Rattlesnakes are found from southern Canada to central Argentina but are most abundant and
diverse in the deserts of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Adults usually vary
in length from 0.5 to 2 metres but some can grow to 2.5 metres. Most rattlesnakes are blotched with
dark diamonds, hexagons, or rhombuses on a lighter background, usually grey or light brown.
The most common species in North America are the timber rattlesnake Rattlesnakes are not
aggressive and will not attack humans if unprovoked and they are quite shy and timid. Like other
reptiles, rattlesnakes cannot tolerate extreme heat or cold. During the heat of the day, rattlesnakes
hide underground in burrows or under rocks. Rattlesnakes eat mostly rodents, but may also eat
insects and other reptiles. Rattlesnakes are pit vipers, so they have heat-sensing organs located
in pits near the eyes. Although rattlesnakes may seem scary to people, they play a very
important role in their ecosystems by controlling small mammal populations.
Fun Facts RATTLESNAKES
Rattlesnake Rattles Are Made From Keratin
They Add a Rattle Segment Each Time They Shed
There Are More Species in Arizona Than Anywhere Else.
They “Hear” by Sensing Vibrations
Deadly Rattlesnake Bites Are Rare.
Their Fangs Have Hinges.
Rattlesnake Eyes Have Vertical Pupils.