Early in the summer, I posted on a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) that was found while I was in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas this past spring. But when my website went awry, I not only lost that blog post, but also the images that I had uploaded. Well, I’ve finally got the images re-loaded and thought I’d make a re-post of those images.
The Western Diamondback is a venomous snake, and one that should be respected. This rattler was a wild snake that my photographer friends and I photographed for about 10 minutes, then left him to continue doing whatever Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes do … I imagine pretty much whatever they want! Here are a few images I captured of this beauty. Yeh, I know a lot of people don’t like snakes. But they are a very integral part of the environment and help keep the rodent populations in check. Here are a few of my favorite images:
Note the amazing camouflage this reptile’s scales exhibit:
But my favorite image, the classical “strike” pose:
In many of the above images, you can clearly see the “pits”, located in front of the eyes, that all pit vipers possess. These pits are heat-sensitive and used to detect warm-blooded prey. The rattlesnake’s rattle is actually a series of flattened, interlocking dry horny segments that produce a “buzzing” noise when the tail is shaken vigorously. A new segment is added to the rattle each time the snake sheds it’s skin, which can occur as much as 2-4 times a year. Their venom is a highly complex mixture of proteins, which acts on the victim’s blood tissue. If one is ever encountered, give it a wide berth and do not disturb!
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