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Lowdown, Cold-Blooded … and Beneficial – It’s not easy for everyone to love snakes. But when we help guests understand the role of snakes in the grand scheme of things, people tend to warm to these cold-blooded creatures. Like a lot of life, the things we don’t understand are more threatening than things we do know. The following information is provided to help you evolve snake haters into snake likers and possibly even snake lovers.

First of all, snakes are not slimy. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to handle one in captivity, you were probably surprised at how interesting they feel: Dry, smooth, almost silky, and quite different than almost anything else.

Contrary to popular opinion, snakes aren’t “out to get you.” Remember, it’s dangerous for snakes to get into altercations, and striking is never their first defense option. They typically lash out only as a last result. Most rattlesnake injuries occur when people try to pick up, move or harass one. The best thing to do when you encounter any snake is to give it a wide berth and leave it be. Live and let live, as they say.

Of Catalina’s five confirmed snake species, only the Southern Pacific rattlesnake is poisonous.

Snakes eat rats and mice (and more). While there’s nothing inherently wrong with most rodents, without the service that snakes provide by keeping their populations in check, we’d likely be overrun with the furry little creatures.  That would be no fun at all.

More Catalina Snake Facts

Issue #12 / All About Snakes


A Guide’s Guide to Catalina’s Snakes
More Catalina Snake Facts
Fact or Fiction: Rattlers Don’t Have Eyelids
Did You Know … Rattlers’ System Thermal

Photo by Jack Baldelli

This particular member of Catalina Island's rattlesnake population is staring right at the camera. This image also illustrates how the snake blends into its surroundings.

Missed recent issues?
Issue #1 / All About Bison

Issue #2 / All About Birds

Issue #3 / All About Plants
Issue #4 / All About Eagles
Issue #5 / All About Ravens & Crows
Issue #6 / All About Natives & Invasives  
Issue #7 / All About Rain
Issue #8 / All About Bison Roundup
Issue #9 / All About Foxes
Issue #10 / All About Weeds
Issue #11 / All About Eagle Hatchlings



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