Of all the rattlesnakes found in North America, the eastern diamondback is the king. Not only is it the largest venomous snake found in North America, but it is also one of the most beautiful. In spite of this beauty, one would do well to avoid this venomous reptile at all costs. The bite of the eastern diamondback rattlesnake is considered potentially lethal, and it most certainly can kill a human being if they are in poor health, or the bite is not treated right away.
The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is actually a rather shy and reclusive snake. It has no interest whatsoever in encountering human beings, and if you heed it’s warning you are not likely to get bitten. The eastern diamondback rattlesnake will bite if it is surprised or harassed, and when it does the results can be rather bad for humans.
The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is a pit viper. That means that it has little heat sensing pits on the snout of the snake that act as a sort of infra-red vision. The snake sees warmth which comes in handy when hunting warm blooded mammals. Another common pit viper trait is a triangular shaped head. The eastern diamondback is known to have a large head with a skinny neck, and fits that pit viper profile to a tee.
One of the most telling features about the eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the racoon like features around the eyes and down the side of the head. This is common to most all eastern diamondbacks. The eastern diamondback also has the trademark rattle that one would expect. This is not a good gauge of identification, however. That goes for any rattlesnake. The reason why is because the rattles on a rattlesnake can be missing for any number of reasons. For example, the rattlesnake may have gotten into an altercation and lost it in a fight.
The eastern diamondback is a stout, heavy bodied snake that can grow in excess of eight feet. Extra large eastern diamondbacks can grow up to ten feet, though this is far from common. The average size of a full grown adult is probably around seven feet or so.
The eastern diamondback has hinged fangs that spring forward when the snake strikes. The snake then buries the fangs deep into the snake bite victim, and injects venom through the hollow fangs. The eastern diamondback has large fangs, and extremely large venom glands. This means that it can inject copious amounts of venom into a bite. This is one of the reasons the eastern diamondback rattlesnake is so dangerous.