Sunday, October 21, 2007
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake
The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the largest venomous snake in North America. Some reach 8 feet (2.4 meters) in length and weigh up to 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms). These stout-bodied pit vipers generally live in the dry, pine flatwoods, sandy woodlands, and coastal scrub habitats from southern North Carolina to Florida and west to Louisiana. Their pattern of yellow-bordered, light-centered black diamonds makes them among the most strikingly adorned of all North American reptiles. They are natural exterminators, surviving on such household pests as rats and mice, as well as squirrels and birds.Feared as deadly and aggressive, diamondbacks are actually highly averse to human contact and only attack in defense. Most bites occur when humans taunt or try to capture or kill a rattlesnake. They can accurately strike at up to one-third their body length.Did you know? Baby rattlers can actually be more dangerous than adults because they have less control over the amount of venom they inject. They live 10 to 20 years. They are carnivores.