About animals

Rattlesnake, or rattlesnake


She is the heroine of many Hollywood films. For her to be recognized, she doesn’t even have to appear in the whole frame, it is enough for the sound engineer to include a characteristic sound that is vaguely reminiscent of maracas, as the viewer has a chill from the realization that it is a rattlesnake.

Viper relative

One of the most venomous reptiles is a direct relative of vipers. Rattlesnake is on the list of viper family, refers directly to the subfamily of poisonous, pit viper. Scientists have given this nickname to the subfamily due to the presence of a special organ located in the recess between the eye and nostrils.

It allows the cold-blooded predator to “see” the prey by the heat emanating from it. In other words, a rattlesnake can trap a victim in absolute darkness and attack when she suspects nothing.


To date, scientists have discovered 224 species of snakes called rattlesnakes, or rattlesnakes. In length, they can reach from fifty centimeters to three and a half meters. The drawing on the scales can also have all kinds of shades and patterns. Often they are painted in contrast and do not try to disguise themselves.

The head of the vast majority of species is triangular in shape. Two practically hollow venomous teeth are necessarily present in the mouth. The pupils of the eyes are vertical. The recesses (pits) are located near the nostrils, in which there are receptors for changes in the ambient temperature, for this they are referred to the subfamily pit-headed. The name of their species, they are obliged to another feature of their body structure. A rattle crowns the tail of these snakes. This is an outgrowth of exfoliated scales, which makes a rattling sound when vibrated, but not all representatives of this species have it.

Rattle secret

The rattlesnake, as already mentioned, has a rattle at the end of the tail. For some time it was not clear why the snake, hunting in the dark and at the same time not making a single sound, was suddenly endowed with such a unmasking agent from nature. But everything falls into place if you know who it is hunting for. Its diet consists of small mammals and birds. She warns large animals (including humans), raising noise with her rattle. Thus, it can be considered the most humane of the poisonous snakes.

This growth at the end of the tail consists of dead scales. Their number increases with each change in the skin of the reptile. Therefore, counting the scales on the rattle, you can find out how much the snake lived. Inside the rattles, it’s completely empty, so the sound is so sonorous.

Lifestyle & Area

According to herpetologists, 106 species of rattlesnakes (photos of some representatives are presented in the article) settled in America, and 69 in South Asia. The most common pitheads are muzzles. They live both in desert regions and in mountainous areas. Lifestyle may vary by subspecies. Some hunt and spend most of their time in trees. It’s easier and more convenient for others to crawl along the plain, and for the third, give rocky ledges and peaks.

When the ambient temperature rises, the rattlesnakes hide under stones, logs, fleeing from excess ultraviolet radiation. Activity is shown at dusk. True, in this mode, they live only in the hot season. On a fine, hot day, rattlesnakes move in the sun.

Once choosing a hole for itself, a rattlesnake can live in it for many years, and then its descendants. In the lair of the rattlesnake, several individuals can live. In the hibernation season, they can weave into a ball all together, warming each other. But some still prefer solitude.

Rattlesnakes hunt exclusively in ambush, waiting for prey (rodents, small birds, fish, frogs, lizards, caterpillars and cicadas). As soon as the potential food approaches the throwing distance, the snake attacks, grabbing it with its teeth, injecting poison and then devouring the whole thing. During the day, the rattlesnock relies on vision (the object must move), and at night precisely determines the size and distance to the victim with the help of receptors under the eyes. They help to distinguish the slightest temperature changes up to three thousandths of a degree.

Danger to humans

A rattlesnake bite is very dangerous for humans, but rarely comes to that. The snake first warns of its presence with a rattle on its tail, and if a person behaved incorrectly, that is, provoked it, then a throw follows. They are very shy, and the fear of a pit snake develops into aggression. Therefore, when you hear the noise of a rattle, you should freeze and slowly move away from the creature in the opposite direction from it.

