IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

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Biology

This snake is nocturnal in the warmer months, though during the rest of the year it is active in the early morning and late afternoon. It feeds on small rodents, birds, and lizards, locating them with a pair of heat sensitive pits that are found between the eyes and nostrils (5). Like other rattlesnakes it injects its prey with a lethal cocktail of chemicals which kills the prey and begins to digest it from the inside (2). The snake then swallows the prey (5). In the wild, the Aruba Island rattlesnake may only eat a few times a year (2). The mating season lasts from September to January, and unlike most snakes, the Aruba Island rattlesnake is viviparous with females giving birth to live young rather than producing eggs (4). Females have small litters of five to nine young. The young are born weighing about 14 grams and are only a few inches long. They have fully functioning venom sacs or glands, and are independent from birth (2). Individuals live for between 15 and 20 years (4).

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Source: ARKive

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