Rattlesnakes are very famous for their characteristic rattling sound, which they produce with their tails. They make this noise to warn others and protect themselves from predators. There are nearly 16 different rattlesnake species worldwide. They are colored differently but it is very easy to distinguish them with their rattling tails. They also have a characteristic triangular shaped head.
They have a unique mechanism of catching their prey. They use their forked tongue to sense and attack the prey instantly. They move their tongue up and down to collect atmospheric gases and other minute particles. When they draw back their tongue, the latter directly comes in contact with Jacobson’s organ which collects the scent and taste. This in turn sends signals to the brain helping the reptile analyze the distance of its prey, the type of prey, its size etc. helping it make a kill.
They have very powerful nostrils, helping them pick up scent from a good distance. Equipped with powerful eyes that can detect a moving creature at a distance of 40 feet, this snake is one of the best hunters in the reptile family.
The famous rattle is actually the accumulation of dead skin or keratin. Every time the snake sheds its skin, an additional segment of rattle is added to its tail increasing the length of the rattle. The older the snake is, the longer the rattle. Baby rattlesnakes on the other hand do not have any rattles. They are in fact equipped with a “button” at the tail end that is not useful in making any type of sound. As they grow older and shed skin, a new segment is added helping the snake rattle.
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