You’re walking through the desert when you hear a dry, rattling sound. That sound is probably a rattlesnake, letting you know to stay away. There are over 32 species of rattlesnakes and they all live in North and South America. In the United States, most rattlesnakes are found in the west and southwest.
Rattlesnakes can grow from 1 to 8 feet long, depending on the species. They all have patterned skin, but their color can vary. All rattlers have a triangle shaped head and eyes with a black slit. Rattlesnake venom is poisonous to humans, but they’re not trying to hurt us. They would rather be left alone. They usually only strike if they’re scared or startled.
Fun Facts about Rattlesnakes for Kids
- Rattlesnakes can’t regulate their own body temperature. They lie in the sun to warm up. In the winter, they hibernate together in caves or cliff ledges.
- During the summer, rattlesnakes stay underground or in caves during the day. You’re most likely to see one in the spring or fall when they’re finding a place to hibernate. This is also the time when they’re most likely to strike.
- Rattles are made of the same material as your fingernails. Baby rattlesnakes don’t have rattles. Rattlesnakes grow one rattle each time they shed their skin.
- Rattlesnakes give birth to live young. The mother lays eggs, which hatch inside her.
- Baby rattlesnakes fend for themselves almost from birth. Baby rattlesnakes might look cute, but they’re venomous and aggressive.
- Wear boots and long pants when you’re hiking. If you see a rattlesnake, move away slowly. Don’t try to get close to a rattlesnake.
- Slit: small opening
- Venom: poison
- Startled: surprised
- Regulate: control
- Strike: rise up and bite
Learn More all About Rattlesnakes
Check out this fun documentary of Steve Irwin about rattlesnake:
A video documentary all about rattlesnakes.
Question: What do rattlesnakes eat?
Question: How often do rattlesnakes eat?
Answer: Rattlesnakes eat about once every two weeks. After eating a meal, they lie around for several days digesting it.
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