Rattlesnake Photos - At Cottonwoods


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On Friday, May 18th, 2007 my husband killed this Rattlesnake while mowing IN my dogs pen.
If you live in an area that has venomous snakes, don't be blind to the potential danger to your animals.

The head had been almost completely severed,

he still coiled, and bit down on the knife below.

If a rattlesnake has just been killed by cutting off its head, it can still bare its fangs and bite. The heat sensory pits will still be functioning, and the warmth of a hand will activate the striking reflex. The head cannot strike, but it can bite and inflict venom. The reflex no longer exists after a few minutes, or as long as an hour or more if it is cool, as rigor mortis sets in.

Rattlesnakes have fangs that are retractable. 
Mature fangs generally are shed and replaced. 
Notice in the photo above the two fangs on the right. 

The rattle is a series of hard segments made of keratin. A baby rattlesnake is born with the first segment, called a "button". As the snake grows a new segment is added each time a snake sheds its skin (molts) The age of a rattlesnake is not evident by the size or number of segments in its rattle. The rattle is often broken off after a couple of years, an adult rattlesnake that has the original button at the tip of its tail is rare.

With the head completely removed, we could teach my daughter (right) about Rattlesnakes, 
and work on aversion training with the dogs.

 Rattlesnakes are classified as pit vipers because of facial pits found below and between the eye and nostril on both sides of the head. The pit is highly sensitive to infrared radiation (heat) and serves as a direction finder in locating warm-blooded prey or predators.


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