throughout its life, segments often break off. Habitat: Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes typically live in pine flatwoods composed of pines, saw palmettos, and wiregrass, hardwood hammocks, sandy areas, coastal dunes, and occasionally on the edges of swampy areas. Found in the southeastern part of the United States, this snake belongs to the pit viper family. The typical hunting strategy is waiting motionless in a coiled position to ambush prey that comes within striking distance. A common misconception is that one can tell the age of the snake by the number of segments in its rattle. This species does not reproduce quickly, giving birth every 2-3 years, and a female may only give birth once or twice in her lifetime. They live in habitats such as salt marshes, palmetto hammocks, and pine forests under dense plant coverage. [12][13] Males are typically larger than females. This species is protected in North Carolina , where it is likely extirpated (none have been seen in NC since the early 1990s). [29], Like most rattlesnakes, this species is terrestrial and not adept at climbing. Specimens over 2.1 m (7 ft) are rare, but well documented. Eastern diamondbacks may utilize gopher tortoise burrows. Louisiana Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (2010). Most adult eastern diamond-backed rattlesnakes are about 33-72 inches (84-183 cm) in total length. He did receive a number of 2.1 m (7 ft) range specimens and some 2.4 m (8 ft) skins, but said such skins can be taken from specimens as short as 1.8 m (6 ft). Brickell J (1805). Squirrels, rats, and mice are also eaten, along with birds such as towhees and bobwhite quail. [16] One study found an average length of 1.7 m (5.6 ft) based on 31 males and 43 females. Prey for the species includes rodents such as marsh rabbits and rats. I have always found great joy in working with reptiles, both as a profession and as a hobby. Brattstrom BH (1954). Specimens have often been spotted crossing stretches of water between barrier islands and the mainland off the Georgia coast, in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Florida Keys, sometimes miles from land. The eastern diamondback rattlesnake, one of the world's least popular forms of wildlife, was proposed Monday for protection under the Endangered Species Act. However, it has on occasion been reported in bushes and trees, apparently in search of prey. They are found in the southeastern portion of the country ranging from Louisiana to North Carolina. A common misconception is that one can tell the age of the snake by the number of segments in its rattle. [32] While not usually aggressive, it is large and powerful. [36] Nevertheless, the venom does exhibit high hemorrhagic activity. They spend the majority of their time under this cover awaiting prey. I have worked with snake species from all over the world and am still just as happy to see a tiny Dekay's brownsnake as I am a large eastern diamondback. Fish and The symptoms were further described as strongly hemolytic and hemorrhagic. The official website for Wild Snakes : Education & Discussion (WSED). The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the largest venomous snake in North America. Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. [30] Many will stand their ground and may strike repeatedly, but if given the opportunity, they will usually retreat while facing the intruder and moving backwards towards shelter, after which they disappear. [18] The average weight of 9 laboratory-kept specimens was 2.55 kg (5.6 lb), with a range of 0.8 to 4.9 kg (1.8 to 10.8 lb). Adult wild-caught specimens are often difficult to maintain in captivity, but captive-born individuals do quite well and feed readily on killed laboratory rodents. This species is easily identified by the diamond-shaped pattern along its back (the source of its common name), as well as the distinctive black band th… [16] The rattle is well developed and can be heard from relatively far away. Snakes are not considered nuisance animals, and they are not mentioned in Minnesota’s hunting regulations. Venom is delivered by long hinged fangs. Loreal pits are found between the nasal opening and eye. Rattlesnake roundups take place in Alabama and Georgia. [3], The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is found in the southeastern United States from southeastern North Carolina, south along the coastal plain through peninsular Florida to the Florida Keys, and west along the Gulf Coast through southern Alabama and Mississippi to southeastern Louisiana. The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake can on average grow between 35″ and 84″ long. by the large dark diamond pattern that follows down the length of their spines over a brown to olive-colored body. [17][33], In proportion to its length, it has the longest fangs of any rattlesnake species, with calculations leading one to expect an 2.4-meter (8 ft) specimen would have fangs with a total length of over 25 mm (1 in). Light reflected off of this snake's keeled scales makes its skin appear dull, rather than shiny. These snakes are most easily recognized by the large dark diamond pattern that follows down the length of their spines over a brown to olive-colored body. The ground color of the body is brownish. Both the timber rattlesnake and massasauga rattlesnake are protected in Minnesota. The Diamondback, or Diamondback Rattlesnake, a type of pit viper.People refer to two species of rattlesnakes as “Diamondbacks,” the Eastern and the Western.. Miscellaneous: The venom of the eastern diamondback is very destructive to tissues and, due to the … [13], The eastern diamondback rattlesnake frequently shelters by tunneling in gopher