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What Are the Most Common Rattlesnake Habitats?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
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  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2016
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More than 30 types of rattlesnakes live in the Americas, and these venomous snakes can be found in a number of types of habitats. Many rattlesnake species prefer warm climates, occupying rocky areas and deserts. Other rattlesnake habitats, however, include prairies, forests, and swamps.

Canada, the United States, and South America are all home to a variety of rattlesnakes. Several of these pit vipers can be found in the midwestern and southwestern areas of the United States. Arizona is home to 13 rattlesnake species and Texas is home to 10 species. They are also quite common in the northern parts of Mexico.

Some of the more common rattlesnake habitats include rocky areas. The speckled rattlesnake, for instance, is often found in rocky areas of southwestern United States. Rocky crevices are often good sources of prey, such as small rodents and lizards. These areas also offer some escape from predators, such as large birds, and the hot summer sun. Rocks also hold heat well, and during chilly nights, these cold-blooded creatures can often be found lying on them.

Deserts also make good rattlesnake habitats for many species. Many of these snake species prefer very warm climates. Three subspecies of sidewinder rattlesnakes, for instance, can be found throughout the Mohave, Sonoran, and Colorado deserts. Sidewinders are typically a nocturnal species, and they typically hide under the sand during the day.

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Other rattlesnake habitats include prairies and other grasslands. Trees are typically very scarce in these types of natural habitats, and the flat land is usually covered with different types of wild grasses.They will often take up residence in abandoned animal burrows. The Mohave rattlesnake is one example of a rattlesnake that lives in a grassland habitat.

Some rattlesnake species can also survive in cold or temperate regions as well. The timber rattlesnake, for example, can be found in the temperate regions of the eastern United States, including New York State. These rattlesnake habitats include rocky areas as well as woodland forests. Timber rattlers are typically more active in deciduous forests during the spring and summer months. They will often travel back to the same den every autumn and winter to hibernate.

Swamps and wetlands are two other, less thought of, rattlesnake habitats. Although most rattlesnakes prefer drier areas, one rattlesnake species can be found in the marshy areas of some parts of the United States. Massasauga rattlesnakes can be found in marshy areas with thick vegetation after they emerge from their dens in the spring. Many of these snakes can also be found in grassy areas and open fields during the summer.

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