What Are Some Facts About a Baby Diamondback Rattlesnake?

According to National Geographic, baby diamondback rattlesnakes can sometimes be more dangerous than adults as they exhibit less control over the poison they inject. The younger rattlesnakes are about 1 foot in length, writes Ducksters. They are born in groups of about seven to 15 and are poisonous immediately after birth, but they cannot rattle yet. Any bite by a baby diamondback rattlesnake warrants immediate medical attention.

As Kidzone explains, baby rattlesnakes possess what is called a “pre-button” at birth. When the baby rattlesnake sheds its skin for the first time in its life, a new button, or rattle, develops. With every subsequent shedding, an additional rattle develops. Keratin, the material that makes scales and fingernails, is present in the snake’s buttons. When segments of the rattles hit each other, the snake makes a sound.

Generally, rattlesnakes go back to their mothers’ dens every winter, Ducksters explains. Future generations of rattlesnakes may use the same den for years. The species constitute good swimmers and may not always rattle before biting. As National Geographic states, the diamondback rattlesnake may be aggressive, but it rarely attacks humans. The eastern diamondback variety is the largest poisonous snake in North America.