How fast can a diamondback rattlesnake kill you?

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How fast can a diamondback rattlesnake kill you?

Alex Netherton

Votes: 4567

There are “snake handlers” in the rural South who handle rattlers routinely. Some get bit, and, no, they do not milk the snakes, and, no, they don’t seek medical treatment. Few die, but the scarring is bad.

Very few people are killed by venomous snakes in the United States. More are killed by lightning or bees. You…

Ryan Payne

Votes: 1496

You could be dead inside of five minutes if you go into anaphylactic shock without epinephrine available and are one of the unlucky few who are allergic to their venom. Otherwise, you’ve got six hours, minimum.

MJ Lejer

Votes: 593

A rattlesnake’s venom is hemotoxic, which means it affects your blood, your circulatory system, so it can damage tissue and cause hemorrhage which is always dangerous. The breakdown of tissue can continue over a couple or three days, and without any medical help and depending on how and where you were bit, you could be dead in about 3 days.

Scott Whipple

Votes: 1687

It’s a function of several factors: what part of your body gets bitten, how much venom is injected, how rapidly your own system circulates the venom (e.g. if you are able to stay still vs. walking and having your vascular system circulate the venom around your body more rapidly), and whether your body has an adverse/allergic to the venom. For maximum human lethality, a rattlesnake bite directly into the heart would kill a person quickly, within minutes. A bite directly into the nervous system (e.g. spinal column) would paralyze a person quickly and lead to a death almost as quickly. These are extremely unlikely places to get bitten. It’s more common to become paralyzed, unable to move, and suffer a slower actual death. That is how rattlesnake venom is designed to work on rodents – venom is injected, rodent wanders several feet away before collapsing, then dies, snake follows and eats the paralyzed/dead victim.

In real life, the fastest human death from a single rattlesnake bite that I’ve seen documented was about two hours. Most bites are NOT fatal, even if not treated, but in any case it’s not an experience that anyone should want.

Swetha Anil

Votes: 4118

Most deaths occur between 6 and 48 hours after the bite. If antivenom treatment is given within two hours of the bite, the probability of recovery is greater than 99%.

Steve Horton

Votes: 6122

How close can you get to a rattlesnake?

Heck, you can stand on one. Of course he’ll bite you if you do. You probably want to know how close you can get safely. I’ve been around a lot of rattlers and have yet to meet a really aggressive one. Water moccasins are a different matter. Personally, I’m comfortable getting to within four feet of a rattler, which is about how close I need to get to lop his head off with a machete if he’s in my yard. If he’s just minding his own business out in the country, I leave him alone, and have no need to get that close.

Rachel Neumeier

Votes: 3713

Will rattlesnakes ever use their rattles to entice their prey or only when feeling threatened?

To . . . entice their prey?

To say essentially, “Come toward me so I can bite you”?

I’m having a hard time seeing any animal responding to the sound of a warning by coming toward the snake.

So, no. Rattlesnakes use their rattles to make other animals go away, not to try to get them to come closer.

Michelle Rewerts

Votes: 3132

I came home to neighbors shouting for a shovel one day. I went over to see what the shouting was about. They had a California kingsnake cornered against the building. He was very scared, in the “ S” pose, ready to strike, and he was shaking his tail against some debris on the ground.

I have seen this behavior on film, in animal shows. I cannot remember the other species who do the tail shake, or of it is limited to snakes of the Americas, home of rattlesnakes. Perhaps the tail shake is universal, and rattlesnakes specialized it among their type.

The neighbors were sure the California kingsnake was venomous, based on the tail shake. I sent my BF to get a pillowcase, as I stood guard over the snake. The neighbors would not listen when I explained he was harmless, so I felt it was best to relocate him.This was my first time catching a good sized, scared, wild snake. I have seen snake catching on film, it looked pretty straightforward. Drop the pillowcase on the snake, grab the snake behind the head, invert the pillowcase around the snake, thus bagging it.

I approached slowly with the pillowcase, eliciting a strike and furious tail shaking. The neighbors renewed their shouts for a shovel. I let the snake regroup, and swiftly dropped the pillowcase. Success! But now I couldn’t see the snake, as it was completely covered. My mind was frantically working on “ what now?” . I grabbed in the general vicinity of the head, got the middle of the body, got a hand behind the head before I got bit, and had BF help me invert the pillowcase . Not as straightforward as on TV, but hey- it was my first time.

The rest was easy. I called a local herpetologist for a recommendation for a release site, well away from people, as kingsnakes are popular collection targets. I drove the snake to his new home, opened the pillowcase, and he was free, shakey tail and all.

