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Uracoan Rattlesnake

Range:

Found only in State of Monagas, Venezuela

Habitat:

Savannah and scrub

Characteristics:

This snake is characterized by a large head, with short broad body. Its base coloration is medium to dark brown (sometimes grayish) with pale speckling, that resembles a zig-zag pattern from head to tail.

Behavior:

This snake is active during the daytime and is a common resident in armadillo burrows.

Reproduction:

The female snake retains the fertilized eggs inside her body until they hatch and then gives live birth after a gestation period of 150-180 days. The average litter size is five to 20 offspring. The young snakes average 8 to 10 inches in length.

Interesting Facts:

It is a highly venomous pit viper and its venom contains both compounds that break down red blood cells and affect the nervous system. A bite results in tissue damage, swelling of organs, and respiratory distress – making it an extremely effective predator!

The venom 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 away.

Conservation:

Urocoan rattlesnakes play an important role in the ecosystem. The first human reaction may be to kill a rattlesnake. But it is important to remember that all snakes play an important role in the ecosystem. Some may eat insects, others like the urocoan consider rodents a delicacy and help control their population. Snakes are also a part of a larger food web and can provide food to eagles, herons, other snakes and several mammals.

Did YOU Know?
All rattlesnakes belong to the family Viperidae.
Uracoan Rattlesnake
Range
Class: reptile
Order: Viperidae
Family: Crotalus
Genus: Crotalus
Species: vegrandis
Length: up to 28 inches
Average Lifespan: up to 19 years
Wild Diet: small mammals
Zoo Diet: Rodents
Predators: rodents, birds, frogs and lizards
Where at the Zoo? Small Animal Building


Learn more about reptile or animals from South America!
Or, cross-reference the two!

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