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ONLINE NEWSLETTER
 
DID YOU KNOW…

Rattlesnakes possess a sophisticated thermal imaging system.


Rattlesnakes are classified as pit vipers. They have a facial pit membrane that can detect a change in temperature as little as one thousandth of one degree Celsius, by sensing  infrared thermal radiation. They use this ability to detect warm-blooded prey. It also comes in handy when hunting on the darkest of nights. When you combine this ability with the snake’s visual and olfactory senses, you can see why rattlesnakes are considered highly capable predators.

Recent research shows that the pit organs are also used to help snakes locate warm or cool areas. Snakes are cold blooded, and being able to quickly identify warmer or cooler areas to rest helps them regulate their internal temperatures. Scientists also believe that the pit organs are used to quickly identify and avoid warm-blooded predators (like us).

Source: Department of Ecology and Organismal Biology, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana.


Did you miss the last issue of Island Naturalist? Click HERE.

THE ISLAND NATURALIST
Issue #12 / All About Snakes


IN THIS ISSUE...


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 Carlos de la Rosa

This image of a Catalina Island rattler depicts the nostril of the snake at the point of the black arrow, and the sensory "pit" organ common to all pit vipers at the point of the red arrow.




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 Hatchling

 

 

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