Jim Miller

Votes: 751

Are diamondback rattlesnakes aggressive?

Not unless they are shedding and can’t see (called in the blind) and then it’s strictly defensive. I’ve stood with a huge one between my feet while running a chainsaw throwing chips all over it and all it did was rattle. Loudly. Never offered to strike. The only time i ever had a rattler strike at me was when I was standing on a 4 ft. timber rattler. What saved me was it was lying under some small limbs that restricted his head or I would have been nailed. I think my record for the Reverse Cursing High and Long Jump while carrying 40 lbs of instruments still stands after 35 years.

George S. Hawkins IV

Votes: 4059

Are Eastern rattlesnakes poisonous?

No. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes are not POISONOUS. I’ve eaten rattlesnake.

They are, however, highly VENOMOUS.

Caro Anderson

Votes: 4295

Too many variables to give any sort of exact answer- & happily, many rattlesnake bites do NOT result in death.

Symptoms will start immediately in terms of increasing pain & swelling, but a great deal depends on what KIND of rattlesnake you’re bitten by, & also, WHERE on your body the bite occurred. No matter the species, all rattlesnake venom contains a mixture of enzymes that basically start the digestive process as well as serving to immobilize the prey, & there are components that speed the venom thru the bloodstream, so there’s not much you can do in the way of first aid to change that- it’s most important to get medical help quickly, & also to try to stay “calm” while doing so. (The more physically active you are, the faster your pulse races & helps the venom spread.)

The old field methods of cutting & trying to suck out the venom will do more harm than good: cutting the skin over the bite will promote infection & make it harder to heal, and if your friend is sucking out the venom & happens to have a sore in their mouth, they too can be envenomated. But either way, most of the venom cannot be stopped. Never try to kill or capture the snake to show what bit you, because all rattlesnake bites are treated with the same antivenin, but FYI, some rattlesnakes have more “hemotoxic” components while others have a higher percentage of “neurotoxic” components. While hemotoxic components cause the most pain, swelling & tissue loss, it’s actually the neurotoxic effects that can kill by affecting your breathing & heart muscles, but there is still no way to predict how long one has to live. For all you know, it might be a dry or mostly dry bite anyway, so try not to panic- that just makes things worse. And trying to kill or capture the snake that bit you just wastes time, & may result in additional bites. So be smart- stay calm & get help immediately.

While most rattlesnake bites are painful & miserable for sure, most are not lethal, especially if you can get to medical help reasonably fast. It does depend though on what kind of rattlesnake bit you, and also, where on your body you’re bitten. Best place is on your feet & lower legs…it’s further from the heart & lungs. Of course, it also depends on whether you’re a healthy individual to start with, because you’ll be at more risk if you’re very young, small, or elderly, or not so healthy to start with- especially if you happen to have a bleeding disorder, for example. Best idea though is to avoid all bites…I kept & worked with a number of rattlesnakes for 20 years with no bites ever.

By the way, rattlesnake venom is basically a more concentrated version of our own saliva, which has similar detrimental effects if injected into a living creature. Neither venom nor having saliva means that creature is “evil”…it’s just how snakes & humans function. Snakes cannot chew their food, so they either evolved with venom to capture their prey, or they must physically subdue it as constrictors do. Rattlesnakes are beautiful & fascinating creatures and they are not “out to get us”- like other snakes, they bite out of fear & self-defense. We are not their intended prey, we just need to give them some space to survive, & see them as the beautiful wild creatures they truly are.

Jagdish Jangra

Votes: 6954

The Eastern Diamondback is world’s largest rattlesnake with a length of 2.4 meters (8 feets) and that’s why their species (including Western Diamondback also) are called Giant Rattlesnakes.

The venom of Eastern Diamondback is so toxic that one dose can kill 10–20 people. There are Hemotoxins in their venom which affects red blood cells and causes tissue damage. Vomiting, weakness, sweating, blurred vision, difficulties in breathing, etc., are the common symptoms after a rattlesnake bite. Their bite is quite painful and sometimes causes death, fortunately their antivenom is available.

These type of rattlesnakes can attack from 3 feet and can inject their fangs upto 1 inch into pray. Eastern Diamondbacks are one of the most aggressive Rattlesnakes In addition, their body pattern helps them to hide perfectly in surroundings. So, it’s usually when people walk over them that they become a victim of their bite. But generally they use their rattle as a warning sign. Another sign is S shape of their body, that makes attack faster. Comments are Welcome!

