Grand Canyon is home to six species of rattlesnakes. These creatures control rodent populations in the Canyon, helping prevent the spread of disease and the over grazing of fruiting plants. Please observe these venomous predators from a distance.
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The Grand Canyon rattlesnake (C. oreganus abyssus) is a subspecies of the more broadly spread Western rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus). Blending into Grand Canyon's varied rock layers, this venomous pit viper uses its rattle to warn predators off, the tiny muscles firing up to fifty times per second--some of the fastest known to science. Take a "Minute Out In It" to appreciate the power of a zoom lens, since our ranger knew to keep a very safe distance from the hemotoxic venom of this coiled carnivore.
Each of the 6 rattlesnake species in the Grand Canyon has a different color pattern.
Grand Canyon Pink Rattlesnake
Crotalus oreganus abyssus
Great Basin Rattlesnake
Crotalus oreganus lutosus
Crotalus viridis nuntius
Last updated: October 14, 2021