The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Florida’s Largest Venomous Snake
If you have a fear of snakes, then this article (and video below) might not be your cup of tea. In my youth while serving my country stationed at Fort Hood, in Killeen Texas, I encountered many different types of Venomous snakes, like Copperheads, Cottonmouths and Rattlesnakes. But, the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake is only found in the far southeastern part of the United States (Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida and South Carolina).
Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes average about 5.5 feet in length and the very largest specimens of the species might approach 8 feet, while one was captured in St. Augustine Florida, not all that long ago, measured in at 15ft, (that being an exceptional specimen). Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes are Florida’s largest venomous snake. Its bite can be fatal to humans, but urbanization has decimated the population so much, that this snake is rarely encountered by humans today.
This snake feeds mostly on small mammals, birds and other reptiles, including alligator hatchlings. They kill their prey with a venomous bite.
All rattlesnakes possess a set of fangs with which, they inject large quantities of hemotoxic venom. The venom travels through the bloodstream, destroying victim’s tissue and causing swelling, internal bleeding, and intense pain. This pit viper is primarily active at night, but they bask in the sun during the day.
The rattlesnake will advertise it’s presence with the shaking of it’s rattle, detering many predators. However, rattlesnakes do fall prey to other predators, such as hawks, weasels, king snakes, indigo snakes and many other species, including larger alligators.