Rattlesnake Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Lisa Hanson

Lisa is a Continuous Improvement Coach for her school district and has taught in elementary school for many years. She has a master's degree in curriculum and instruction.

One of the last things you want to hear is the rattle from a rattlesnake, but this is actually a good thing. It is just warning to stay away, and warning is better than a bite! In this lesson you will learn more about the rattlesnake, its habitat, diet, and young.

Rattlesnake Features

You are hiking along a path when your foot brushes over a pile of leaves. All of a sudden you hear a rattling, hissing sound. You look down and you see a snake that doesn't look too happy to be disturbed. This can be a frightening experience, but really the snake is just trying to warn you. The rattlesnake will only strike as a last resort or when it is hungry. They are very fascinating animals. Rattlesnakes have a triangular shaped head and long body. Their length can be anywhere from 12 inches to eight feet depending on the species. Most of them are 2-4 feet long. In their mouths are two fangs and a fork-shaped tongue. Their coloring is a combination of browns, grays, and black that helps them to be camouflaged with their surroundings. There are 30 species of this coldblooded, scaly reptile.

The coloring of rattlesnakes helps them to be camouflaged with their environment.
Rattlesnake

The most well known part of a rattle snake is its rattle at the end of its body. Their rattles are made out of the same material as our fingernails. Some people think this is the part of their body that strikes, but it is really just a warning sound. The rattles are like hard scales that clink together to warn their predators. Every time they shed their skin another rattle section is added, but they can also be easily broken off.

The rattlesnake rattle is used as protection to warn off predators.
Rattlesnake rattle

Habitat

Rattlesnakes can be found in North, Central, and South America. Most of them are found in the Southwestern part of the United States, with Arizona having the most species. They are very adaptable animals that can live in the grasslands, rocky hills, deserts, and swamps. Rattlesnakes dens can be found in rocky crevices and burrows.

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