Among the rattlesnakes, the western adamantine rattlesnake is the most famous and well known. It is widespread in the more deserted USA, such as southwestern regions such as Arizona, New Mexico, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas and in Mexico, in the northeast.
It feeds on rodents and other small mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and other reptiles. All they need to do is get food every 2-3 weeks. The dimensions are considerable (from 120 cm up to 220 cm in length and about 7 kg in weight it is the second rattlesnake for size in the world) especially in the male which is usually longer and less stocky than the female.
The jaws are equipped with long hollow and retractable teeth, able to fold when the animal closes its mouth and to reposition itself vertically when it opens. In the bite it sometimes happens that the teeth, which can be regenerated even four times a year, remain stuck in the victim's body.
This is a characteristic of all solenoglyph snakes (rattlesnakes and vipers). Their life expectancy is around 20-25 years, generally less due to the hunting that is given to them and the human expansion in their natural habitats.
The rattlesnake has a solitary life except in the period of reproduction; it is among the most aggressive species found in North America and rarely escapes if bothered or threatened. When annoyed, they begin to wag their tail, at the end of which there is the crepitacle (commonly known as a rattle), which has the function of warning the aggressor.
It seems that snakes living near populated areas have learned not to use their rattle too often to avoid being killed or captured. During the cold season, they hibernate in caves or burying themselves underground. They are bad climbers.
Adult specimens have no natural predators. Rattlesnakes possess hollow, canaliculated venomous teeth lined with membranous tissue, capable of injecting venom and can regulate its quantity when biting. They generally inoculate a larger dose when hunting prey for food but can inject less or no venom at all during a defensive or warning attack.
However, a frightened or injured snake may not be able to exercise such control. Even the young rattlesnakes are very dangerous and must be treated with the same precautions as adults, as they are already equipped with poisonous sacs.
Most rattlesnake species have haemotoxic venom, destroy tissues, organs, and cause coagulopathy (inability of blood to clot).