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Visit The American International Rattlesnake Museum

Updated on July 13, 2015
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ReadMikeNow is a freelance writer who loves to travel. He likes to find unique stories about interesting places.

Entrance to Museum
Entrance to Museum | Source

Many people have heard stories about rattlesnakes. There's the sound of the rattle located at the end of the snake's body. When hearing this sound, a person will then see the dangerous reptile curled up with its fork tongue sliding in and out of its mouth. This image scares most people because being bitten by a venomous rattlesnake is something nobody wants to experience. What if the danger of a rattlesnake was taken away and you could simply enjoy watching the creature's behavior? This is possible. It happens every day at the American International Rattlesnake Museum.

Rattlesnake Museum

The American International Rattlesnake Museum is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is a place that is dedicated to providing education on rattlesnakes as well as other types of snakes and venomous creatures. The museum staff are regular participants in events covering international viper research. It provides visitors with an extremely diverse collection of live rattlesnakes and other creatures. The museum also has a very large library containing educational tools and study materials. It contains more species of snakes than some of the zoos located in large cities such as the National Zoo in Washington, D.C, the Bronx Zoo and more.

Albino Rattlesnake
Albino Rattlesnake | Source


This is a group of 32 known species of venomous snakes. It is estimated that there are approximately subspecies of rattlesnakes. They can be found in North American from Canada all the way down to Argentina in South America. They are predators who are able to survive in a number of different environments. They typically hunt small birds and rodents. When they move the titular noisemaker at the end of their tail, they are attempting to deter something they believe is a predator. Rattlesnakes are also part of the food chain. They are often eaten by hawks, weasels, and other larger snakes. The population of rattlesnakes in a number of different areas located in North and South America has declined dramatically. This is due to extermination campaigns as well as poaching and destruction of their habitat. Many species of rattlesnakes are on the threatened or endangered species list in many states in U.S.

Sign on door of Rattlesnake Museum
Sign on door of Rattlesnake Museum | Source
Bob Myers Rattlesnake Museum Creator and Owner
Bob Myers Rattlesnake Museum Creator and Owner | Source

Rattlesnake Museum Creation

Bob Myers is the director of the Rattlesnake Museum and responsible for its creation. He started the museum with two main objectives. Myers wanted to help people overcome their fear of rattlesnakes. He also wanted educate everyone who would listen about how rattlesnakes have influenced the lives of people. Myers has had an interest in reptiles since he was young. Snakes held a special fascination for him when he attended the New Mexico State University located in Las Cruces. He learned about the International Biological Project (IBP). It is a project that included the research work of seven different colleges on seven different biotic areas. Myers chose to research the migrations of rattlesnakes for the IBP. He was trying to determine how fast as well as how far rattlesnakes migrate from the site of their den. This research was conducted in the Chihuahuan desert.

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake | Source

Rattlesnake Myths

According to Bob Myers, there are a number of popular myths about rattlesnakes. A rattlesnake bite does hurt quite a bit and must be treated with anti-venom. This venom will eliminate the symptoms. Rattlesnake bites seldom kill. Should a dog be bitten by a rattlesnake on the nose, the dog will probably live. The dog's nose will swell up pretty big. Some people believe that only male rattlesnakes have rattles. This is false. All rattlesnakes grow rattles. It is also believed that rattlesnakes always rattle before they strike. This is also not true. Rattlesnakes will strike without notice no matter where they are located. When bitten by a rattlesnake treatments such as applying a tourniquet, cutting the wound and sucking out the venom and more may cause more harm. The most effective treatment is to get medical attention as soon as possible.

Collection of License Plates That Feature Snakes
Collection of License Plates That Feature Snakes | Source

Rattlesnake Benefits

The venom from rattlesnakes has been used to keep tumors from breast cancer from spreading to other parts of a person's body. It has also been used to treat a variety of neurological disorders. Alzheimer's, Parkinson’s as well as multiple sclerosis and others have successful treatments from rattlesnake venom. It is often used for the treatment of pain management. The timber rattler is considered beneficial in the battle against Lyme disease. They diet consists of many rodents that are often carriers for ticks. When timber rattler populations decrease in an area, the incidents of Lyme disease often increase.

Relationship Between Rattlesnake and Man

Man and rattlesnakes have been a part of each others world for centuries. Rattlesnakes have always had an impact on people. Civilizations have captured images of rattlesnakes in paintings, sculptures and other works of art. There are a number of folklore tales and songs that involve rattlesnakes. There are religious temples in Central America as well huge burial mounds in parts of the United States that have depictions of rattlesnakes. The ancient Maya civilization believed the rattlesnake was a vision serpent and could provide a bridge into the other worlds.

Rattlesnake Pinata
Rattlesnake Pinata | Source

Museum Exhibits

There are approximately 100 rattlesnakes located at the museum. They represent around 34 different species. The home of these snakes range from the southern part of Canada to South America and more. The creatures on exhibit are housed in an enclosure that replicates their natural environment. There are inscriptions on each of the displays. One will explain the exhibit to adults. Another one is understandable by young children. Such information as the scientific name, as well as its geographic home, unique habits and characteristics are also listed. It is approximately 1200 feet and filled with fascinating creatures. People can see an albino rattler, ones that have striped markings when they should have diamond shaped markings and more. In the back of the museum are some rare rattlesnake collectible items and other interesting rattlesnake memorabilia. It also has the copy of a painting done by John J. Audubon. It is an image of a rattlesnake done in watercolor. This is believed to be the only one of its kind done by Audubon

Front of Rattlesnake Museum
Front of Rattlesnake Museum | Source

Rattlesnake Museum Website

Rattlesnake Museum Hours





Monday-Friday...11:30am to 5:30pm



(School Groups...Mon-Fri...10-11:30am)

Rattlesnake Museum Phone Number

(505) 242-6569

Location of Rattlesnake Museum

A marker202 San Felipe St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104 -
202 San Felipe Street Northwest, Albuquerque, NM 87104, USA
get directions

Rattlesnake Museum featured on TV news program


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    • Readmikenow profile image

      Readmikenow 2 years ago

      The rattlesnakes at the museum are very much alive and great to watch.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Are the rattle snakes alive or dead?