Massasauga

Even if you have never seen a massasauga rattlesnake you will have a vague image of it by the use of its nickname, swamp rattler.

sistrurus massasauga 03 02 s Massasauga
The Massasauga

The Massasauga is about two to three feet long, and has “saddle” markings on its back that are deep brown, as well as three rows of brown black patches that join with its rather marbled looking gray or black underbelly.
The tail of the Massasauga Rattlesnake is ringed around with dark rings and has at its tip the typical rattle which is gray yellow in color.

A snakes rattle is actually a bony core and epidermal tissue.
Contrary to what most people believe, the number of rattles a snake has is not how old he is but how many times he has shed his skin.

The massasauga is normally found in prairies, along lakes, marshes or rivers or in the river bottom forests.
The Massasauga Rattlesnake breeds in the spring and fall, and bear live young instead of an egg.

massasauga Massasauga

The new snakes will be about as thick as the lead of a pencil and about three inches or less long. They stay inside the nest area, which is usually an abandoned burrow of some other animal, for about five days and will shed their skin.
The massasauga rattlesnake will probably live about fifteen years.

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