Rattlesnakes





The rattlesnake appears to vary in color and markings in the different

localities where it is found, and there are fourteen or fifteen

varieties, but all carry the rattles, shake them warningly, and coil

before they strike. The rattlesnake does not want to fight and if you

keep at a safe distance it will glide off in another direction, but it

is safest not to venture within striking distance, which is said to be

two-thirds the length of the snake, even if the snake has not coiled,

for it moves quickly and strikes like a flash.



The rattles are at the extreme end of the tail and are composed of horny

joints. The sound of the rattle is much like the humming of a locust

(cicada). Rattlesnakes are often found sunning themselves on large

rocks, and stone-quarries are the chosen winter quarters where whole

colonies assemble. They are also found, during the summer, among

underbrush and in stubble-fields, where they probably go to hunt

field-mice and other small mammals.





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