ANIMAL: Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Crotalus adamanteus Type of Animal: Viper Habitat: Coastal plains, dry sandy areas, palmetto/wiregrass/pine/mixed flatwoods, pine woodlands/forests, coastal dunes, hardwood hammocks, freshwater/brackish swamps & edges, scrub, sandy woodlands/forests, sandhills, coastal maritime hammocks, longleaf pine/turkey oak habitat, xeric & mesic hammocks, freshwater/brackish/salt marshes & edges, swamp forest, wet prairie, residential areas, rocky landscapes, deciduous forest/woodland, clayhills, palmetto thickets, burrows, chaparral, mixed forest/woodland Location(s): SE N Carolina, E S Carolina, S Georgia, Florida, S Alabama, S Mississippi, N part of SE Louisiana, & a few surrounding islands Appearance: Largest rattlesnake species, brownish, brownish-yellow, brownish-gray, or olive ground color, sometimes silvery gray or dark black w/ series of dark brown to black diamonds w/ slightly lighter centers, diamond-shaped blotches outlined w/ row of cream/yellowish scales, yellowish or cream belly w/ diffused dark mottling along sides, young only have button rather than rattle Food/Diet: Mice, rats, rabbits, squirrels, birds up to size of young turkeys, baby alligators, gophers, lizards, large insects, weasels, other snakes (including smaller members of own species), young tortoises Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding from zoos, wildlife parks, & breeders Lifestyle: Solitary Additional Info: Called: Male Female Young-Snakelet Group-Solitary Weight: Male-10 lbs Female-5 lbs Gestation: 6-7 months Life Span: 20-25 years Body Length: Male-6 ft Female-4 ft Young-2 ft Tail Length: 1.5-2 ft Main predators of adults are crocodilians, bobcats, foxes, coyotes, bears, raptors, snapping turtles, kingsnakes, indigo snakes, otters, & pigs. Many snakes (including adults of own species) prey on young. While highly venomous & one of most dangerous snakes in N America, these snakes are not aggressive. Like other rattlers, females give birth to 6-21 fully loaded live young. These snakes can often be found in gopher tortoise burrows, leading to humans gassing the burrows, which kills other species as well. Venom is hemotoxic, targeting red blood cells & disrupting blood clotting They’re ambush predators. Fun Fact(s): They can accurately strike at up to 1/3 their body length. These snakes have successfully colonized offshore islands by swimming in saltwater. Targeted by rattlesnake hunters for meat, skin, & out of fear/hate. Play important role in maintaining rodent populations.