Essay about Rattlesnakes of the Southwest

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Rattlesnakes of the Southwest

Rattlesnakes are very common in North America; they mainly range from Arkansas to Southern California. Rattlesnakes as most people known use a rattle, located at the ends of their tail, to warn people of their location. Rattlesnakes are from the Pit Viper family of snakes. They use pits located in their head to sense heat from prey or predators. Some rattlesnakes can sense heat from a mouse from as far as twelve feet away. Some common rattlers of the southwest are the Western Diamondback, Mohave, Sidewinder, and Prairie Rattlesnakes. All snakes listed are of the Genus Crotalus; which is the most common among rattlesnakes.

Western Diamondbacks are the most common and most likely to come in contact with
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The main tale-tale sign of the Mohave is that it is green in color.
The reason for this is so it can hunt in trees; where it lies in wait to ambush small birds. The Mohave contributes to the most deaths in the southwest than any other rattler. Mohave Rattlesnakes are considered a non-aggressive rattlesnake, but yet as mentioned before they are the most venomous rattlesnakes, comparable to cobras.

Sidewinders are the most intriguing of all rattlesnakes. They zip across sand leaving a side-winding trail behind. The reason they wind is to minimize the amount of their body that comes in contact with the ground; which is normally sand and very hot to the touch. If Sidewinders did not use this method of winding their body temperature would get to high. Sidewinders yield a small amount of venom, normally about 20-35 mg. A lethal dose is around 50 mg, which most Sidewinders are incapable of carrying. There are one species of and two subspecies of Sidewinder Rattlesnakes, the Colorado Sidewinder, The Sonoran Sidewinder and the Desert Sidewinder.

Prairie Rattlesnakes (also known as Western Rattlesnakes) have subspecies as well; they include the Grand Canyon Rattlesnake, the Hopi Rattlesnake, the Arizona Black Rattlesnake, and the Great Basin Rattlesnake. These snakes are mainly found in or around Arizona. The Arizona Black is normally found at elevations above 6000 feet. They are black in color, which helps them to absorb
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