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Diamondback Rattlesnakes - Largest North American Venomous Reptile


Diamondback Rattlesnakes
are the largest of all North American Venomous Reptiles and is in the family Crotalidae. These impressive snakes are not only deadly, but incredibly beautiful as well. Diamondback Rattlesnake - EasternThe Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) found primarily in Florida, Louisiana and N. Carolina, in my opinion is one of the most stunning of any rattlesnake species. Unlike its counterpart the Western Diamondback (Crotalus atrox) at home in the arid Southwestern deserts; the Eastern Diamondback prefers Florida’s high humidity and Palmetto Palm Tree covered flatwoods. This magnificently colored venomous snake has even been documented swimming in salt water down in the Florida Keys. CLICK HERE TO SEE ANIMAL WEBCAMS

Baby Diamondback Rattlesnakes are born deadly and measure roughly 14 inches long give or take. As they grow so do their incredibly deadly fangs! Snake fangs are nature’s answer to the hypodermic needle, and the Diamondback Rattlesnake has been known to possess fangs in excess of over an inch! After looking at Pictures of Rattlesnakes, particularly the Eastern Diamondback, you will be blown away by their diversity and beauty. Although extremely deadly, these animals serve multiple valuable functions and deserve our protection. Rattlesnake Round Ups have decimated some species of endangered rattlesnakes, particularly the Western species.
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Rattlesnake venom varies in toxicity among the numerous species, but is primarily Cytotoxic, frequently referred to as Hemotoxic Venom. Snake venom is typically broken down into two categories, Hemotoxic Snake Venom and Neurotoxic Venom. Hemotoxic venom primarily attacks the blood by preventing coagulation at the same time aggressively destroying its victim’s blood vessels. Neurotoxic Snake Venom acts in a completely different manner. This venom goes after the nervous system, causing massive respiratory malfunctions, heart failure and even paralysis. These symptoms are also normally accompanied by blurred vision, dry mouth, a metal taste and dizziness. One should note, that although science describes two types of snake venoms (Hemotoxic and Nerotoxic), most venomous snakes posses a combination of both in different proportions and toxicity.

While on the subject of rattlesnake venom, I feel it is important to discuss their fangs in greater detail. As mentioned earlier, snake fangs are Mother Nature’s answer to the hypodermic needle. In fact, I am not certain, but I believe that the original inventors of the hypodermic needle used a snake fang as a model. Like the hypodermic needle, snake fangs have a hollow cavity running down the majority of its length. Venom from the Venom Gland then enters the snake’s fang through the Venom Duct and travels down the hollow canal before it is pumped into the snakes prey or enemy from the incredibly sharp, pointed fang tip orifices. The size of these orifices or openings in the fangs has a great impact on the degree of deadliness a venomous snake possess. The size of the snakes venom gland, the venom toxicity and the size of the fangs opening are all factors that separate deadliness among the different species of poisonous snakes. For example, the Coral Snake (Micrurus fulvius) has one of the most potent and deadly venom of any poisonous snake drop per drop. The only problem with that is that the snake has very small venom glands, and small rear fangs with tiny fang orifices. This basically means that this snake cannot deliver large amounts of its highly toxic venom; but it also has to bite, and stay attached longer to insure a full envenomation. In some cases, Coral Snake envenomation has been avoided because the victim pulled the attached snake off before envenomation took place. Now compare this to the highly neurotoxic and hemotoxic venom of the Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica). This deadly African snake has the claim to fame of having not only the largest fangs of any snake (over 2.5 inches), but also the largest fang orifices as well as huge venom glands. This is one venomous snake bite to definitely avoid! Not only is the Gaboon Viper’s venom extremely toxic, it also pumps in tremendous amounts of it!

Rattlesnake bites as well as other poisonous snake bites can be easily avoided if the animal is respected and only observed and appreciated from afar. Most snake envenomations occur as a result of stupidity, drunkenness and macho behavior. Like any dangerous animal, poisonous snakes need and deserve our respect. They are a vital part of the ecosystem and need protection. Not until man understands and appreciates the beauty and importance of all life, can we fully benefit from Earth’s marvels and unlock her mysteries.

To learn more about Florida snakes and other wildlife, David and I strongly encourage you to visit the Sanctuary’s Gift Shop. There you will have the opportunity to purchase “Florida's Wild Future”, one of three in our Educational Video Series. In this DVD we actually take you along on a real RATTLESNAKE HUNT, where we capture and release an incredibly beautiful Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. The photography is amazing with some great close-ups of the Snake’s Fangs and beautiful diamond markings.

As always, David and I want to encourage an interest in wildlife protection and education. We hope that the information found in our “Educational Center” and throughout the numerous pages of educational content stimulate you to take an interest. If the words of David and I are not enough, then by all means, PLEASE check out the live Animal Cams placed strategically in the Sanctuary’s large naturalistic habitats. Currently, the Tigerhomes Sancturay has over 30 Web Cams set up in our White Tiger Habitats, Lemur Habitats, Lion Habitats and even a new Leopard Cam. Jump on board and get to know each of the Sanctuary residents by name. Tundra our female White Tiger is waiting.

See also:
  How to Avoid Snake Bites | Poisonous Snake Bites Effects | Snake Venom | Snake Fangs

Other Snakes:

Diamondback Rattlesnake
| King Cobra | Spitting Cobra | Kingsnakes & Milk Snakes


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