Skip Navigation

Go
Species Search:
Ask an Expertthreatened and/or endangered

Rattlesnakes

I've heard that eastern diamondback rattlesnakes have live births. Is this true? I've also heard that the babies come out of the snakes mouth. Is this true? And, if the snake is dead can the babies still be born?

Wildlife Expert - Ken Burton

All rattlesnakes are viviparous, meaning they bear live young, rather than oviparous (egg laying). So, the first part is true. The second most assuredly is not. No animal gives birth through its mouth. All snakes give birth or lay eggs through their cloaca, an opening at the base of the tail, which is also where they excrete waste products. The same is true of fish, amphibians, and birds. If a pregnant rattler dies and the young are nearly ready to be born, they can be removed surgically with success, but a dead animal cannot give birth on its own.

Related to this Question
species:

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
Crotalus adamanteus

    
New Search
 

 

 

2007 eNature.com