Q:

What eats rattlesnakes?

A:

Quick Answer

Rattlesnakes are preyed upon by birds of prey, such as owls, eagles, hawks, ravens, crows and roadrunners, as well as foxes, coyotes, wild cats, badgers, feral pigs, jays, kingfishers, turkeys, shrikes and other snakes. Newborn rattlesnakes are especially susceptible to being hunted.

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Full Answer

The common kingsnake is immune to the rattlesnake's venom, and the rattlesnake is a staple in its diet. A rattlesnake can smell when a kingsnake is near. When a kingsnake's presence is detected, rattlesnakes go into a defense mode called body bridging. This involves the rattlesnake lowering its head, bridging its back upwards, jerking around and using an elevated coil to strike at the kingsnake. This allows the rattlesnake to attack the predator while also protecting its head, which is the first part of the snake to be eaten.

When the rattlesnake senses other predators, it warns them to stay away by shaking its tail to make a rattling sound. Rattlesnakes are also capable of puffing their body up so that it looks bigger and more intimidating. In some cases, rattlesnakes can hide effectively because of their camouflage patterns. Rather than attacking, rattlesnakes sometimes remain extremely still until the predator leaves them alone or until they can sneak away to safety.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Do rattlesnakes lay eggs?

    A:

    Rattlesnakes do not lay eggs. The young develop inside the female from eggs and are then born alive as small rattlesnakes. This type of reproduction is called being ovoviviparous.

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  • Q:

    What do rattlesnakes eat?

    A:

    Rattlesnakes mainly feed on small mammals and birds. They also eat snakes such as other rattlesnakes and garter snakes, lizards, frogs and large insects such as grasshoppers.

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  • Q:

    Where do rattlesnakes live?

    A:

    A wide range of rattlesnakes live across the U.S. and North America, and some varieties live in South America as well. There are 36 identified species of rattlesnakes as of 2014. Each distinct species has its own range.

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  • Q:

    What are 10 facts about rattlesnakes?

    A:

    Rattlesnakes are known for the rattles on their tails; these are made from the same material as human fingernails. They have heat-sensing pits on the sides of their heads that they use to locate prey, and young rattlesnakes are independent of their mother within minutes of birth.

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