Monday, July 4, 2011


The sidewinder is a type of rattlesnake that gets it's name because of the way it moves. Instead of slithering headfirst, in a rather outstretched manner, the sidewinder, Crotalus cerastes, thrusts it's head forward first then it's body in a sideways fashion. It's body is not held straight but rather in an "S" or serpentine shape. They actually push off the ground from two different places on their body. Their tracks look like a series of the letter "J" repeated over and over across the sand. It sounds like a cumbersome way of moving but it is extremely efficient especially in sandy terrain. Make no mistake about it, these snakes are very fast. And since they are rattlesnakes, they are venomous and potentially deadly to humans and other animals.

Sidewinders can be found in desert regions of western Arizona, southern Nevada, Colorado, southeastern California, and in the southwestern regions from Utah southward down into Mexico. These snakes inhabit hot, dry, flat areas. They can be found in rocky regions below the elevation of 5,000 feet as well as in dry, sandy, washes and riverbeds. They are also found in areas where creosote bushes are in abundance.

Sidewinders are another reason one should use caution when in the desert. Be careful where you step, place your hands, and sit your butt! You never know what might be lurking in the shade of the next bush you pass.

Ugly Animals - Sidewinder

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