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Rattlesnakes only rattle to guard themselves. The rattle is a warning. It means stay away. When the snakes rattle, their necks make an S shape.

Western diamondback rattlesnakes are the largest desert rattlesnakes. They can grow up to 7 feet (2 m) long. Their scales make a diamond pattern. This helps the snakes blend in with the sand. Their tails have black and white bands. These draw attention to the rattle.

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Making Connections


Rattlesnakes can see body heat. What do you think that would be like?


Have you read about other animals that live in the desert? How are those animals similar to rattlesnakes? How are they different?


Rattlesnakes have fangs with venom. Can you think of another animal that has venom?

Teacher Resources

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