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Related to Rattlesnakes: diamondback rattlesnakes
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In Europe and Asia, American rattlesnakes are a coveted commodity among collectors.
Herpetologist Brian Smith of Black Hills State University in western South Dakota, who studies rattlesnakes, said hunters can often avoid close encounters with rattlesnakes by steering clear of places where the snakes den up in the fall.
He said: "Before I started the round I was warned that the biggest danger was rattlesnakes and they could kill you, so I had plenty of incentive to hit the ball straight."
In a footage that has now gone viral shows the dark area under the man's house was a rattlesnake nest.
Cowan said that they discovered there were so many more rattlesnakes than just the one they expected to see and, in their shock, slammed the shed back down.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, exceptionally candid, impressively informative, and a simply riveting read from cover to cover, "Tornados, Rattlesnakes & Oil: A Wildcatter's Memories of Hunting for Black Gold" is unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary American Biography collections.
The recommendation when vaccinating horses is to start the first year with three doses (a few weeks apart) and then a booster every six months if you live in areas like parts of Texas and southern California where rattlesnakes are out year-round and never go dormant.
These modern rattlesnakes produce smaller sets of toxins that might be more specialized to their prey.
Rattlesnakes are sit-and-wait predators that remain coiled at a hunting site, waiting to attack unsuspecting prey that wanders by (Secor and Nagy, 1994; Cundall and Greene, 2000; Clark et al., 2012).
Like many northern latitude squamate reptiles, rattlesnakes gather (sometimes in large numbers) and overwinter communally in subsurface rock shelters (hibemacula) to escape potentially lethal winter temperatures (St.
Many veterinary clinics, even in areas inhabited by rattlesnakes, don't carry it.