I believe they breed in April and August, so especially keep an eye out around those months. Once the prey is dead, it will swallow its prey whole. Residents of the Southwestern United States likely have heard the distinctive buzz of these pit vipers. (Photo by Mike Marchand) The timber rattlesnake is the only snake in New Hampshire that actually has a rattle. Large adults often eat seemingly huge prey (gray and fox squirrels), and it is not unusual to find one of these snakes lying on the forest floor in the shade with such a huge lump in the stomach that the snake cannot coil. The timber rattlesnake may then seek an escape route. Dark markings appear in bands around the body; they're rounded toward the head and become more v-shaped toward the tail. The timber rattlesnake is essential for keeping populations of pests, such as rodents, under control. According to BMC Genomics, the exact composition and effects of a timber rattlesnake’s venom vary depending on the individual snake. Your email address will not be published. Hemotoxic venom alters the body’s ability to coagulate blood. Never approach a timber rattlesnake and contact DEC’s Bureau of Wildlife, 518-897-1291, if you have questions or need assistance. The timber rattlesnake is listed as a threatened species in Minnesota. Hemotoxins also cause necrosis, or cell death. Presumably if you look like a rattlesnake and you sound like a rattlesnake you will be safer from predation. It would rather safely leave your presence than bite you. Myokymia is an involuntary quivering of muscles, not enough to move a limb but a motion which is out of the individual’s control. Yes, a rattlesnake can kill a human. The fungus will gradually penetrate the snake’s skin, creating painful lesions. Then the snake is able to shed its skin and with it get rid of the infection. However, if left untreated, the bite may result in severe medical problems or death. Rattlesnakes are venomous. These snakes are members of the viper family. Here are some examples of the harmful effects of timber rattlesnake venom which antivenom is not quite enough to fix. Be careful out there and keep your eyes on the ground when walking. They are primarily terrestrial but, like many other snakes, they can swim and individuals have been observed off the ground in shrubs. A timber rattlesnake is more likely to try to hide or flee if it hears or smells a human coming. Snakesforpets.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. At the same time, be sure to appreciate this vital animal from a safe distance. Platelets are another part of blood clotting. Timber rattlesnake venom contains neurotoxins and hemotoxins. The male usually has a much longer tail than the female as well. Venom is also the timber rattlesnake’s primary defense against threats. This amount of myokymia may require additional hospital treatment, such as applying a serum of ionized calcium. For one thing, these reptiles are shy -- they won't bite unless they feel threatened. We are the predators. As humans expand cities and roads into natural habitats, the snake loses its territory and prey sources. Do not kill or collect the individual. In the summer, a timber rattlesnake will migrate to find prey to hunt. 1. The timber rattlesnake is not just a danger. Sometimes the fungus is contained within the snake’s skin. Communication between neurons is how the human body’s muscles know how and when to function. However, if fungal stalks remain on the snake after the skin is shed, the infection will return. My dog got bit in the face by a Timber Rattler. Younger snakes tend to have tapering rattles, and charts prepared by several researchers can help determine age. On occasion, this rattlesnake will also eat birds, frogs, and even other snakes. Antivenom treatment does not raise platelet numbers again, and so additional medical treatment after antivenom dosing may be necessary. That means it's illegal to kill one, or even handle it, unless like Winter you have a permit from the DNR. This may result in the skin around a timber rattlesnake bite appearing blackened. That’s why I set up snakesforpets.com – to answer every question that you could ever have about snakes as pets (and how they survive in the wild.) If your yard is rodent-free, snakes won’t linger looking for a meal. Disrupting that communication can cause muscle spasms and paralysis. A timber rattlesnake cannot hold onto its prey effectively. If you encounter a timber rattlesnake: Do not panic! The venom of timber rattlesnakes is so potent that it can kill a human. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Facts and Information, 17 Interesting Sidewinder Rattlesnake Facts (with Pictures), What’s The Difference Between a Rattlesnake And…, Hognose Snake Care Guide, Information, And Facts, 10 Fun and Interesting Gopher Snake Facts. Most bites result from people intentionally handling rattlesnakes and often involve the use of alcohol or drugs. If you have just been bitten by a rattlesnake, call 9-1-1 or present at your local emergency room. Large adult timber rattlesnakes can reach more than five feet in total length, but individuals exceeding four feet are uncommon. Since then, snake fungal disease has been found to harm over 12 species of snake. They are found along the coast from New England to northern Florida, and as far west as eastern Texas and