Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Range
Coastal lowlands ranging from North Carolina to eastern Louisiana and throughout Florida, including the Keys

Habitat
Palmetto flatwoods and dry pinelands of the south

Distinguishing Characteristics
One of the largest North American snakes the eastern diamondback can grow up to 8 feet in length and is quite heavy bodied. The base color ranges from olive to brown or even almost black. They are distinguished by a row of large dark diamonds with brown centers and cream-colored borders down its back.

Dietary Classification
Diet in the Zoo: rats & rabbits

Diet in the Wild: small mammals from mice to rabbits

Life Span
Can live to be 20 years or more

Behavior/Adaptations
Males compete for dominance through combat sessions. They raise the front part of their bodies and entwine each other and try to thrown one another to the ground using their necks and bodies.
If provoked, they will coil and rattle and raise their head in a striking position and if threatened, bite. The eastern diamondback can strike up to two-thirds of its body length.

Status
In trouble due to snake roundups, habitat destruction and general dislike by man