Baby Rattlesnake by Te AtaBaby Rattlesnake longs for a rattle in this retelling of a Native American folktale, refusing to be comforted by the assurances of his parents, his siblings, and the Rattlesnake People that he will grow into one. Finally, fed up with his constant crying, his people give him what he wants, but his irresponsible use of the rattle leads to disaster...
Based upon an oral telling of this tale done by Chickesaw actress and storyteller Te Ata, Lynn Moroneys adaptation is a cautionary tale about the dangers of possessing abilities for which one is not ready. The illustrations by Mira Reisberg are colorful, and rather cartoon-like. A brief but entertaining little book, perfect for young readers with an interest in Native American folklore, although I do wish that the specific origin of the tale had been discussed - should I assume it is Chickesaw, because Ata was?
Jump to navigation. Arguably, snake season is year-round in Arizona, a state known for its rattlers. But baby rattlesnakes are born in July and August, making these two months especially dangerous for hikers, gardeners, children and others at high risk of exposure to rattlesnake bites. So far this year, 74 rattlesnake bites to humans have been reported to the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center. Based at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy , the center serves the entire state of Arizona with the exception of Maricopa County, providing free and confidential poison and medication information to callers around the clock.
This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author's own. Before I was bitten, I had a heated debate with my mechanic about the dangers of baby rattlesnakes versus adult rattlesnakes. Hello, adult snakes are bigger—that would mean bigger venom sacks—with a lot more venom. His argument was that baby snakes can't control their venom output; in other words they don't give dry bites. Every time I spoke to my mechanic, he would be in possession of my car. He would also be in the process of calculating my invoice.
In the reptile world, venom is a powerful defensive tool, but not all species have evolved the metabolism to produce it or the mechanism to deliver it. Those that haven't sometimes mimic the appearance and behavior of their venomous counterparts to take advantage of the benefits of a venom system without actually having one. The bullsnake Pituophis catenifer , sometimes called the gopher snake, is one of these. It's about the same size as a rattlesnake Crotalus spp. When cornered it can do a convincing rattlesnake impression, but its bite, while painful, is harmless.
Rattlesnakes are best known for, and most easily recognized by, their rattle. The rattlesnake babies are born with what is called a pre-button. The baby snake loses this piece when it sheds its skin for the first time. With the shedding a new button appears. With every shedding after that another button, or rattle, will be added. These buttons are made up of a material called Keratin, which is what the scales and your fingernails are made of!
Most snakes lay eggs, but rattlesnakes give birth to live young. These young arrive in the world fully equipped with sight, smell, heat sensors, venom and fangs. The only thing lacking is a set of rattles, which begin to appear within about a week, as soon as they go through their first molt and begin to search for food. From the moment they are born, baby rattlesnakes are capable of hunting and killing prey. They don't immediately set out after food, however, and remain near their birthplace for about one week, or until they shed their first skin. At this same time, the small button-like structure at the tip of a newborn's tail is shed and replaced with a single section of rattle. It is generally believed that mother snakes do not care for their young, but some studies indicate that certain species, such as black-tailed and rock rattlesnakes, remain with and protect their young until the first skin is shed.