If the snake has bitten, then it is necessary to call an ambulance, and raise the bitten limb up. In no case should you pinch the site of the bite with a tourniquet or try to suck out the poison. Her juice destroys the cells of the body. Anyone who sucks it runs the risk of swallowing toxic substances and dying from anaphylactic shock faster than the victim.

With population growth and a direct proportional decrease in reptile space, seasonal rattlesnake invasions are observed every year in the United States. But according to the statistics of the United States, 3-4 out of 8000 victims per year die.

The appearance of the snake

Pit snakes differ in size (from 0.5 m to 3.5 m) and in color, which are usually polychrome in nature. Scales can be painted in almost all colors of the rainbow - white, black, steel, beige, emerald, reddish pink, brown, yellow and more. These reptiles are rarely monophonic, not afraid to show intricate patterns and catchy colors.

The main background often looks like an interweaving of thick stripes, stains or rhombs. Sometimes, as is the case with the Celebes keffiyeh, the predominant color (bright green) is only slightly diluted with thin white and blue stripes.

The rattlesnakes are related by a wedge-shaped head, two elongated fangs (along which the poison passes) and a tail rattle of annular keratinization.

Important! Not all reptiles are equipped with rattles - they are absent, for example, in moths, as well as in the Catalan rattlesnake living on about. Santa Catalina (Gulf of California).

The tail rattle is needed by the snake to scare away enemies, and its growth continues throughout life. A thickening at the end of the tail appears after the first molt. At the next molt, fragments of old skin cling to this outgrowth, leading to the formation of a relief ratchet.

When moving, the rings are lost, but most remain to serve as an instrument of intimidation / warning of the enemy. The vibration of the tail raised to the top, crowned by a rattle, indicates that the reptile is nervous and you better get out of its way.

According to Nikolai Drozdov, the sound of vibrating rings is similar to the crackle produced by a narrow-film film projector, and is heard at a distance of up to 30 meters.

Life span

If the rattlesnakes lived the entire period laid down by nature, they would not have left this world before 30 years. At least that's how many pitheads live in captivity (in satiety and without natural enemies). At large, these reptiles do not always reach twenty, and the vast majority die much earlier.

Encyclopedia of Brockhaus and Efron

Pit snakes

(Crotalidae) - one of two families of the suborder of the tooth-toothed snake (Solenoglypha, see), characterized by the existence of a deep fossa on each side of the head between the eye and nasal openings. The body is strong, the tail is medium-long or short, not tenacious, often with modified scales at the end. Ya. Owns up to 60 species of the most venomous snakes living in the hot countries of America and Asia and resembling our vipers in a way of life. The following genera can serve as an example: rattlesnake (Crotalus, see), spearhead snakes (Ancistrodon s. Trigonocephalas, see Mocassin snake), keffiyehs or pitheads (Trimeresurus s. Bothrops, see Spear-shaped snake, Zhararaha, Labaraja, Labaraja, Labaraja, Labaraca, Labaraca, Labaraca, Labaraca, Labaraca, Labaraca Surukuku (Lachesis). Only one species belongs to the last genus, L. mutus, living in the high forests of Guiana and characterized by tail armament, which ends with a sharp horny spike and is equipped on the underside with ten or twelve rows of small prickly scales. The head is sharply separated from the body. Surukuku reaches up to 3 m in length. A reddish-yellow back with a series of dark transverse rhombic spots, each with two smaller internal light spots.

Yu. V.

The lexical meaning: definition

The general supply of vocabulary (from the Greek. Lexikos) is a complex of all the basic semantic units of one language. The lexical meaning of the word reveals the generally accepted idea of ​​an object, property, action, feeling, abstract phenomenon, impact, event, and the like. In other words, it determines what this concept means in the mass consciousness. As soon as an unknown phenomenon gains clarity, specific signs, or an awareness of the object arises, people assign it a name (sound-letter shell), or rather, lexical meaning. After that, it falls into the definition dictionary with an interpretation of the content.

