Rattlesnakes use the rattles on their tails to warn you if you are too close.
NPS Photo by Sally King
Are you afraid of snakes? It seems that most people are. However, the majority of snakes are not even venomous and would be no more likely to bite you than any other wildlife. Snakes, even the venomous ones, are only likely to strike out if they feel threatened. Some snakes, like rattlesnakes, have a unique way of letting you know if they are feeling a little defensive - they shake the rattles on the ends of their tails. They don't do this just for people but for any creature that may pose a danger. Other snakes take advantage of the rattlesnakes defensive strategy. How? They pretend that they are rattlesnakes by coiling and rattling their tails too.