‘America’s Snake’ chronicles life and times of iconic timber rattlesnake | Science News


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‘America’s Snake’ chronicles life and times of iconic timber rattlesnake

New book delves into serpent’s biology and conservation threats

12:00pm, May 16, 2016
Crotalus horridus

AMERICAN IDOL The natural history of the timber rattlesnake, an early symbol of the United States, is the subject of a new book. 

America’s Snake
Ted Levin
Univ. of Chicago, $35

Turns out, it is possible to be a lucky snakebite victim. Depending on the circumstances (and the snake’s mood, presumably), a timber rattlesnake may choose to strike its prey with only one fang and to pump out little or no venom when it does so. Far from being mindless, hair-triggered biting machines, timber rattlers don’t always strike — even when stepped on.

In America’s Snake, zoologist and snake enthusiast Ted Levin thoroughly recounts the anatomical marvels of the timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) from head to tail. For instance, the snake — promoted by Benjamin Franklin as a symbol of the nascent

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