Charles Barfield

Votes: 4834

How long does rattlesnake venom take to kill you?

Exceedingly few people die of rattlesnake bites. A very young child might, especially if bitten more than once, but even then medical help will most often stave off death.

However, if you are bitten, you might very well wish you could die. It can be quite painful.

Quincy Hansen

Votes: 6617

Are there Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes in Italy?

No. Every species of rattlesnake is native to the Americas, and so there is no species of rattlesnake in Italy or anywhere else in the Old World. The eastern diamondback specifically is native to the American southeast.

Amy Christa Ernano

Votes: 2797

They are on average more aggressive than most other rattlesnake species, and are believed to be responsible for more bites than other species, but “aggressive” is a relative term here.

The western diamondback is deemed “aggressive” mainly because it’s more likely to stand its ground when confronted than to flee, like most snakes will, not because it actively seeks to bite. 99 times out of 100, as with most venomous snake bites, humans get bitten due to their own mistakes or carelessness, not because the snake is an evil monster actively seeking out hapless humans to bite. Venomous snakes, like spiders, don’t want to waste their venom on things they can’t eat, and bites are usually a last resort.

A western diamondback will rattle first, like any other rattler, to alert you to its presence and warn you to stay away. If you don’t heed that warning, and you get bitten, that’s on you, not the snake.

Kevin Savage

Votes: 5259

Get a terrier. Jack Russells are good but any self respecting terrier will do. You will have to get rid of the carcasses but its a much more environmentally friendly method than using poison baits. And if you dont want the long term investment of owning a dog, there might be a professional rat catcher in the yellow pages.

Who’s a good boy then?

Kimberly Gabaldon

Votes: 9838

Are there diamondback rattlesnakes in Australia?

Not unless someone imported them, and if they did, i hope they are keeping them in a very secure enclosure.

Rattlesnakes are endemic to the Americas. Most of Australia’s venomoys snakes beling to the elapid family. Rattlesnakes are pit vipers.

Swetha Anil

Votes: 961

How venomous is a diamondback rattlesnake?

Diamondback venom is a potent hemotoxin that kills red blood cells and causes tissue damage. Bites are extremely painful and can be fatal to humans. However, antivenin is widely available throughout the snake’s range, and bites rarely result in death.

David Kirshner

Votes: 9041

Simple: You don’t provoke it.

Rattlesnakes bite people out of fear, in self defence, as we’re far too large for them to eat. They’ll usually rattle when you get too close and if you ignore that warning they’ll often rear up into a striking pose (as per the photo below). All you need to do is avoid making any sudden movements and then back slowly away. Or you can hold still and wait for the snake to calm down and crawl away, which it’ll usually do once you’ve removed the stimulus for it to get defensive in the first place (which would have been your movement).

Cory Lambert

Votes: 4215

Do diamondback rattlesnakes chase humans?

No. Snakes are shy by nature. No snake will chase a human- it’s incorrect info.

Steven L. Gaudry

Votes: 1762

Caption: Virginia Possum eating a venomous Copperhead in a residential garage.

I don’t know the statistics, but possums have some HELLacious sharp teeth and are used to eating “bones and all” of its prey.

In fact, they are prone to a disease caused by the lack of calcium from bones if not in their diet.

Snake dinner, tastes like tube chicken.

Terri Millard

Votes: 6455

A rattlesnake is born with this:

This is called a button. Each time the snake sheds, a new segment is added to the rattle string. Since they often shed more than once a year, particularly as neonates and juveniles, more than one segment can be added per year.

Segments are often broken off the rattle string through getting stuck during a quick escape or a scuffle. They often wear away due to friction. And interestingly, they are often intentionally broken off. The snake will wedge it between two objects and pull. Laurence Klauber theorized that there is a perfect length for optimum sound, but we still don’t know why they do this. I have a captive Arizona black rattlesnake that pulls his off when there are 2 or 3 segments. I’ve had him for 9 years, and he doesn’t let it get longer than that. Being a captive individual, my theory is fashion statement!

Scott Whipple

Votes: 6089

No human is known with certainty to have died from the bite of a pygmy rattlesnake. The very few cases of death by snakebites that were attributed to pygmy rattlesnakes could have been misidentifications involving young/small rattlesnakes of other species. Because pygmy rattlesnakes are so small (generally less than 24 inches/60 cm in length), they cannot easily inject the quantity of venom necessary to kill an adult human. They are, however, known to be aggressive toward humans, so bites do happen. In theory a pygmy rattlesnake could inject enough venom to kill a child, if left untreated. And a pygmy rattlesnake bite is always painful. Their venom is hemotoxic, but not neurotoxic. This means that a human bitten by a pygmy rattlesnake is likely to suffer tissue damage.

