Rattle of a black-tailed rattlesnake


Rattlesnakes have a deadly reputation, but only strike humans if cornered or threatened. They are more likely to flee than attack. None but the bravest predators should ignore the vibrating rattle, as these snakes can inject a venom that stuns and even kills. Small mammals should be particulary wary as they will be caught with precision, swallowed whole and digested. The 30 or so species in this fascinating group are found only in the Americas. If you can identify all the different skin patterns and colours then you are probably too close for comfort...

Scientific name: Crotalus

Rank: Genus

Common names:


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Map showing the distribution of the Rattlesnakes taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Rattlesnakes can be found in a number of locations including: Amazon Rainforest, North America, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web