See How many Hearts does a Snake Have?)
6. Do Rattlesnakes Eat Cats?Image by Dim Hou from Pixabay
The rattlesnakes feed on rodents, and other reptiles, and eat insects as well. But it is highly unlikely for a rattlesnake to eat cats. Cats are common pets and people love them. In a location like Texas, it is very common for domesticated cats to run into something as deadly as rattlesnakes. In such a situation a fight can occur between these two animals. In such fights usually, it’s the cat that is the winner.
The cat could harass the snake from different sides and eventually launch a fatal attack where it bites down at the base of the rattlesnake’s skull and kills it. However, in the right circumstances, a rattlesnake could also kill a cat though it would probably die in the process as snake venom doesn’t kill instantly. The cat can kill it even after being bitten. (See Why Are Cats Tongue So Rough?)
7. What Eats Rattlesnakes?
Rattlesnakes are deadly reptiles but they are not inevitable. There are a lot of animals that can kill and eat rattlesnakes. King snakes are resistant to pit viper venoms and thus they hunt rattlesnakes and eat them. Rattlesnakes often share territories with eagles and these birds use their powerful beaks as well as talons to rip apart rattlesnakes.
Some species of owl do hunt and feed on rattlesnakes- they mostly prefer adolescent rattlesnakes. Different species of hawks eat rattlesnakes frequently, especially red-tailed hawks. Turkeys attack and kill rattlesnakes if they are hunting young turkeys, after this, the turkey eats the snake. Apart from these animals coyotes, black racer snakes, feral cats, badgers, mongooses, and bobcats also eat rattlesnakes. Must see What eats Owls in the Food Chain?
8. What Bird Kills Rattlesnakes?
A road runner is a bird found in the deserts of New Mexico and California. This bird hunts and kills rattlesnakes without much preamble or fear. It hunts for rattlesnakes regularly. It often kills the rattlesnakes by pecking through their heads using its immense speed and agility. There is a limited food resource in the desert and thus it makes sense for the round runners to kill and consume the rattlesnakes they come across. Apart from this, other birds like hawks, owls, turkeys, etc can kill rattlesnakes. (See What Animal Can Defeat an Eagle?)
9. What Pet Kills Rattlesnakes?Photo by Eric Han on Unsplash
If a domesticated cat comes across a rattlesnake then it can kill the snake. The cat can tire out the snake and could harass it from different sides. It could eventually kill the rattlesnake by a fatal attack of biting down at the base of the snake’s skull. In certain circumstances, the snake can bite the cat and kill it but the snake will die in the process. It takes some time for the venom to act up and in the meantime, the cat could still kill the snake. With this, you must have understood what pet kills rattlesnakes. (Also read How Far do Snakes Travel?)