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(Crotalidae). rattlers, a family of poisonous snakes closely related to the vipers. The nerve endings at the bottom of the facial depression, located between the nostrils and the eye. are capable of perceiving even the faintest (approximately 0.1°C) variations in air temperature. As a result of this, the snake feels the approach of even a small warm-blooded animal, which is its prey. In daytime it hides under rocks and in the burrows of rodents. The snakes often gather in large numbers for hibernation.

Many rattlesnakes live in tropical forests; some are found in semideserts and deserts, while certain species live high in the mountains. Rattlesnakes feed on various vertebrates, chiefly mammals. The overwhelming majority of rattlesnakes are ovoviviparous (the young rupture the egg membranes a few minutes after they are laid). Two North American genera (Crotalus and Sistrurus) have a rattle on the end of the tail (from which the Russian as well as the English name of the family is derived). The rattle is formed of modified terminal scales and consists of movable segments. During rapid oscillations of the tip of the tail, the segments striking one another produce their peculiar sound.

The rattlesnake family includes six genera, which include more than 120 species. They are distributed in Asia and in North and South America. They are known from the Pliocene epoch. In the USSR they are represented by several species of mamushi. The bites of rattlesnakes are fatal to small animals and extremely dangerous to large animals and humans.


Klauber. L. M. Rattlesnakes, vols. 1–2. Berkeley-Los Angeles. 1956.
References in periodicals archive ?
Goode studies rattlesnakes that live close to people.
Rain-collecting behavior in a Great Basin rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis lutosus).
The Commotions played in 2004 for the 20th anniversary of Rattlesnakes and we were too old to play that set even then.
Timber Rattlesnakes may reduce incidence of Lyme disease in the Northeastern United States," Edward Kabay, Nicolas M.
They synthesized information from climate cycle models, indicators of climate from the geological record, evolution of rattlesnake species and other data to develop what they call 'paleophylogeographic models' for rattlesnake ranges.
It has been demonstrated that rattlesnakes can discriminate between envenomed and nonenvenomed rodents based on venom-related cues, a behavior that is crucial to the snake's ability to choose the chemical trail left by an envenomed rodent fleeing the strike area (Chiszar, Walters, Urbaniak, Smith, & Mackessy, 1999; Duvall, Scudder, & Chiszar, 1980).
Mr Teeter said he was unaware a licence was needed to hunt rattlesnakes in Idaho and did not know that there is a state limit of four rattlesnakes a year.
STICK IN AT IT John Lynch CHEW MARVEL The biggest burger HISS-TORIC Jackie with rattlesnakes LEG-ENDARY CONTEST He Pingping prepares to compete with Svetlana
Studies have shown that young rattlesnake bites are more potent because adult rattlesnakes can regulate the amount of venom they release.
Tony is shocked when a deadly rattlesnake is left in his car - a scene that was an equally frightening for Robson, who hates snakes.
That is pretty accurate as some rattlesnakes go, except for the characterization as demons.
He had killed one of his stepfather's rattlesnakes and removed its head.