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Sidewinder Rattle Snake
 

Sidewinder Rattle Snake

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A presentation about how the Sidewinder Rattle Snake is adapted to its environment.

A presentation about how the Sidewinder Rattle Snake is adapted to its environment.

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    Sidewinder Rattle Snake Sidewinder Rattle Snake Presentation Transcript

    • The South-Western American Sidewinder Rattlesnake
    •  The sidewinder rattlesnake lives in a desert biome just above the tropic of cancer in South-Western America. The snake and it’s sub-species range from only the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of south-eastern California, western Arizona, southern Nevada and extreme south-western Utah to Mexico.
    • 40As you can see the graph 35shows what you might expect 30 90from a northern hemisphere 75 25desert. Low rainfall and high 60temperatures: especially in 20 Av. precipitation - cm Average high in °CJune and July when the 15 45 Average low in °Cnorthern half of the globe is 10 30receiving a lot of direct infra- 5 15red radiation in combination 0 0with the continuoushot/moisture-less winds thatascend from the equator and Climate chart to show how the temperature and the rainfallother sub-tropical zones. occurs over the Mojave desert (which lies in South Eastern California at 35° to 36° latitude North and 115° to 117° longitude East) in a year.
    • The climate chart shows what the general weather system is that the snake has to adapt to. These are a few other things that may also affect the snakes’ habitats and hunting hours:- The Mojave Desert is a "high desert" because it has an elevation of 2,000 to 5,000 feet. The Mojave Desert is the smallest of the four North American desert only covering 25,000 square miles. Hours of daylight vary throughout the year due to the fact the desert lies at a latitude of 35.5 ° North.
    • Size:-The length of a Sidewinder can range from 1.5 to 2.5 feet, but Sidewinders of over 30 inches (2.6 feet) are rarely observed.Habitat:- The Sidewinder can often be found in animal borrows or just under the top layer of the desert sand (as not to burn or damage it’s skin from the hot sand). They are primarily nocturnal animals.Hunting:- The Sidewinder is a nocturnal venomous hunter, coming out when the sand (with it’s low specific heat) is cool and mainly hunts small rodents (like the Kangaroo rat) or lizards.Reproduction:- Sidewinders mate April through May, sometimes in the fall. Females give birth to 5-18 young (in a litter) late summer to early fall. The young are born, in an embryonic membrane, 6 to 8" long.
    •  To conserve energy and in an attempt to thermo- regulate itself (as it isn’t an endotherm-an animal which produces it’s own heat via respiration which can regulate using hormones) the rattlesnake moves over the scorching sand in an ‘S-shaped’ way throwing itself into lateral/ longitudinal waves. It also presses two points of it’s body into the sand (thus lifting up the rest of it’s body – cooling these parts down). The two points touching the ground also change rapidly when it is moving, as so they do not get too hot. By this movement the snake is extremely efficient and can also bury itself in the sand (in cooler sand) to keep cool and more importantly to lay in wait and use decompressions in the side of it’s head to detect infra- red given off by warm-blooded rodents (but not lizards as they are ecothermic/ cold-blooded).
    •  These ‘Horns’ on the snake’s head are not actually horns, but rather flaps that are thought to protect the snake as it burrows through the sand and into other animals’ habitats. The snake also processes a high surface area to volume ratio making heat loss by conduction, convection and radiation easier. Which is crucial in terms of thermo-regulation on a hot day time. The snake also has a desert style camouflage to help to blend into the environment (not to mention when it buries itself in the sand when hunting and keeping cool, and safe from possible predators (such as quaternary consumers like birds) The colour of the camouflage is also reasonably dark, meaning the Sidewinder Rattlesnake can emit the infra-red radiation it has absorbed away quicker (another technique in which it can thermo-regulate itself).
    • The South-Western American Sidewinder Rattlesnake