I would like to correct something in Anatoly Suki’s answer to this question. The pygmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius) does have fangs and can inject venom just like any other rattlesnake. And I have no idea what Anatoly is talking about with regard to rice pudding.

True pygmy rattlesnakes are found in the southeastern United States. There is a similarly sized species found in the desert southwest (Crotalus oreganus concolor), most often called the “midget faded rattlesnake” but sometimes incorrectly called a “pygmy rattlesnake.” This is a different species, with more potent venom, but it generally has a gentle disposition.

SK Khanna

Votes: 3867

Rattlesnake Striking Distance:

In most cases, a snake can strike up to a distance between 1/3 to 1/2 of its body length.

For example, if the rattlesnake is 6 feet in length, its strike can likely reach no more than 3 feet. Which means 3 feet in length… & 3 feet high which can be high up till your thighs easily or maybe above depending how tall you are.

Ranges of Rattlesnakes Species:

1 Eastern diamondback rattlesnake : Maximum Length 8 feet = Maximum striking range 4 feet

2 Queretaran dusky rattlesnake: Maximum Length 2 feet = Maximum striking range 1 foot

3 Mexican west coast rattlesnake: Maximum Length 7 feet = Maximum striking range 3.5 feet

4 Santa Catalina Island rattlesnake. Maximum Length 2 feet = Maximum striking range 1 foot

5 Sidewinder Rattlesnake: Maximum Length 2 feet = Maximum striking range 1 foot

6 South American rattlesnake: Maximum Length 6 feet = Maximum striking range 3 feet

7 Baja California rattlesnake : Maximum Length 3 feet = Maximum striking range 1.5 feet

8 Timber rattlesnake : Maximum Length 6 feet = Maximum striking range 3 feet

9 Mexican small-headed rattlesnake : Maximum Length 2 feet = Maximum striking range 1 foot

10 Autlán rattlesnake : Maximum Length 2 feet = Maximum striking range 1 foot

11 Rock rattlesnake: Maximum Length 2 feet = Maximum striking range 1 foot

12 Speckled rattlesnake: Maximum Length 4.5 feet = Maximum striking range 2 feet

13 Black-tailed rattlesnake: Maximum Length 4.5 feet = Maximum striking range 2 feet

14 Northern Pacific rattlesnake: Maximum Length 5 feet = Maximum striking range 2.5 feet

15 Mexican lance-headed rattlesnake: Maximum Length 2 feet = Maximum striking range 1 foot

16 Twin-spotted rattlesnake : Maximum Length 2 feet = Maximum striking range 1 foot

17 Tancitaran dusky rattlesnake: Maximum Length 2 feet = Maximum striking range 1 foot

18 Red diamond rattlesnake: Maximum Length 5 feet = Maximum striking range 2.5 feet

19 Mojave rattlesnake: Maximum Length 4.5 feet = Maximum striking range 2 feet

20 Middle American rattlesnake: Maximum Length 6 feet = Maximum striking range 3 feet

21 long-tailed rattlesnake: Maximum Length 2 feet = Maximum striking range 1 foot

22 Tiger rattlesnake : Maximum Length 3 feet = Maximum striking range 1.5 feet

23 Tortuga Island diamond rattlesnake: Maximum Length 3 feet = Maximum striking range 1.5 feet

24 Totonacan rattlesnak : Maximum Length 5.5 feet = Maximum striking range 2.5 feet

25 Cross-banded mountain rattlesnake: Maximum Length 2 feet = Maximum striking range 1 foot

26 Mexican dusky rattlesnake: Maximum Length 2 feet = Maximum striking range 1 foot

27 Prairie rattlesnake: Maximum Length 5 feet = Maximum striking range 2.5 feet

28 ridge-nosed rattlesnake: Maximum Length 2 feet = Maximum striking range 1 foot

Lori Brewerton

Votes: 4929

That’s a myth. Or you’re thinking of kingsnakes. Bullsnakes actively hunt and eat warm-blooded prey, only occasionally a lizard or another small snake; rattlesnakes eat whatever is small and wanders across their path, which doesn’t include something the size of a bullsnake. While both bullsnakes and rattlesnakes hunt some of the same prey, neither species is in the habit of eating other snakes. Doing so indicates some extraordinary circumstances such as starvation. Because rattlesnakes have no issue with taking cold-blooded prey, bullsnakes don’t put any serious pressure on their food supply or vice-versa. While bullsnakes eat a lot, rattleanakes don’t— eating once every week or two. The snakes have no real quarrel with each other and few predators kill for sport. It’s not a smart practice because hunting/killing risks injury, especially from venomous prey the same size as you. Since a bullsnake isn’t going to eat the rattlesnake and isn’t threatened by it, there is no benefit to killing it. In fact, rattlesnakes and bullsnakes been known to bed down together in the same den.