Minnesota. Timber rattlesnake venom allows the snake to bite and release its prey. This is the only rattlesnake species in most of the populous northeastern United States and is second only to its cousins to the west, the prairie rattlesnake, as the most northerly distributed venomous snake in North America. Snake fungal disease is transmitted when a timber rattlesnake comes into contact with an infected snake or the fungus itself. Antivenom reverses the anticoagulant effects quickly and reliably, allowing the victim’s blood to begin clotting again. They are primarily terrestrial but, like many other snakes, they can swim and individuals have been observed off the ground in shrubs. Dogs can encounter a rattlesnake anytime they are in rattlesnake habitat. While the reason for this is unknown, it is possible that there is a factor in the venom which the antivenom does not neutralize, allowing the thrombocytopenia to persist. Any would-be predator knows that a snake which makes that iconic rattling sound should not be messed with. This behavior includes lifting up its body from the ground, forming an S-shape with its head and neck. If you hear a timber rattlesnake rattling its tail, your best choice of action is to turn around and walk away. Rattlesnakes can swim. The territory of the timber rattlesnake ranges across the eastern United States. Their namesake rattle is a highly effective warning sign, signaling predators to stay away. Timber rattlesnake antivenom is made from the venom itself. Digestion is a long process for a timber rattlesnake. Timber rattlesnakes are most easily observed in spring and early summer when they move around. If you have the option to call Animal Control, always feel free to do so. NEW MERCH AVAILABLE: https://theywillkillyou.com/Rattlesnakes are venomous and dangerous snakes with a unique sound. Black bands run down the entire body to the tail, and from above, each band appears to form a “v.” Viewed from the side, the bands appear more irregular (zig-zagged) and may or may not connect with a parallel series of lateral black blotches. As the venom attacks the victim’s nervous system, it increases the excitability of peripheral nerves across the victim’s body, causing this quivering or twitching motion. Sexual maturity is not reached until at least the fourth year of life, and in many individuals, 6 – 7 years may be required. The hemotoxins in the venom will prevent the wound from closing, giving the timber rattlesnake a trail of blood to follow. If natural selection favors neurotoxins over hemotoxins to slow down prey, those snakes will survive and breed. Timber rattlesnakes live in forested areas that have rocky outcrops. However, this is saliva that performs multiple useful tasks for the snake’s survival. Let’s learn more about this rattlesnake’s venom and the consequences of getting bitten. I live in Texas near a wooded area. It also reduces platelet numbers, making it difficult for the body to close up other wounds later. I’ve always been fascinated by snakes and reptiles. Angering a snake will result in one response — you become its target. A big threat to timber rattlesnakes is snake fungal disease. The timber rattlesnake prefers warmer weather and so it is most active during warmer months. The main danger which a timber rattlesnake poses is its bite. Maybe rattlesnakes are around when you take your dog hiking, camping or hunting. The neurotoxins in the venom will cause the prey to weaken and become paralyzed, quickly collapsing so that the snake can catch up and eat. If you encounter a rattlesnake, or a snake you cannot identify, please do not try to capture or kill it. In reality, however, there are few reported cases of people being bitten by timber rattlesnakes. A timber rattlesnake can have as many as eight to 12 babies at a time, and all typically remain in the same den their entire lives, which can span 30 or more years. Snakes are carnivorous and primarily eat small mammals like rats and mice. Read on to learn about the timber rattlesnake, what dangers it poses to humans, and what dangers the timber rattlesnake itself faces. It would rather safely leave your presence than bite you. A timber rattlesnake has a dangerous bite with venom that is very harmful to humans. We encourage you to take this information about timber rattlesnake dangers to heart, so that you do not get harmed by their venom or bites. Its fangs are between 2.6 and 3.8 millimeters long, and its venom contains hemotoxins and neurotoxins. Newborn young are about twelve inches in total length. They typically return to the same den each fall. All across the wilds of the eastern United States, the timber rattlesnake roams. The snake will also hiss at the threat, vibrating its tail to create the distinctive rattling sound that rattlesnakes are famous for. The same rules apply as to what you should do and not do if bitten. If you should come upon a Rattlesnake, Water Moccasin, Copperhead, or some other devilish variety and you choose to veer off the “live and let live” approach, here is how to handle yourself and kill it safely like a badass. During late fall, timber rattlesnakes migrate to dens, usually in crevices in rocky outcrops, where they spend the winter. It does not chew its food; rather, this snake swallows its meals whole. 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