Dictionaries online for free - discover new things

There are so many words and highly specialized terms in each language that it is simply unrealistic to know all their interpretations. In the modern world there are a lot of thematic directories, encyclopedias, thesauruses, glossaries. Let's go over their varieties:

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  • Encyclopedic Unlike the explanatory, academic and encyclopedic online dictionaries give a more complete, detailed explanation of the meaning. Large encyclopedic publications contain information about historical events, personalities, cultural aspects, artifacts. Encyclopedia articles tell about the realities of the past and broaden their horizons. They can be universal or thematic, designed for a specific audience of users. For example, “Lexicon of financial terms”, “Encyclopedia of economics”, “Philosophy. Encyclopedic Glossary ”,“ Encyclopedia of Fashion and Clothing ”, multilingual universal online encyclopedia“ Wikipedia ”.
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  • Etymological and borrowing Etymological vocabulary is a linguistic encyclopedia. In it you will read versions of the origin of lexical meanings, from which the word was formed (primordial, borrowed), its morphemic composition, semasiology, time of appearance, historical changes, analysis. The lexicographer will establish where the vocabulary was borrowed from, consider the subsequent semantic enrichment in the group of related word forms, as well as the scope of functioning. Will give options for use in a conversation. As an example, the etymological and lexical analysis of the concept of "last name": borrowed from Latin (familia), where it meant a clan nest, family, household. Since the 18th century it has been used as a second personal name (inherited). Included in the active vocabulary. The etymological dictionary also explains the origin of the subtext of winged phrases, phraseological units. Let us comment on the enduring expression "true truth." It is treated as true truth, absolute truth. Do not believe it, it turned out during etymological analysis that this idiom originates from the method of medieval torture. The defendant was beaten with a whip with a knot tied at the end called “tench”. Under the line, a man betrayed everything honestly, a genuine truth.
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  • Translation, foreign Bilingual dictionaries for translating texts and words from one language to another. English-Russian, Spanish, German, French and others.
  • Phraseological collection Phraseological units are lexically stable turns, with an indelible structure and a certain subtext. These include sayings, proverbs, idioms, winged expressions, aphorisms. Some phrases migrated from legends and myths. They give the literary syllable an artistic expression. Phraseological turns are usually used in a figurative sense. Replacing a component, rearranging or breaking a phrase leads to a speech error, an unrecognized subtext of a phrase, a distortion of the essence when translated into other languages. Find the figurative meaning of such expressions in the phraseological dictionary. Examples of phraseological units: “In the seventh heaven”, “The mosquito will not smothe the nose”, “Blue blood”, “Devil’s advocate”, “Burn the bridges”, “Secret of the open door”, “As he looked into the water”, “Letting dust in your eyes”, “Work through the sleeves”, “Damocles sword”, “Gifts of Danians”, “Double-edged sword”, “Apple of discord”, “Heat hands”, “Sisyphean labor”, “Climb the wall”, “Keep your eyes open”, “Throw beads in front of pigs”, “With a gulkin nose”, “Arrow sparrow”, “Augean stables”, “Caliph for an hour”, “Puzzling”, “Souls not to be drunk”, “Clap your ears”, “Achilles heel”, “He ate the dog”, “K to the water off a duck "," to grasp at straws "," build castles in the air "," Being in the trend "," live in clover. "
  • Definition of neologisms Language changes stimulate a dynamic life. Humanity strives for development, simplification of life, innovation, and this contributes to the emergence of new things, technology. Neologisms are lexical expressions of unfamiliar objects, new realities in the life of people, emerging concepts, and phenomena.For example, what “barista” means is the profession of a coffee maker, a coffee preparation professional who understands the varieties of coffee beans, knows how to beautifully design steaming cups with a drink before serving to the client. Each word was once a neologism, until it became commonly used, and became an active vocabulary of the general literary language. Many of them disappear without even being actively consumed. Neologisms are word-building, that is, absolutely new-formed (including from Anglicisms), and semantic. Semantic neologisms include well-known lexical concepts endowed with fresh content, for example, “pirate” - not only a sea corsair, but also a copyright infringer, a user of torrent resources. Here are just a few cases of word-building neologisms: life hack, meme, google, flash mob, casting director, pre-production, copywriting, frendy, promotion, moneymaker, screening, freelancing, headliner, blogger, downshifting, fake, brandism. Another option, copywriting is the content owner or an ardent supporter of intellectual property rights.
  • Other 177+ In addition to the above, there are thesauri: linguistic, in various areas of linguistics, dialect, linguistic and geographical, grammatical, linguistic terms, eponyms, decoding of abbreviations, tourist vocabulary, slang. Pupils will need lexical dictionaries with synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, paronyms and educational: spelling, punctuation, word-formation, morpheme. Orthoepic reference book for staging accents and correct literary pronunciation (phonetics). Toponymic dictionaries contain geographical information by region and name. In anthroponyms, data about proper names, surnames, nicknames.

