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Name: Amy Rene B.
Status: student
Age: 10
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 11/2/2003

Are rattlesnakes born with their rattles?

If I recall correctly they have a primordial rattle that does not rattle. As the molt a new segment is added until they can actually make a rattle...rattle :-)...Since a rattle snake can shed its skin (molt) as much a 5 times a year ( in some places) the rattle can add as many as 5 segments a year. But the rattle can lose segments there is no accurate way of telling a rattle snakes age from its rattle.


Timber rattlesnakes, the most common species in much of the United States, are born alive, may be about a foot long at birth. "Each is equipped with venom, fangs, and a single tiny ratlle segment called a button." Tyning, A Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles (Stokes Nature Guides).

J. Elliott

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