"DON'T MESS WITH ME!" RATTLER [SEPT 2000]greenspun.com : LUSENET : Wildlife at SPC : One Thread
Extensive studies over 50 years indicates that this "rattler" (from the photo submitted)has assumed the "AGGRESIVE-STRIKE ATTITUDE" and was about to attack! Opening a car door to take its photo is pure suicide inasmuch a "rattler" of this size can extend its body-length some TWO to TWO-AND-ONE-HALF BODY-LENGTHS in the strike mode.
Though antivenin exist...the accompanying grotesque swelling, discolortion of the site of strike (yellowish to brown to black discoloration) can be excruciatingly painful...for weeks to come. Infrequently amputation is the only remedy!
NEVER approach a snake (most especially such a big fat one...[enormous amount of venom]) within 12 FEET!
This fellow appears to be a Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) and possesses one of the most dangerous crotalid venoms, with powerful neurotoxic effects (destroys nerves and nerve tissues).
Peggy...you are extremely fortunate!
-- JOHN FUHRBACH (JPFUHRBACH@AOL.COM), August 09, 2001
John makes a good point. Rattlesnakes are pretty common out here and some of us may have grown complacent about them. I don't relish the idea of getting bitten. Still, I do try to rescue them when they're lying in the middle of the road by dragging them off (with a long stick!). I try not to kill them because they eat mice, and as far as I'm concerned any animal that reduces the mouse population is my friend. Most of the snakes I've seen have been slow to anger, but it does pay to keep your distance when they get into the strike position.
Let's hope Peggy was using a telephoto lens!
-- Shannon Spires (email@example.com), September 01, 2001.