MJ Lejer

Votes: 4113

What does a diamondback rattlesnake skin feel like?

Cool and scaly, like most snakes. The scales lay quite flat in one direction so if you rub them backwards, it wouldn’t feel as smooth, but some rattlesnakes are quite interesting and pretty to see with their darker diamond patterns alone their skin. But they like to be left alone, so stay away from them, because their bite can be dangerous!

Brian Casady

Votes: 5013

Will a rattlesnake bite kill you without treatment?

That is a big MAYBE! Did the snake inject venom? Where was the bite on the victim? What is the victim’s overall health? What type of rattlesnake was it?

All of these questions have an effect on the potential outcome. No venom, also known as a dry bite, good potential outcome. Infection is a possibility. Venom injected: there is where other factors come into play. Is the victim an adult in good health? Chances are pretty good. Poor health, maybe diabetic or has a heart condition, chances of death are increasing rapidly. Rattlesnake type: here is another issue. Timber rattlesnake, prairie rattles

Caro Anderson

Votes: 7529

How far can a diamondback rattlesnake strike?

Rattlesnakes (& other snakes) can strike a little more than half their body length, and unfortunately, when a snake is coiled up, it’s very hard to tell how long it is, even for those of us who keep snakes- it’s going to be a “best-guess”. The main thing is that you want to “error on the side of caution”- for example, find out what kind of rattlesnakes live in your area- the largest ones are Eastern or Western diamondbacks, but most of the others average 3′–5′ for adults. For the average rattlesnake you’d want to stay at least 3′ away to be safely out of reach, & I probably don’t have to encou

Lawrence White

Votes: 5957

How far can a rattlesnake lunge?

The rule of thumb is a rattlesnake can strike at a distance 2/3 of its body length. So a 6 foot snake can bite from about 4 feet. Watch your step!

David Kirshner

Votes: 559

What makes a rattlesnakes tail rattle?

Rattlesnakes have an enlarged scale at the end of their body with thicker than usual keratin (the hard material that makes up their scales, the outer layer of which they shed). The scale has an odd shape to it, with constrictions (narrow areas) so when the snake sheds its skin the thick layer over this scale doesn’t drop off, but remains loosely attached to the end of the snake. Every time the snake sheds its skin, another one of these loose remnants of hard keratin gets added to the chain that are already stuck on, forming the rattle. When the snake vibrates its tail, these loose, individual

Thomas Fant

Votes: 8749

Is the bite from a baby rattlesnake deadlier than that of an adult rattlesnake? Why or why not?

Edit: If you read my answer, please also read the comment from Tom McDonald. And if you are a herpetologist or work with snakes in some other capacity, please consider weighing in.

Edit addendum: It seems that my answer rested on what I had previously thought were well understood aspects of snake bites, but apparently this is not the case. In a particular study cited by Tom McDonald below, it was demonstrated that though it may be possible for snakes to control the amount of venom they inject in a bite, there are many other confounding factors at play in differential venom delivery, and it can’

Ari Davies

Votes: 3043

What has caused diamondback rattlesnake numbers to become threatened?

The eastern diamondback is not endangered, but because of indiscriminate killing, widespread loss of habitat, and hunting, its numbers are decreasing throughout its range.

It’s on the threatened list but quite honestly I couldn’t give a darn about a poisonous snake.

Yes they do help to control rodents but I can live without them.

K C Jobe

Votes: 4901

What bird kills rattlesnakes?

Hawks, chaparral and a few others regularly eat snakes of any kind.

John Dasef

Votes: 737

What are the odds of surviving a rattlesnake bite?

Original question: What are the odds of surviving a rattlesnake bite?

Very good.

In the U.S. between seven and eight thousand people are bitten by venomous snakes every year, and a good percentage of those bits are from rattlesnakes. The average annual number of deaths from snakebite in the U.S. is five, so the odds are very much in favor of survival.

Even so, a bite from any venomous snake is a medical emergency and should mandate professional medical help as soon as possible.

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