Interpretation of words online: the shortest path to knowledge

It is easier to express oneself, to express oneself more specifically and to express oneself, to revive one’s speech - all this is feasible with an expanded vocabulary. Using the How to all resource, you determine the meaning of words online, select related synonyms, and supplement your vocabulary. The last paragraph is easy to make up for by reading fiction. You will become a more erudite interesting interlocutor and maintain a conversation on a variety of topics. For writers and writers to warm up the internal generator of ideas, it will be useful to find out what the words, say, of the Middle Ages or from the philosophical glossary mean.

Globalization takes its toll. This affects writing. Mixed spelling in Cyrillic and Latin, without transliteration: SPA-salon, fashion industry, GPS-navigator, Hi-Fi or High End acoustics, Hi-Tech electronics has become fashionable. To correctly interpret the content of hybrid words, switch between language keyboard layouts. Let your speech break stereotypes. The texts excite the senses, spill the soul with an elixir and have no statute of limitations. Good luck with your creative experiments!

Habitat, habitat

According to herpetologists, almost half of rattlesnakes (106 species) live on the American continent and quite a lot (69 species) live in Southeast Asia.

The only pitheads that penetrated both earth’s hemispheres were. True, in North America they are much smaller - only three species. Two (eastern and common muzzles) were found in the Far East of our country, in Central Asia and Azerbaijan. Oriental is also found in China, Japan and Korea, whose inhabitants have learned to cook excellent dishes from snake meat.

The common muzzle can be seen in Afghanistan, Iran, Korea, Mongolia and China, and the horned-nosed snake in Sri Lanka and India. A smooth muzzle lives on the Indochina Peninsula, on Sumatra and Java. The Himalayan prefers mountains, conquering peaks up to 5 thousand meters.

In the Eastern Hemisphere, a variety of kufi live, the most impressive of which is considered to be a resident of Japan - a half-meter hub. Mountain keffiyeh was registered on the Indochinese Peninsula and in the Himalayas, and bamboo - in India, Nepal and Pakistan.

In the Western Hemisphere, other pitheads, called botrops, are also common. The most numerous rattlesnakes of Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay are considered to be zararaki, and Mexico - urutu.

Rattlesnake Lifestyle

Pitheads are such a motley community that its members can be found anywhere from the deserts to the mountains. For example, a water muzzle “grazes” in swamps, wet meadows, banks of ponds and rivers, and Bothrops athrox prefers tropical jungle.

Some rattlesnakes almost do not get off the trees, others - they feel great confidence on the ground, others - they have chosen rocks.

At sultry noon, rattlesnakes rest under boulders, trunks of fallen trees, under the fallen leaves, at the base of stumps and in burrows left by rodents, gaining vigor closer to dusk. Nocturnal activity is characteristic of a hot pore: in cool seasons, snakes nimble in the daytime.

Chilly in the cold season, as well as pregnant reptiles often take sunbathing.

It is interesting! Many rattlesnakes remain faithful for years to the once-chosen burrow in which their many descendants continue to live. Nora seems to be inherited for tens and hundreds of years.

