Snakes - Prairie Rattlesnake
The prairie rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis) is an important predator of prairie dogs and other small rodents. This snake may actually live in prairie dog towns residing in the old burrows of their former prey.
The rattlesnake is not aggressive but like most animals it will defend itself when it feels threatened. The venom of the rattlesnake is a hemotoxin (blood poison). The snake can regulate the amount of venom it injects conserving what it does not need for later use. About one-third of the North American venomous snake bites received by humans are "dry" or venom free.
Listen to the rattlesnake (162k wma file)
Did You Know?
Fire is an important factor in protecting the prairie. Historically, fires burned across the prairie every 4 to 7 years. Fires burn the small trees that would otherwise march across the prairie and turn the grasslands to forest.