The Western Diamondback snake is a very dangerous snake; it is a poisonous snake found in western Texas through New Mexico, Arizona and into southern California. The diamondback is a pit viper and venomous. A pit viper is a snake that senses body temperature, and a venomous snake is a snake that can eject venom. They live 15-20 years in captivity and 10-15 years in the wild. Because the diamondback can be lethal, it is important to know what it looks like.
A diamondback snake has a diamond shaped pattern on its back that is black, white, and gray. It is 3 to 5 feet long and weighs about 10 pounds. Diamondbacks have a rattle at the end of their tail; the rattle is made up of hollow segments. The rattle is composed of keratin, a protein found in human hair and fingernails. When threatened, the diamondback uses its rattle as its last warning.
Diamondback snakes eat numerous things. They eat chipmunks, prairie dogs, gophers, squirrels, rabbits, mice, and birds within reach. It kills its prey by injecting venom into the animal; the venom destroys red blood cells which makes it fatal. It usually eats one animal every two or three weeks; the snake swallows its prey whole.
The diamondback has many predators, but these predators do not always eat them. Horses, cows, and deer see the snake as a threat and try to stomp on the snake. Some animals do look to eat the snake, like eagles, kingsnakes, and foxes. Humans will also deliberately kill diamondbacks because they think the snake is bad.
Even though many people are scared, diamondbacks do not try to kill humans. Diamondbacks just defend themselves.
Make sure you come with anti-venom when you go on a walk were snakes are located. It might just save your life. These snakes are dangerous but if you have anti-venom you will survive the bite.
While diamondbacks are dangerous snakes, they are an important species in the food chain. These venomous, pit vipers are decreasing in numbers because of human activity; humans should stop building where the snake lives in order to protect its habitat. Because their bites can be fatal, humans should be careful to leave the snake alone. Most bites occur when people try to capture or kill the snake. As a deadly snake, it is important for people to respect the snake.