One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A heavy-bodied American pit viper with a series of horny rings on the tail that, when vibrated, produce a characteristic rattling sound as a warning.
Genera Crotalus and Sistrurus, family Viperidae: several species
- ‘Those were some of the most dangerous kinds of reptiles, spitting cobras, rattlesnakes, Komodo dragons.’
- ‘You can find this same remarkable system in humans, albatrosses, rattlesnakes, bullfrogs, and all other land vertebrates.’
- ‘They're even immune to the venom of rattlesnakes and other pit vipers.’
- ‘Holding on to hurt is like grabbing a rattlesnake by the tail; you are going to be bitten.’
- ‘The boa and the rattlesnake are homebodies that seldom travel more than a couple of miles in a lifetime.’
- ‘This girl could charm the tail off a rattlesnake.’
- ‘In Florida, more people are probably bitten by pigmy rattlesnakes than by any other poisonous snake.’
- ‘Most rattlesnakes are peaceable, retiring animals that flee for the underbrush when they encounter humans.’
- ‘They may be preyed upon by larger animals, such as large owls, coyotes, or large snakes, such as eastern massasauga rattlesnakes.’
- ‘Clark says timber rattlesnakes and other pit vipers may be the most social of all snakes.’
- ‘Today Wyoming's Bighorn Basin, home to pronghorns and prairie dogs, coyotes and rattlesnakes, is nearly a desert.’
- ‘Pit vipers, including the fer-de-lance and Mojave rattlesnake, have only two pits, one below each eye.’
- ‘At a lot of these roundups, the handlers allow children to touch the tails of rattlesnakes.’
- ‘Gila monsters, rattlesnakes and other reptiles will be drawn to water in gardens, especially during the dry summer months.’
- ‘In both shade cases, simulated rattlesnakes cease all nocturnal activity and become completely diurnal.’
- ‘And when they rattle, when they get alarmed, it sounds like a rattlesnake.’
- ‘A new study of timber rattlesnakes in the eastern United States marks the first time kin recognition has been observed in snakes.’
- ‘This is the only product that can neutralize toxins from rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and copperheads.’
- ‘Eagles, rattlesnakes, deer, pronghorn antelope, foxes, coyotes, and mountain lions roam the area.’
- ‘Charlie felt ill as she heard the distinctive sound of a rattlesnake.’
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