Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake
Estimated Wild Population
Eastern massasauga rattlesnakes can reach up to 30 inches in length. Their cryptic coloration—irregularly dark saddles alternating against a lighter background—helps them blend into the leaves and branches of their wetland habitat, and their tail ends in a namesake “rattle,” a collection of modified scales. They spend the winter hibernating in underwater burrows, where the cold temperature induces a state of suspended animation until spring.
Interesting Fact 1
Eastern massasaugas rarely use their tail rattle to warn off predators, opting instead to stay motionless in the presence of intruders.
Interesting Fact 2
These snakes detect their prey via vibrations in the ground, a strong sense of smell, and heat-sensing pits on the sides of their face.
Interesting Fact 3
Although their venom is potentially life threatening, they aren't generally considered a threat to humans, as they are reluctant to bite and typically only do so when cornered.
Commitment to Care
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