Rattlesnake Trivia Quiz

By: John Miller

Rattlesnake Trivia Quiz
Image: Pexels

About This Quiz

Rattlesnakes are the kinds of creatures that inform countless legends and stories of the outdoors. Their unmistakable rattling sparks an immediate instinctive reaction in most animals, and in people, too, warning them to stay away lest the snake attempt to strike. As such, the snakes inspire fear and myths in ways that many other reptiles do not. What do you really know about the life cycle and habits of rattlesnakes?

Rattlers are not fond of cold places. They are – by far – most common in warmer areas where they can bask in the sun and hunt for their prey without fear of freezing to death. As such, they have many adaptations that make them well-suited for environments that would cook other creatures. Where do you think these snakes make their homes?

Both juvenile and adult rattlesnakes are feared for their venomous bites. Only a few people die each year from rattlesnake strikes, and they almost all have one thing in common. Do you know what one thing that is? These animals are anything but the stuff of horror films. They’re mostly docile toward humans and merely want to live in peace, controlling small animal populations that would otherwise cause people more problems. Take a bite out of this rattlesnake quiz now!

They certainly don't have mittens. What's one way rattlesnakes stay warm when the weather cools?
They migrate hundreds of miles south.
They swarm together in a mass.
Cue the nervous laughter. It's not a nightmare -- it's real life, and yes, rattlesnakes often swarm together in dens and bundle themselves together to stay warm. Don't let that thought keep you up at night.
They bathe in warm blood.
They increase venom levels.

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It's definitely not a baby toy. What's the purpose of a rattlesnake's rattle?
To attract food
To find mates
To scare potential predators
Rattlesnakes don't want to be some other animal's lunch. They warn off predators by shaking that little rattle for all it's worth.
To make music

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Rattlesnakes are ectothermic. What does that mean?
They can see only short distances.
They eat only meat.
They are deaf.
They're cold-blooded.
All rattlesnakes -- like most reptiles -- are ectothermic, or cold-blooded. So unlike mammals they can't regulate their body temperatures, meaning they have to seek warmer and cooler places when appropriate to stay alive.

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It's the most vital thing to remember in an emergency. What's the number one thing you should do if you're struck by a rattlesnake?
Kill the snake.
Seek medical treatment.
Hardly anyone ever dies from rattlesnake bites. The vast majority (of that tiny number) never seek medical treatment, a mistake that can sometimes be fatal.
Find shelter.
Post it on Facebook.

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They're creatures of habit. Where will you most often find rattlesnake dens?
Mucky, muddy areas
On south-facing slopes
Rattlesnakes typically like warm, dry places. They tend to select dens on south-facing slopes for maximum sun exposure.
Near old lava fields
Under your bed

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Can you complete this fact about rattlesnakes? They are _____ vipers.
Sneaky
Hammer
Pit
Rattlesnakes are categorized as pit vipers, thanks to the pits located near their eyes. These pits help them sense heat … like the warmth given off by potential prey.
Small

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It's a distinctive trait in these animals. In most cases, what is the shape of a rattlesnake's head?
Triangular
It's a shape that should instinctively warn you. Rattlesnakes have distinctive triangular heads that make them stand out from many similar-looking reptiles.
Round
Rectangular
Rhombus

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What's the number one item on a rattlesnake's dinner menu?
Other snakes
Foxes
Rodents
Rattlesnakes are very good at controlling vermin like mice and rats. They consume a lot of rodents wherever they live.
You

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The warnings are everywhere. In addition to rattling, what other way does a rattlesnake scare off potential predators?
Spouting fire
Spitting blood
Squirting saliva
Hissing
Rattlesnakes really want to scare you away. They rattle and also emit a loud hissing sound from their throats, all the better to keep you at a distance.

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Physics matter. What must a rattlesnake do before it strikes?
It must close its eyes.
It must drop from a tree.
It must coil.
Rattlesnakes can't strike if their bodies are elongated. They must first coil … but this process takes just a brief moment. In the flash of an eye, the snakes can sink their fangs into a target.
It must get a running start.

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What's the first thing that rattlers do after devouring prey?
Burp
Hide
Rattlers are sluggish and slow after slamming down entire rodents, a fact that makes them vulnerable. So they immediately hide after their meals, digesting in peace.
Use toothpicks
Find more prey

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They aren't everywhere. Where would you most likely find a Mojave rattlesnake?
Eastern New York
Central Africa
Central Canada
Southwestern U.S.
The southwestern U.S. is where you'll find the Mojave rattlesnake. It prefers hot, dry environments and is often found in scrubby, sparse brush.

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If you're bitten by a rattlesnake, what's the FIRST indication of a real problem?
Death
Intense pain
There's no doubt about it -- rattlesnake bites hurt. Intense pain is the first sensation you'll feel, and it's a sign that you need to take quick, calm action.
Tremendous bleeding
You immediately lose consciousness.

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They're toothy fellows. What do a rattlesnake's fangs do when they're not being used for an attack?
Folded inside the mouth
When they're inactive, the snake's fangs relax into a folded position in the mouth. But in an instant, those fangs can extend and sink themselves deep into your calf.
Hanging over the lips
Slipped into the hollow tongue
Tucked into sheaths

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How do most rattlesnakes find and kill their prey?
They drop from cliff edges.
They chase and kill.
They strangle and suffocate.
They ambush.
Rattlesnakes lie in wait for their victims. They remain very still and then strike at prey as it passes their position in hiding.

