Facts about Timber rattlesnake. "Scientific name for Timber rattlesnake is Crotalus Horridus". Timber rattlesnakes also known as branded rattlesnake or canebrake is a type of venomous pit viper found in the eastern parts of the United States. The Timber rattlesnake is said to be one of the most poisonous rattlesnakes in the world. Crotalus Horridus is the only rattlesnake in the northeastern part of the United States.
The adult Timber rattlesnake can grow up to 60 inches 3 to 4 1/2 feet (91 to 137 cm)in length and weigh up to 4.5 kg (10 lbs). The dorsal scale of the Timber rattlesnake total up to between 21 and 26 rows at the central section and are keeled. The males have 158 to 177 ventral scales and 20 to 30 sub caudal scales. The females possess 15 to 26 sub caudal scales and 163 to 183 ventral scales. The Timber rattlesnakes have a dark brown look and black cross brands on top of yellowish brown or gray. The cross bands may be M or V shaped with inconsistent zig-zag edges. Some timber rattlesnakes have a dark appearance due to melanism.
The timber rattlesnakes have their habitats in rough territory with deciduous forests. The males and and the ones that are not pregnant females are found in dense forests where they are able to remain cool. However the pregnant female Timber rattlesnake prefer to spend their times on open spaces with a rocky terrain. They crave for higher temperatures during the pregnancy period. These areas where the pregnant female Timber rattlesnake bask before giving birth are known as the basking knolls.
Their feeding habits do not vary from other rattlesnake by far. Their primary sources of food are small bodied animals including frogs and birds. The Timber rattlesnakes also feed on other snakes such as garter snakes.
Timber rattlesnakes are considered to be among the most dangerous snakes in North America due to their high venom yield. The high venom yield can be attributed to the long period they take while hibernating and their mild temperament. The Timber rattlesnake will not attack unless it is faced with great danger. When faced with grave threat, the rattlesnake feints and rattles before attacking at a fast speed.
Research has shown that the timber rattlesnake’s toxicity varies with the geographical location. There are four types of venom patterns for this particular species: types A, B, A+B and C. The type A venom which is greatly neurotoxic is found in the southern range. This venom can cause myokymia. The type B venom has hemorrhagic and proteolytic characteristics and the rattlesnakes that possess it can be found in the north and south east parts. When timber rattlesnakes containing venom A and B integrate they give rise to snakes with Venom A+B. The C type venom is weak compared to the rest.
According to IUCN Red List, timber rattlesnakes are not endangered in many places. However, the list indicates that the rattlesnakes are endangered in: Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Indiana, New Hampshire, Illinois, Connecticut, Minnesota and Ohio.
The timber rattlesnake is believed to have originated from a number of places which include Southern Quebec and Southern Ontario and have spread to other regions. The snakes can be found in north Florida, the south of New Hampshire, Eastern United States and the south of East Texas.