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Rattlesnakes of Arizona: The 9 Species Of Venomous Pit Vipers From The Sonoran Desert

Call me crazy, but even though I do quite a bit of research when I write a article, this particular subject had me stumped, I mean, I had no idea that there were so many different species of rattlesnakes in Arizona. Almost everyone is fascinated by rattlesnakes , myself included and that is why I chose the video below. The fascination is most often caused by fear of these animals, which are legendarily perceived to be aggressive and deadly.

Although their threat to humans is grossly exaggerated, these snakes are fascinating for another compelling reason: rattlesnakes are among the most highly specialized organisms on the planet. So, if you plan a sight-seeing, or camping trip to the Sonoran Desert, maybe you should check this out, that way, if you do encounter one of these snakes while you’re there you’ll have a better understanding of them.

Here are some interesting facts about these snakes: 

While other areas have larger rattlesnakes, the Sonoran Desert region is blessed with more species of rattlesnakes than is any other region in the world and many of them will bite large beasts like us if we are perceived to be a threat Rather than seeking to eradicate these animals, we have more to gain by finding ways for all of us to coexist. Why…because these animals are the natural predators of a suite of other animals (e.g., mice and rats) that can cause plant damage, carry diseases, and so on. Besides, trying to kill rattlesnakes actually puts us at greater risk than does leaving them alone. Knowledge of who these creatures are that is, what they do for a living, where they live and when they are active will help us coexist without harm to either snakes or humans.

Their venom in fact a toxic saliva is among the most complex substances known: a mixture of enzymes unique to pit vipers that destroys blood or paralyzes nerves. And the delivery system is equally amazing the snakes fangs are movable hypodermic syringes. Rattlesnakes are also among the few animal groups with dual visual systems. In addition to their eyes, they have sensory organs in their upper jaws which can actually see infrared images. They can detect the heat from a candle flame 30 feet (9 m) away. These animals merit admiration more than fear.
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H/T – desertmuseum.org

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