The Foraging Behavior of Free-ranging Rattlesnakes ( Crotalus oreganus ) in California Ground Squirrel ( Otospermophilus beecheyi ) Colonies

Breanna J. Putman, Matthew A. Barbour, Rulon W. Clark
  • Herpetologica, March 2016, Herpetologists League
  • DOI: 10.1655/herpetologica-d-15-00045

Rattlesnake hunting behavior

What is it about?

Most of what we know about the hunting behavior of rattlesnakes comes from lab experiments and the few studies of free-ranging snakes have all been conducted on a single species (Crotalus horridus). Using radio telemetry and portable video surveillance equipment, we provide the first detailed analysis of the hunting behavior of free-ranging Northern Pacific rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus).

Why is it important?

Rattlesnakes are important predators, regulating rodent abundances in many ecosystems of North America; however, we know very little about their natural hunting behavior. Studies such as ours help fill this knowledge gap.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Matt Barbour