Snake: Rattle snake death cast replica
Plaster death cast of a rattle snake.
Western diamondback rattlesnake molded from an actual rattlesnake from South Dakota in the 1960s.
Rattlesnakes are predators that live in a wide array of habitats, hunting small animals such as birds and rodents.
Rattlesnakes receive their name from the rattle located at the end of their tails, which makes a loud rattling noise when vibrated that deters predators or serves as a warning to passers-by. However, rattlesnakes fall prey to hawks, weasels, king snakes, and a variety of other species. Rattlesnakes are heavily preyed upon as neonates, while they are still weak and immature. Large numbers of rattlesnakes are killed by humans. Rattlesnake populations in many areas are severely threatened by habitat destruction, poaching, and extermination campaigns.
Rattlesnakes are the leading contributor to snakebite injuries in North America. However, rattlesnakes rarely bite unless provoked or threatened; if treated promptly, the bites are seldom fatal.