In such a family den, huge snake colonies live. The first outing, hunting, mating, and even seasonal migrations take place next to the burrow. Some species of rattlesnakes hibernate in large companies, warming each other during hibernation, while others keep themselves apart.

Diet, production

The rattlesnakes, like typical ambush predators, take up a position and wait for the victim to approach the throwing distance. A signal of the impending attack is the S-shaped bend of the neck, in which the rattlesnake's head looks towards the enemy. The length of the throw is 1/3 of the length of the snake body.

Like other vipers, pitheads infect prey with poison, and not by means of asphyxiating captures. Rattlesnakes feed mainly on small warm-blooded animals, but not only them. In the diet (depending on the area) are present:

  • rodents, including mice, rats and rabbits,
  • birds,
  • fish,
  • frogs
  • lizards
  • small snakes
  • insects, including cicadas and caterpillars.

Teenage snakes often use their brightly colored tail tip to lure lizards and frogs.

During the day, rattlesnakes find prey with the help of ordinary organs of vision, but an object frozen without movement may not be noticed. At night, pits that react to temperature, distinguishing fractions of degrees, come to their aid. Even in the pitch darkness, the snake sees the victim’s thermal circuit created by infrared radiation.

Enemies of the rattlesnake

This is, first of all, a man who destroys reptiles in the excitement of hunting or because of unjustified fear. A lot of rattlesnake crushed on the roads. In general, the population of pitheads, like the rest of the snakes, on the planet has declined significantly.

It is interesting! Thanks to rattlesnakes, one of the classic movements of the Mexican rumba appeared: the dancer periodically throws his leg forward or sideways, crushing something with his heel. It turns out that snakes so often invaded the dance that men learned to trample reptiles, almost without interrupting the rumba.

Among the natural enemies of rattlesnakes along with humans are:

  • red-tailed hawks,
  • coyotes
  • raccoons
  • foxes,
  • snakes, including huge (up to 2.4 m) mussorans,
  • Californian running cuckoos.

Factors that reduce the number of rattlesnakes include night frosts, which are deadly for recently hatched juveniles.

Rattlesnake breeding

Most live-bearing rattlesnakes mate after wintering (in April-May) or later, depending on the range. Often, summer sperm is stored in the female body until next spring, and only in June the reptile lays eggs. In clutch there are from 2 to 86 (Bothrops atrox) pieces, but on average 9-12, and after three months offspring are born.

As a rule, before laying eggs, females crawl away from their hole for 0.5 km, but it happens that snakes hatch right in the family nest. After 2 years, the female, having regained her strength, will be ready for the next mating.

At the age of 10 days, the rattlesnakes first lose their skin, during which a “button” forms on the tip of the tail, which eventually turns into a rattle. Around the beginning of October, snakes try to find their way into their native hole, but not everyone succeeds: some die from the cold and predators, others go astray.

Male pitheads reach puberty by 2 years, females by three.

Rattlesnake venom, snakebite

The most poisonous and vicious rattlesnake is Crotalus scutulatus, which lives in the deserts and light forests of North America. When attacking, he injects a selective neurotoxin.

However, almost all rattlesnakes are especially poisonous: poison often causes internal hemorrhages, leads to anaphylactic shock, respiratory failure, kidney failure and death.

True, judging by the statistics, in the USA 10-15 people out of 8 thousand bitten die every year, which indicates a high level of medicine and the presence of good modern antidotes.

It should be remembered that a rattlesnake rarely attacks a person, preferring to retreat at a meeting. At the same time, she can shake her rattle, notifying relatives of the potential danger.

If the muzzle snarled at you, and you did not prepare the antidote, remember the popular methods of countering the viper poison:

  • drink a lot of tea (hot, sweet and very strong),
  • drink vodka (if you find),
  • take cordiamine (just in case)
  • enter / drink antihistamines (suprastin, tavegil or others).

And do not forget that a snake, when bitten, does not always inject poison: sometimes this is some kind of ritual action designed to indicate a threat.

