any of various poisonous American pit vipers (genera Crotalus and Sistrurus), having an interlocking series of horny rings at the end of the tail that produce a rattling or buzzing sound when shaken
Any of various venomous pit vipers of the genera Crotalus and Sistrurus of the Americas, having at the end of the tail a series of loosely attached, horny segments that can be vibrated to produce a rattling or buzzing sound.
western massasauga rattlesnake
Sistrurus catenatus subsp. tergeminus
- The prairie rattlesnake is common in the dry plains country.
- Of reptiles, the rattlesnake and copperhead are the only poisonous species, but numerous harmless varieties are common.
- Poisonous or noxious animals usually have some special advertising attribute, sometimes the display of conspicuous coloration, as in the skunk; sometimes the emission of sound as in the rattlesnake; sometimes a combination of the two, as in the common porcupine and the large black scorpions of Africa and India.
- To Edward Jenner we owe the discovery that vaccination protects against smallpox, and it is now generally acknowledged that smallpox and vaccine are ' Quoted by Weir Mitchell, "Researches on the Venom of the Rattlesnake," Smithsonian Contributions (1860), p. 97.
- In 1908 there were 8 quarries at Concord, all on Rattlesnake Hill, and all within 2 m.