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It's common in some diets. What does rattlesnake meat taste like?
Chocolate
Chicken
Rattlesnake meat is by no means toxic. Many people eat these snakes, and it reportedly tastes a lot like chicken.
Poison
Death

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Stop and think. If you're bitten by a rattlesnake, what should NOT do?
Seek medical treatment.
Be calm.
Suck out the venom.
It some old adventure movies you'll see people tryng to "suck" the venom out of a snake bite. This is pointless exercise and wastes precious time.
Remove constricting jewelry from the area.

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How do rattlesnakes add segments to their rattles?
One per each year of life
Each time they shed their skin
It's a common misconception that these snakes add a section to their rattles for each year of their lives. A new segment appears after each skin-shedding process, which can happen multiple times each year.
One segment for each foot of growth
One for each person they kill

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What's the purpose of the Loreal Pits on the side of a rattlesnake's face?
To increase venom toxicity
All the better to see you with, my dear.
To detect changes in temperature
The Loreal Pits on a snake's face serve a vital function. They detect temperature changes and allow this cold-blooded animal to adjust its behavior accordingly.
To listen to you breathing

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It's no laughing matter. You should treat all rattlesnake bites as if they are what?
Harmless
Aggravating
Mild headaches
Life-threatening
Not all rattlesnake bites contain venom … but you should act as if they do. Treat them as life-threatening and you may well save someone's life.

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About how long can rattlesnakes live?
Roughly 6 years
About 10 years
Perhaps 13 years
As long as 25 years
Rattlesnakes in healthy environments can live for a very long time. Some may live as long as 25 years.

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When are rattlesnakes mostly likely to strike?
Just before a thunderstorm
When threatened
Unlike in that horror movie you saw, rattlesnakes aren't bloodthirsty aggressive monsters. They typically strike only when they feel like they are in danger.
After sunset
When they perceive prey.

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It's just like parts of the human body. What material makes up the rattlesnake's rattle?
Old fangs
Keratin
Keratin is a tough substance that makes up your fingernails. It's the same stuff that's found in the snake's rattle, creating a number of loose segments that make sound when shaken.
Brass
Bone

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A rattlesnake encounters a pond. What's it going to do?
Hover above the waves
Avoid water at all costs
Start swimming
Some species of rattlesnakes are found in mostly dry environments. But they're very capable swimmers, gliding through waters with ease.
Drown

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They are bigger than you. What's the longest recorded rattlesnake?
About 4 feet
About 8 feet
Eastern Diamondbacks are known for reaching a large size. The biggest one on record was more than eight feet long … long enough to wind its way into your worst nightmares.
About 16 feet
About 32 feet

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They are not metabolic sprinters. How often do adult rattlers need to eat?
Once every two weeks
Snakes in general digest their live prey at a slow pace. Rattlers eat about once every two weeks and then go back to sunbathing.
Once per day
Every few hours
Once per month

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The Mojave rattlesnake is renowned for which aspect of its biology?
Very long fangs
Extreme length
Deadly venom
The Mojave rattlesnake has the world's most dangerous rattlesnake venom. Its neurotoxic effects often don't seem too terrible at first … but then cause terrible problems after a few hours.
Intelligence

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What do mother rattlesnakes do as soon as they give birth to their young?
They use them as decoys.
They slither away.
After carrying eggs for three months, female rattlers have had it with the whole motherhood thing. They give birth to live young and then dart off, leaving the babies to fend for themselves.
They eat a few of them.
They guard the young for several weeks.

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In evolutionary terms, they're fairly new. How many rattlesnake species are there?
3
12
29
There are 29 rattlesnake species. In the U.S. they are most common in warmer regions of the South rather than places that experience hard winters.
112

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Look at the cute babies! How are rattlesnake young born?
Eggs
Live young
Rattlesnakes don't need silly eggs. Like people, they have live young, which immediately begin their slithering and and sliding.
Jelly-like sacks
Delievered by storks

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About what percentage of rattlesnake bites contain no venom?
About 2%
About 25%
Not all rattlers want to use their precious venom for defensive strikes. About 25% of bites are "dry," containing little or no venom. But you should treat all bites as if they could potentially kill you.
About 60%
About 90%

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How fast does a rattlesnake rattle its tail?
About 5 times per second
About 60 times per second
Rattlers shake their tails for all they're worth to warn off other creatures. They can shake their tails at a rate of about 60 times per second.
About 600 times per second
No one knows.

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They're just little guys. How dangerous are baby rattlesnakes to humans?
Harmless
A tiny bit dangerous
They demand respect.
Baby rattlesnakes aren't armed with as much venom as their parents. But in the wrong situation they do have enough venom to seriously hurt humans.
Lethal maniacs

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In the U.S. and Canada, about how many people each year are bitten by rattlesnakes?
About 25
About 250
About 7,500
The U.S. and Canada feature a lot of rattlesnakes of various species. Roughly 7,500 people are bitten each year. Very few die.
Close to 1 million

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Keep your eyes peeled. How often do adult rattlesnakes rattle their tails before striking?
About 10% of the time
About 80% of the time
Sometimes
Contrary to popular belief, rattlesnakes don't always use their trademark warning before striking. That means you have to use your eyes as well as your ears when roaming snake territory.
All the time

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