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A member of the crotalid genera Crotalus and Sistrurus, characterized by possession of cuticular warning rattles at the tip of the tail.
rattlesnake/rat·tle·snake/ (rat´'l-snāk) any of the New World pit vipers of the genera Crotalus and Sistrurus, having a series of cornified interlocking segments at the tip of the tail; when disturbed they vibrate the tail to produce the characteristic rattling or buzzing sound. Included are the massasauga, the eastern diamondback r. (C. adamanteus), the Mojave r. (C. scutulatus scutulatus), the prairie r. (C. viridis viridis), the pygmy r. (S. miliarius), the timber r. (C. horridus), and the western diamondback r. (C. atrox).
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.
Etymology: ME, ratelen + AS, snacan, to creep
a poisonous pit viper with a series of loosely connected, horny segments at the end of the tail that make a noise like a rattle when shaken. More than 25 species of rattlesnakes are found in the Americas, including most parts of the United States. They have a hematoxin in their venom, and they are responsible for most of the poisonous snake bites in the United States. Immediate treatment includes keeping the victim quiet and immobilizing the bite area at the level of the heart. Antivenin is available. Also called rattler. See also snakebite.
rattlesnakeA pit viper of the genera Crotalus or Sistrurus, primarily of the southern Northern hemisphere, which has a characteristic tail that produces a rattling sound when its owner is disturbed
a snake of the genera Crotalus or Sisustrus, both members of the family Crotalidae and of the series Splenoglypha which have movable fangs. Rattlesnakes are characterized by the retention of dried skin segments at the end of the tail which give them their ominous rattle. The bites of these snakes cause severe local inflammation with much tissue destruction. See also snakebite.