Tuesday, August 17, 2010

High Steppin' in Alabama

It's safe to say this Western Diamondback is one Damned Big Snake;



Welldigger sent this a few days ago; It's a picture of the Rattler he an a buddy happened upon while out looking for 'gators. Now, when something is so bad as to scare ya' shitless whilst out lookin' for 'Gators then it's one of Gods creatures been breathin' a mite too long.

Welldigger said it scared him so bad he forgot he was carryin' a shotgun!

Bear in mind the fella holding the snake is 6'3" and the rattler is big around as the man's thigh....

25 comments:

xfrogman5 said...

That is bad ass! What are they going to do with the hide?

Michael Maier said...

Snakes are a very big reason I'm glad NOT to live in the South.

JACIII said...

Haven't heard yet. 

EP said...

Rattle snakes are pretty much harmless unless you surprise them, then they give you plenty of warning ulness you are cutting under-brush with a loud chainsaw so you can't here them, believe me, I know from experience. Women of men in power are much more dangerous that any rattle snake. But you already knew that.

I deon't kill the rattlers here in Texas, I let them be, just like I won't kill an agressive dog, it is their nature, God made them like that, and they don't have a moral compass.

EP said...

This is a guess JACIII, but I think you Tennesseans don't undertand foriegn policy with rattle snakes.

WaterBoy said...

Optical illusion.  Looks bigger than it is because it's closer to the camera in relation to the man.

Some other examples:

WaterBoy said...

BTW...the western diamondback isn't found east of the Mississippi (specifically, into Arkansas).

Just sayin'.

Bill said...

Yup, that photo is of an EASTERN Diamondback, which are much larger and more aggressive than the little pet western ones that EP apparently has experience with.  Eight-foot examples of the Eastern Diamondback are fairly common, they have two-inch fangs, can strike almost their body length, and are fairly deadly -  they can deliver enough venom in one bite to kill six adult humans.  The good news is that the large ones only inject venom about 20% of the time, and usually not a full dose.  But, why risk it?

What's the risk, you ask?  Well, rattlesnake venon, particularly eastern diamondback venon, since it tends to come in large doses, is something you REALLY, REALLY want to avoid.  It's effect is called necrosis, which means that your flesh dies and rots off, quite unpleasant.
As they say;
http://pix.motivatedphotos.com/2009/5/21/633785299587148710-RattlesnakeBite-t.jpg

Wendy said...

It's still a pretty big snake.

Pfft, wear good boots and be aware of your surroundings.

盛灵林 said...

幸福不是一切,人還有責任。............................................................

Bill said...

A few further thoughts on snakebites;
Don't worry about catching the snake, any decent doc can determine the kind of snake by the bite, and there's only two kinds of snakes in the US that are poisonous; pit vipers and coral snakes.  The pit vipers (rattlesnakes, copperheads, moccasins, etc) all take the same kind of anti-venom, just different amounts depending on the species of snake and how much venom was injected.  Coral snakes take a different kind of anti-venom, which is not produced any more, coral snake bites are treated by treating the symptoms, trying to keep the patient alive until the venom wears off, this is because more people were dying from reactions to the anti-venom than were dying because of Coral snake bites.  It's easy to tell the difference between the various snakebites; rattlesnakes have larger, widely spaced fangs, copperheads and moccasins have smaller, somewhat narrowly spaced fangs, and Coral snake bites look like something was chewing on you, there's often no obvious fang marks, it can even be difficult to tell that the skin was broken, very different than a pit viper bite. 

The only treatment in the field is to keep the person still, keep the bitten part lower than the rest of their body, and have rescuers come to them, try to not move the person.  The problem is that the poison is going to be in the muscle (unless you're really unlucky and a fang injected directly into a blood vessel).  So it's important to not use the muscle that was struck, and to not let the heart rate rise.  Using a tourniquet is a last resort, and only somewhat effective, it might be a good idea if you're more than four hours from a hospital, but, as always, if you put on a tourniquet then LEAVE IT ON, never loosen or remove a tourniquet, leave that to the hospital.  A hospital can save the limb even if a tourniquet is on for up to 18 hours in most cases.  Poison suckers don't work, unless it's an extremely small snake with quarter-inch fangs.  The problem is that the fangs on pit vipers are a half-inch to two inches long, so the venom is really deep, and injected into the muscle, you ain't gonna suck it out.  And cutting into the person to get to the venom does more harm than good, since you'd need to make a one inch deep cut all along the capillaries to get a significant part of the venom out.

