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Shy and Retiring Predators

This region is home to the western rattlesnake, and you
could see one at this wayside. Rattlesnakes do not pursue
humans, but when distrubed or frightened they rattle their
tails in a very distinctive buzz—they may strike and bit.
The best protection against this reptile is avoidance!

Like all reptiles, rattlesnakes are cold-blodded—
they depend on the temperature of their
surroundings to regulate body heat.
They are extremely efficient hunters
of mice and other small rodents. A
whip-like, forked toungue constantly
"tastes the air" bringing scent to an
organ in the roof of the mouth. A heat-
sensing organ located midway between
the eye and nostril can sense objects less
than one degree warmer than the environment.
This allows the snake to strike warm-
blooded prey with great accuracy—even
at night!

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