Rattlesnakes are native to theAmericas, living in diverse habitats Some rattlesnakefrom Southwestern Canada to Central species hibernateArgentina. The large majority of in the colder winterspecies live in the American Southwest months.and Mexico.
Westerndiamondbackrattlesnake(Crotalusatrox),responsible forthe majority ofvenomoussnakebites inNorth America,coiled indefensive Western Diamondback Rattlesnakeposture with (Crotalus atrox)rattle erect.
Rattlesnakes consume mice, rats, small birds and other small animals. They play an important ecological role by limiting the size of rodent populations, which prevents crop damage andPREY, MATE & HIBERNATE stabilizes ecosystems.
VENOMRattlesnakes are a group ofvenomous snakes.Rattlesnakes are predators wholive in a wide array of habitats.They kill their prey with avenomous bite, rather than byconstricting. All rattlesnakespossess a set of fangs withwhich they inject largequantities of hemotoxicvenom. The venom travelsthrough the bloodstream,destroying tissue and causingswelling, internal bleeding, andintense pain.
REPRODUCTIONMost rattlesnake species mate during the summer orfall, while some species mate only in the spring, orduring both the spring and fall. They are vivipar (givebirth), not ovovivipar.
EFFECT OF BITES ON HUMANSRattlesnake bites are rarely fatal to humans, iftreated promptly. Between 7,000 and 8,000people are estimated to have been bitten byvenomous snakes in the United States each year,and about five of those die. The most importantfactor in determining survival following a severeenvenomation is the amount of time elapsedbetween the bite and treatment. Most deathsoccur between 6 and 48 hours after the bite.However, if antivenom treatment is given within1–2 hours of the bite, the probability of recoveryis greater than 99%.