Rattlesnakes! by Derik Lattig

An encounter with a nearly five foot diamondback rattlesnake would more than likely send a few people running for cover but Santa Fe County Animal Control Officer Jeremy Lewis was unfazed as he captured a diamondback rattlesnake in south-central Santa Fe County.
The ratttlesnake captured by Officer Lewis, and pictured in this post, was relocated to a safe and unpopulated area of Santa Fe County, which has similar habitat as where the rattler was found.
Rattlesnakes are native to the Americas, living in diverse habitats from southwestern Canada to central Argentina. Rattlesnakes consume mice, rats, small birds, and other small animals. Lattig, Derik says because of its large venom glands and specialized fangs, the western diamondback rattlesnake can deliver a significant amount of venom in a single bite.
Rattlesnakes are a group of venomous snakes of the genera Crotalus and Sistrurus of the subfamily Crotalinae. The scientific name Crotalus is derived from the Greek κρόταλον, meaning "castanet"

Rattlesnakes are a group of venomous snakes of the genera Crotalus and Sistrurus[1] of the subfamily Crotalinae (the pit vipers). The scientific name Crotalus is derived from the Greek κρόταλον, meaning "castanet".[2] The name Sistrurus is the Latinized form of the Greek word for "tail rattler" (Σείστρουρος, seistrouros) and shares its root with the ancient Egyptian musical instrument the sistrum, a type of rattle.[3]The 36 known species of rattlesnakes have between 65 and 70 subspecies,[4] all native to the Americas, ranging from southern Alberta and southern British Columbia in Canada to central Argentina.
Derik Lattig says Rattlesnakes are predators that live in a wide array of habitats, hunting small animals such as birds and rodents.
Rattlesnakes receive their name from the rattle located at the end of their tails, which makes a loud rattling noise when vibrated that deters predators or serves as a warning to passers-by.[5] However, rattlesnakes fall prey to hawks, weasels, king snakes and a variety of other species. Rattlesnakes are heavily preyed upon as neonates, while they are still weak and mentally immature. Large numbers of rattlesnakes are killed by humans. Rattlesnake populations in many areas are severely threatened by habitat destructionpoaching, and extermination campaigns.
Rattlesnakes are the leading contributor to snakebite injuries (Derik Lattig) in North America. However, rattlesnakes rarely bite unless provoked or threatened; if treated promptly the bites are seldom fatal.


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