Rattlesnake content at home

To begin with, think carefully about whether you will be able to ensure the safety of yourself and others by starting a rattlesnake. If the answer is yes, get a horizontal type terrarium (with sizes 80 * 50 * 50 for 2-3 adults).

What should the future snake den be equipped with:

  • soil for which a coconut substrate or cypress mulch mixed with moss and grass are perfect
  • a layer of foliage (on top of the ground) to bring living conditions closer to natural conditions. You can take any leaves, including linden, birch and oak,
  • compact thermal stone, which will replace rocks,
  • bark and snags where the rattlesnakes will hide,
  • a drinker, lined with lichen and moss: so you get a zone of high humidity, while protecting the water from flying pieces of soil.

Your pets will need their native temperature. This means that at night it should not be colder in the terrarium + 21 + 23 degrees, and during the day - + 29 + 32 degrees (in the warm sector) and + 25 + 27 degrees (in shaded areas). Humidity is maintained at a level of 40-50% by spraying the terrarium with a spray once a day or by setting a fog generator.

Adult reptiles are fed once every 10-14 days, so as not to provoke obesity. The main food of rattlesnakes will be small rodents, with the advent of spring, large insects and frogs are introduced into the diet.

Rattlesnake Habitat

These snakes quickly and easily adapt to any terrain. There are species that live in the jungle, others in the deserts, some even in water or on trees. Rattlesnakes do not like direct sunlight, so they try to lead a nocturnal lifestyle.

During the day, they most often hide in burrows or under stones, but at night they have a period of hunting. The victims, as a rule, are small rodents, birds. Moreover, according to studies, rattlesnakes constantly improve their hunting skills.

That is, they are developing, progressing. They can return for years to the same ambush site for hunting. During the winter, snakes hibernate, usually gathering together to warm each other.

Danger of a rattlesnake bite

Who didn’t look Rattlesnakes movie! It was with him that the panicky fear of rattlesnakes began. Rattlesnake Invasion really began to scare people. After all rattlesnake bite poisonous, but the serum may not be at hand. If we talk about the danger of a bite for a person, then it depends on many factors.

Undoubtedly, qualified help of doctors and serum, which is based on poison, are necessary. It is believed that the closer the bite to the head, the more dangerous for life. The bite site should not be treated with alcohol, as it will only accelerate the action of the poison. In general, it is better not to apply anything to the wound, you need to wait for help. Everything will depend on the location of the bite, on the amount of poison, on the speed of medical care.

However, it is worth saying that in small doses I use snake venom as a medicine. For example, with diseases such as leprosy, when you need to stop severe bleeding. Despite the fact that snakes are poisonous, they still often become victims of other animals.

Many animals and birds are not affected by poison, such as pigs, weasels, ferrets, vultures, peacocks, crows. And people with their activities reduce the population of rattlesnakes, because in many countries they even eat them, and they make bags, wallets, shoes from leather.

Interesting Rattlesnake Facts

These snakes are non-conflict. The first they do not attack the person, usually only defend themselves. However, every year about a hundred people die from the bites of these animals. Individuals overheat and die already at +45 degrees. The rattlesnake’s teeth are very sharp, they easily pierce leather shoes.

Scientists have noticed that when a snake is near death, it begins to behave very strangely. She throws herself at everyone, trying to bite everything that comes in the way, even her body. It is assumed that the snake is trying to commit suicide, but this is not proven, perhaps it is trying to cure itself with the help of its own poison.

Rattlesnakes are amazing. It is a pleasure to watch them. A lot of different films and programs about these amazing animals have been shot right now. In order to watch an interesting, informative film, just drive the key phrase into the search bar: “Rattlesnake video».

Among the proposed options, everyone can find for themselves an educational film about rattlesnakes. We can find these snakes only in zoos, which undoubtedly pleases. It’s good that these insidious predators are not found in our area, and you can admire them in the zoo, or by watching a movie on TV.