The Western diamond-back rattlesnake is the largest rattlesnake in the West, averaging 30-90 inches in length. When disturbed, the rattlesnake rapidly shakes its tail to send a warning. The rattle segments rub together and produce a distinctive buzzing sound. The Western diamond-backed rattlesnake is a "pit viper", which means it has heat-sensing pits on either side of its head between the eye and nostril to detect prey by its warmth. It is a highly venomous snake with fangs that are connected to venom glands filled with highly-toxic venom that quickly immobilizes prey. Once immobilized, the rattlesnake swallows the prey whole. It eats mainly small mammals such as rabbits, squirrels, mice, and rats, as well as lizards and birds. Help NWF in its efforts to protect and recover the wild places that sustain wildlife. Adopt a diamond-backed rattlesnake today!