Snakes get a pretty bad rap for being sly. Sometimes, you only know one’s there if you’ve been bitten! But scientists have actually uncovered evidence that supports this reputation. These researchers were studying rattlesnakes when they realized something horrible. Yep, turns out that the reptiles have a devious trick to bamboozle humans – and it’s definitely something you should know about.
As American as apple pie
After all, you don’t really want to fall victim to a rattlesnake! They can be quite scary, and they’re full of venom. And don’t think you won’t ever meet one. These snakes live all over the Americas, though they’re most commonly found in the north of Mexico and to the southwest of the United States.
The rattle state
You may think that the rattlesnake’s just one species, but that’s not really the case. There are over 24 different varieties of these noisy reptiles. And around half of these can be found in Arizona.
Even if you’re not in Arizona, though, you’ll know the sound of an agitated rattlesnake. And if you hear that noise, you can pretty much take it as a warning. There’s a snake somewhere in the vicinity, and it’s telling you in no uncertain terms to keep your distance. Or, at least, that’s what we used to believe...
It turns out, though, that rattlesnakes are actually living up to their sly reputations when they’re making this noise. Researchers have discovered that this behavior actually serves to dupe humans and other animals into believing they’re upsetting the reptiles. Basically, the snakes are performing an ingenious trick to fox us and keep themselves safe.