Crotalus – Rattlesnakes

Known for producing buzzing rattling sounds with their tails

These flexible serpents can survive and even thrive in a range of settings. They prefer rocky hills, meadows, and scrub brush but are most common in the Southwest’s desert sands.

The rattlesnake has specialized Jacobson’s organs (part of the olfactory system, responsible for chemoreception), which allow it a keener sense of smell to spot prey, and is therefore aware of when to hide.

Many people mistakenly believe snakes smell with their tongues since these organs are situated on the roof of the mouth. All members of this family have the snake’s most recognizable trait: the rattle.