ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Hillbilly Guide to Snakes: The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Updated on August 14, 2012
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake showing off his business end! By FinneJager (Own work) CC-BY-3.0
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake showing off his business end! By FinneJager (Own work) CC-BY-3.0 | Source
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. By TimVickers, Public domain.
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. By TimVickers, Public domain. | Source

Crotalus Adamanteus... The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake


The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the unchallenged largest venomous snake in the United States, and arguably the most dangerous as well. They are member of the pit viper family and their venom is very potent. They are responsible for more fatal snake bites then any other snake in the U.S..

Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake.  By Snakecollector [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake. By Snakecollector [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons | Source
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. By Tad Arensmeier from St. Louis, MO, USA CC-BY-2.0
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. By Tad Arensmeier from St. Louis, MO, USA CC-BY-2.0 | Source
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Photo by Elvissa. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Photo by Elvissa. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) | Source
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake.  Public Domain.
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Public Domain. | Source

Appearance


Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes are typically brown with a tint of yellow, brown, or gray. They will have large black diamond shaped designs going all the way down their back. The color in the center of the diamond will likely bit a little lighter shade of the primary color. They will have a black patch near their eyes that runs down their jaw outlined with white giving their eyes a raccoon look.

Being a pit viper, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake will have what looks like an extra nostril on it's face. This pit is actually an organ for detecting heat. It is something that you won't find on any of the nonvenomous snakes in the U.S..

The eastern diamondback rattlesnake will also have a large triangle shaped head just like other vipers. This is caused by the large venom glands on it's head that gives it a puffy cheeks look. Nonvenomous snakes don't have the venom gland so their heads are more round shaped.

Eastern Diamondback rattlesnakes get very large. The typical length of an adult eastern diamondback rattlesnake is between 3 and 6 feet. It is rare for them to get above 7 feet, but such snakes have been documented. The record is 8 feet long!

They are both long and stout, in fact the eastern diamondback rattlesnake is documented in the Guinness Book of World Records as the heaviest venomous snake in the world. It is without question the largest member of the rattlesnake family.

Eastern diamondback rattlesnake.  Photo by Edward J. Wozniak, 2005. Public Domain.
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Photo by Edward J. Wozniak, 2005. Public Domain. | Source
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake range.   By derivative work: IvanTortuga (talk) BlankAmericas.png: FB (BlankAmericas.png) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake range. By derivative work: IvanTortuga (talk) BlankAmericas.png: FB (BlankAmericas.png) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

Habitat


The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is found in the southeastern part of the United States in Flordia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi.

They are most commonly found in dry wooded and/or sandy areas. They prefer the dry areas, however they can be found near swamps as well and are known for being strong swimmers.

Eastern diamondback rattlesnake.  Public domain.
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Public domain. | Source
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake.  Public domain.
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Public domain. | Source

Food


The eastern diamondback rattlesnake gets big enough that it can choose from a wider array of food options than many North American snake species. While they have been known to eat rodents and other reptiles, adult eastern diamondback rattlesnake are more commonly known for eating larger mammals such as rabbits and squirrels.

Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes utilize a potent hemotoxin to kill it's prey. It will lie in ambush or cruise around until it spots something that looks tasty. It will strike and deliver it's deadly venom. Then the snake will back off and wait for it's prey to die.

Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Public domain.
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Public domain. | Source

Interactions With Humans


The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is responsible for the most deaths by snake bite in the United States. There I've said it twice. It has a reputation for being aggressive and mean. That said, in reality it's pretty much harmless when left alone. Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes do not seek encounters with humans. They only produce so much venom at any one time, and would much rather use that venom to feed rather than to defend it's life against human attackers. Most venomous snake bites in the United States occur from people trying to kill the snakes. They will try to warn you with their rattles first that they don't want to be bothered. So if you don't want to feel the wrath of this powerful animals only defense mechanism then don't mess with it.

Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. By TimVickers (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. By TimVickers (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)