Bill said...

Oh, I forgot, the first thing to do for a snakebite victim is to remove all jewelry ASAP (rings, bracelets, ankle thingys, watches, etc).  As the venom circulates they start to swell up, swelling is usually localized to the bitten limb, but they may just generally swell up.  You might also have to remove clothing (shoes especially), but that's usually easier to get off than jewelry once the swellng starts.

Professor Hale said...

Also, if the bite victim is a lady, remove her bra.  The swelling can get mighty painful.   

Professor Hale said...

I feel a moral obligation to put down dangerous animals if I have the means and opportunity to do so.  The next person to come across them (small child) may not be so lucky.  I am still waiting on the law to allow me to do that with humans too. 

Bill said...

Heck, I do that for everything, along with some palpitations to check for tenderness... "Excuse me ma'am, you broke a fingernail?  I'll have to remove your shirt and bra to see if there are further complications, often the shock travels up your arm to your shoulder."

WaterBoy said...

"Eight-foot examples of the Eastern Diamondback are fairly common"

The singular record is 8 feet, so I wouldn't consider specimens of this size "common" nowadays:

Today’s eastern diamondbacks are adult at 3½ to 5½ feet in length. In bygone days 6 and 7 footers (the record is 8 feet) were not uncommon.

JACIII said...

And the Cottonmouth doesn't exist east of the Mississppi, but somebody got killed by one at the local swimming lake every other season back home. 200 miles east of the Mississippi.

Res Ipsa said...

I think Waterboy is right, thats an Eastern rattle snake, the markings aren't as distinct as the Western.  How big is that rattle?  Can we get a pic?  I know I've never got a snake even close to that.  Last time I saw one that big that wasn't in the zoo, I was in Honduras.

jay c said...

Cottonmouths were common where I grew up east of the Miss. Of course, that was only 10 miles east...

Bill said...

Maybe it depends how they're measured, I've seen one that had to be eight feet, and folks that I know also claim to have seen eight footers.  According to Wiki (yeah yeah, I know);
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crotalus_adamanteus 
The largest rattlesnake species, the maximum sizes reported are 244 cm (8.01 ft) (Klauber, 1972) and 251.5 cm (8.25 ft) (Ditmars, 1936). ... Specimens over 7 ft (210 cm) are rare, but well documented.

Maybe most people that encounter a eight foot rattlesnake are not in a position to pass along that information, or they look a whole lot bigger than they are.

Nate said...

Don't believe everything ya read waterboy.  We have diamondbacks all around the pond in my neighborhood.  Turns out they don't read wikipedia.

WaterBoy said...

Eastern?  Or western?  I could fully believe the former, and I'll accept a photo of the latter.

Bill said...

Heh, a few years ago I was swimming in a lake in Virginia, someone said they'd heard there were cotton-mouths around there, some smart-ass replied that cotton-mouths were only west of the Mississippi, what we have is water moccasins.  We eventually agreed that it's the same damn snake; called cotton-mouth down south and water moccasin in the north.

Oh, and FYI, according to Virginia Fish and Wildlife:
http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/information/?s=030015 
eastern cottonmouth ... Most known populations occur south of the James River.

Nate said...

You have photo evidence of the latter.  zoom in on this very photo and you'll see the snake has two black stripes coming down from its eyes... apart from size.. these stripes are the primary difference between the two snakes.  easterns only have one broad stripe like a mask almost.  This snake appears to have two.

Spacebunny said...

Makes me SO glad I don't live in the south any more.  We had snakes all over the place (pygmy rattlers, copperheads, water moccasins, etc), gators in the yard and sharks across the street.    Where I live now there is ONE poisonous snake I don't know of anyone who has actually seen one!