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Animal Information

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake Great Southwest

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

Crotalus atrox

Biome: Great Southwest

Classification: Reptiles

Biography: This is the largest of the western rattlesnakes. Due to its distinctive black and white tail bands, it is often nicknamed the "coontail rattler". This venomous pit viper frequents a variety of habitats in the arid regions of the southwest, from the plains into the mountains. It is often nocturnal, which allows it to escape the midday heat of the desert. The western diamondback is considered to be one of our country's most dangerous snakes, and will aggressively stand its ground and strike when it feels threatened. When fully aroused, a diamondback may raise its head and a loop of its neck high above the coils, gaining elevation for aiming and striking. As with all rattlesnakes, the western diamondback gives birth to live young. In the summer or fall, 4 - 23 young are born.

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