Do Rattlesnakes Nurse?

Snakes are interesting animals that possess unique features. Because of these unique features, many people choose to keep them as pets. If you don’t have a snake as a pet, then likely the only place you see them is the zoo. Rattlesnakes are commonly seen at zoos but rarely as pets. Because of this, rattlesnakes are especially well known among people, especially because they have the distinct rattle coming from the end of their tail. There are a lot of uncommon things about rattlesnakes, but one of the first things you should know if you’re Interested in them is how long they can get. Here’s more information about the rattlesnake and the length that it might grow.

What is a Rattlesnake

Rattlesnakes are venomous reptiles with triangular heads and large bodies. They are one of the most well-known North American snakes because of the rattle found on its tail. It’s unique rattle is made out of a series of interlocking scales and the snake adds to it each time it molts. Muscle contractions click the scales together resulting in the rattle that you hear.

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Rattlesnakes get their name from the rattle located at the end of their tail. The loud rattling can scare off predators and serve as a warning to people passing by. The rattlesnakes still often fall prey to hawks, weasels, kingsnakes and a variety of other species. Rattlesnakes are preyed upon when they are weak and immature. Also, a large amount of rattlesnakes are killed by humans. Rattlesnake populations in many areas by habitat destruction, poaching and its extermination; however, rattlesnakes are the highest contributor to snake bite injuries in North America. They really bite unless they’re provoked or threatened and if treated quickly the bites are not fatal.

How Long Do Rattlesnakes Get

Usually rattlesnakes are between 3 to 5 feet long. They usually weigh about 2.5 lbs. Some snakes can reach up to 7 feet. There are different species of rattlesnakes that are as short as 12 inches and rarely get longer than 2 feet. However, just as there rattlesnakes that are short, there rattlesnakes that are over 8 feet long and that way almost 10 pounds. Rattlesnakes come in a lot of different sizes and there’s a lot to understand about why they reach their size.

The average rattlesnake lives around 15 to 20 years but the majority of growth takes place when they’re younger. Many are born usually around 10 inches long. Most snakes are done growing after 3 or 4 years but others can continue to grow for 10 years. The rate of growth really depends on the snake’s species, environmental conditions and eating habits.


Rattlesnakes are native to North and South America. They live in diverse habitats all the way from South Western Canada to Central Argentina. A lot of the species lives in the American southwest and Mexico. There are four species that you can find east of the Mississippi River and two in South America. In the US, the snakes with The most species of rattlesnakes are Texas and Arizona. Rattlesnakes are found in almost every type of habitat capable of supporting them as ectothermic vertebrates. Since their ectothermic vertebrates, this means they can’t regulate their own body temperature. They rely on their surroundings to keep their temperature in control. This is why they prefer a temperature range between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some individual species of rattlesnakes have extremely specific habitat requirements. Some are only able to live within certain plant associations in a specific range of altitudes. Most of the rattlesnake species live in open or rocky areas. These rocks give them coverage from predators and a lot of prey that live inside of the rocks. It also gives open basking areas where they can lay in the sun. There are a lot of other habitats where you can find rattlesnakes and also that are very different. Prairies, marshes, deserts and forests are all places that you can find rattlesnakes in. If the temperature is right, you can find a rattlesnake in that habitat.


The rattlesnakes diet is a factor that influences how long it can get. If they eat properly and often enough, then the rattlesnake will grow to its full size. Without the proper prey available to eat, then the rattlesnake won’t be able to get the nutrition that it needs to grow.

There are a lot of things that rattlesnakes eat but they eat mostly rodents. If smaller things are available then they can also eat insects and other reptiles. Rattlesnakes are pit vipers and this means that they have heat-sensing organs located near their eyes. These heat-sensing organs allow them to see the heat signature of what they want to eat. This means that in darkness they can accurately stop their prey because they can see the heat of their prey in contrast to the surrounding environment.

Another thing that helps to get this food is its Jacobson’s organs. These organs give it a heightened sense of smell which allows them to distinctly detect prey. You can find these organs on the roof of their mouth and that’s why many people believe the snake smells with their tongues. The snake picks up scent particles on their tongue and deposits them on these organs that allows them to pick up scents accurately.Their meals will last a rattlesnake much longer than a human’s meal will. The adult rattlesnake only needs to eat once every two weeks to get its full nutrition.


Your snake’s ability to defend itself also dictates how long it will get. There are many species that Prey Upon newborn rattlesnakes oh, and these species are plentiful. Ravens, roadrunners, opossums, crows, raccoons, coyotes, king snakes, and Racers are all species that go after newborns. A lot of the predatory Birds also prey on them, like shrikes, Jays and Kingfishers. A lot of species of ants in the genus Formica are known to Prey Upon the newborns also. Once they aren’t newborns anymore in, a lot of the rattlesnakes that make it to their second year are heavily preyed on by larger Predators like Falcons, feral pigs and Badgers.

The king snake is a constrictor that’s immune to the Venom of rattlesnakes and other vipers. The rattlesnakes form a large part of the snakes natural diet so rattlesnakes have a method of Defending themselves when they sense the kingsnakes presents. Once one is nearby they begin using some defensive postures. The rattlesnake begins keeping its head low to the ground to prevent the king snake from Gaining a hold of it. The head of the first part of the rattlesnake to be ingested. The rattlesnake jerks his body while bridging his back upwards to form an elevated coil whose base is the rattlesnake. The coil is used to strike the king snake and is also used as a shield for the rattlesnake to protect its head from the king snake.

With these defensive measures, the rattlesnake is able to protect itself from prey. The newborn rattlesnakes don’t have these instincts yet, so they’re often eaten. If they become an adult, then it would reach the length that it’s supposed to be in maturity.

Do They Make Good Pets

The popularity of rattlesnakes have increased in recent years, but not a lot of people have adopted a rattlesnake as a household reptile. If you’re considering keeping a pet rattlesnake then you should think about a few things before you do so.

The first thing you should consider is whether your state allows it. Some states outlaw rattlesnakes as household pets so you should check with your local pet store owner or state statutes about exotic pets. There are laws pertaining to exotic pets that change from time to time so you should look for the statutes for the year that you’re going to be getting a rattlesnake.

Then, you have to get your pet rattlesnake. You’ll need to get a large enclosure with a top that’s tightly closed. Rattlesnakes can get rather long so you want to get a cage that’s a proper size. Usually a 60 gallon terrarium is a great option for rattlesnakes. You also need to consider all the things that you’ll need inside of your cage for your rattlesnake. Once you consider all of these aspects, then you can decide if you still want to get a pet rattlesnake.

There are a lot of factors that affect the length of a Rattlesnake. Once you know more about these factors and caring for rattlesnake, then maybe consider getting one as a pet. Otherwise, if you just wanted to learn about a rattlesnake then you can carry a lot of other good pieces of information so that you know more about this snake species.