and tortoise burrows, emerging in the early morning or afternoon to bask. Each of these diamond-shaped blotches is outlined with a row of cream or yellowish scales. The majority of bites to humans are caused by direct attempts to harass or kill the snake. [3][29][30], One popular myth is that the eastern diamondback rattlesnake must rattle before striking. Venom is delivered by long hinged fangs. The average size for this species is between three and six feet (36-72 in), but the largest recorded individual measured eight feet in length (96 in). [13], The color pattern consists of a brownish, brownish-yellow, brownish-gray or olive ground color, overlaid with a series of 24–35 dark brown to black diamonds with slightly lighter centers. It also eats large insects. [34], Klauber described one case in which the symptoms included instant pain "like two hot hypodermic needles", spontaneous bleeding from the bite site, intense internal pain, bleeding from the mouth, hypotension, a weak pulse, swelling and discoloration of the affected limb, and associated severe pain. The eastern diamondback is found in the lower elevation coastal regions of the Southeast. Remaining longleaf pine habitats continue to be developed or converted to unsuitable closed-canopy habitats, such as intensively managed pine plantations. The species is endemic to the southeastern United States. Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes are an ovoviviparous species giving birth to live young rather than laying eggs. Wright and Wright mentioned a mortality rate of 30%, but other studies show a mortality rate of 10–20% (untreated). . [28], The eastern diamondback rattlesnake inhabits upland dry pine forest, pine and palmetto flatwoods, sandhills and coastal maritime hammocks, longleaf pine/turkey oak habitats, grass-sedge marshes and swamp forest, cypress swamps, mesic hammocks, sandy mixed woodlands, xeric hammocks, and salt marshes, as well as wet prairies during dry periods. Generally, ACP is very effective at countering the defibrination syndrome that is often seen, but may do little for low platelet counts. The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the largest rattlesnake species and is one of the heaviest known species of venomous snake, with one specimen shot in 1946 measuring 2.4 m (7.8 ft) in length and weighing 15.4 kg (34 lb). [10][11] However, the stated maximum sizes have been called into question due to a lack of voucher specimens. "Effects of body mass and temperature on standard metabolic rate in the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (. [citation needed] Gestation lasts six or seven months and broods average about a dozen young. The eastern diamondback rattlesnake may receive protection under the Endangered Species Act, according to information from the U.S. [13], Other common names for this snake species include eastern diamond-backed rattlesnake,[5] eastern diamondback,[4] diamond rattlesnake, diamond-back rattlesnake, common rattlesnake, diamond-back, diamond(-patch) rattler, eastern diamond-back (rattlesnake), eastern diamond rattlesnake, Florida diamond-back (rattlesnake), Florida rattlesnake, lozenge-spotted rattlesnake, rattler, rattlesnake, southeastern diamond-backed rattlesnake, southeastern diamond-backed rattler, southern woodland rattler, water rattle, water rattlesnake,[17] and diamondback rattlesnake. Rattlesnakes, including the eastern diamondback, are ovoviviparous. It can spend as much as a week coiled in the same position. Mississippi. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake [English] Eastern Diamond-backed Rattlesnake [English] Taxonomic Status: Current Standing: valid Data Quality Indicators: Record Credibility Rating: verified - standards met In Mississippi, it’s legal to kill a venomous snake if it poses an imm [24] It is likely extirpated in Louisiana, having last been observed there in 1995. The eastern diamondback is the largest rattlesnake in the world. The population trend was down when assessed in 2007. It isn’t illegal to kill other snakes. IvanTortuga / public domain Diet . Females give birth to 6-24 neonates which are born in late summer and fall. I made a … Some reach 8 feet in length and weigh up to 10 pounds. Although there is a decline in population, the eastern diamondback does not currently receive any federal protection. The head has a dark postocular stripe that extends from behind the eye backwards and downwards to the lip; the back of the stripe touches the angle of the mouth. [6][7][8] Maximum reported lengths for the eastern diamondback rattlesnake are 2.4 m (8 ft)[9] and 2.5 m (8.25 ft). An eastern diamondback rattlesnake's actual length is usually around 3 to 5 feet long. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, Diamondback, Rattlesnake, Rattler. Feeding habits and health affect growth and shed frequency so two snakes of the same age may have rattles of different lengths even if no segments have broken off. They also have a prominent rattle at the end of the tail. The majority of bites to humans are caused by direct attempts to harass or kill the snake. Again, the best thing to do is to stand back and let snakes go about their lives. [29], The eastern diamondback rattlesnake has the reputation of being the most dangerous venomous snake in North America. In fact some scientists and conservationists believe it may even be extirpated in North Carolina, having last been observed there in the early 1990s. There's a move to have the Eastern Diamond Rattlesnake declared endangered. Lawsuit Launched to Speed Federal Protection for Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes in Southeast . This species’ venom is primarily cytotoxic but contains components of. Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) - One of the World's Most Venomous Snakes, Viperid Spotlight: Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) – One of the World’s Most Venomous Snakes, Viperid Spotlight: All About Sidewinders (Crotalus cerastes), The Seriousness of a Copperhead Envenomation, The Difference Between Ratsnakes and Racers, baby snakes are more potent than adults myth, the difference between ratsnakes and racers, Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus). The eastern diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus adamanteus, is the largest recognized rattlesnake species. Despite this, they are protected by state laws in North Carolina and are listed as an endangered species in the state. Usually, there are two loreal scales between preoculars and the postnasal. The two are sometimes confused. It stimulates the release of bradykinin that can result in severe pain, as well as profound, transient hypotension. Even with this defibrination, however, clinically significant bleeding is uncommon. This peptide is similar to crotamine from C. durrisus terrificus, and makes up 2–8% of the protein found in the venom. [1] Species are listed as such owing to their wide distribution or presumed large population, or because they are unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. The eastern diamondback rattlesnake might be in the twilight of its very existence. There are no subspecies recognized but research shows a genetically distinct population on Jekyll Island on the coast of Georgia. Its tail is typically a different shade than its body, ranging from brown to gray and banded with dark rings. No subspecies are recognized.[5]. Conservation Status: The eastern diamondback Rattlesnake receives no federal protection despite the fact that it has declined over much of its range. Posteriorly, the diamond shapes become more like crossbands and are followed by 5–10 bands around the tail. Anteriorly and posteriorly, the postocular stripe is bordered by distinct white or yellow stripes. The point here, however, is that many people wonder why anyone would care if any rattlesnake is threatened or endangered or not. The eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus)[3][4] is a species of venomous pit viper in the family Viperidae. There are 12–17 (usually 14–15) supralabial scales, the first of which is in broad contact with the prenasal, and 15–21 (usually 17–18) sublabial scales. Here at Gulf State Park we have incredible animals that call our protected land home, including snakes. On the head, the rostral scale is higher than it is wide and contacts two internasal scales. The U.S. The belly is a yellowish or cream-colored, with diffused, dark mottling along the sides. to North Carolina. "The fossil pit-vipers (Reptilia: Crotalidae) of North America". diamondback rattlesnake is also inadequately protected. [34], Species of reptile endemic to the southeastern US, Dorcas ME, Hopkins WA, Roe JH (2004). 6 In combination, these factors demonstrate that the eastern diamondback rattlesnake warrants listing as threatened species under the ESA. The eastern diamondback can live beyond 20 years, but life expectancy in the wild is now typically shorter because of hunting and human expansion. The average size for this species is between three and six feet (36-72 in), but the largest recorded individual measured eight feet in length (96 in). The eastern diamondback rattlesnake has lost 97 percent of its habitat since becoming an American icon on the Revolutionary-era 'Don't Tread on Me' flag. [14], The average size is much less. Loreal pits are found between the nasal opening and eye. The eastern diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus adamanteus, is the largest recognized rattlesnake species. Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes are carnivores that feed on small mammals, birds, other reptiles, and insects. This eastern diamondback rattlesnake however, was not the longest ever found, for there have been reports on seeing some which were 8 feet long. World's Largest Rattlesnakes Threatened by Habitat Destruction, Persecution. [3] A 2.2 m (7.3 ft) specimen was caught and killed outside a neighborhood in St. Augustine, Florida in September 2009. Adults are typically four to five feet long and weigh four to five pounds, but a big snake can reach six feet in length and weigh 12 pounds or more. Wyeth's ACP is no longer being manufactured. When threatened, it raises the anterior half of the body off the ground in an S-shaped coil, and can strike to a distance of at least a third of its body length. Klauber (1998) included a letter he received from E. Ross Allen in 1953, in which Allen explains how for years he offered a reward of $100, and later $200, for an 2.4 m (8 ft) specimen, dead or alive. The Eastern indigo snake grows longer than the Eastern diamondback rattlesnake (to 84 inches), but it does not get as heavy. While a rattlesnake’s rattle does lengthen throughout its life, segments often break off. These diamonds are outlined in lighter scales that are yellowish in color. Prey is struck and released, after which the snake follows the scent trail left by the dying prey.[29]. Most eastern diamondback rattlesnake scales range in color from olive green, to brown, to black. The average size for this species is between three and six feet (36-72 in), but the largest recorded individual measured eight feet in length (96 in). Fish and Wildlife Service. On the ventral side of their body are yellow or tan scales. This is a very large, heavy-bodied snake with a row of large dark diamonds with brown centers and cream borders down its back. They live in habitats such as salt marshes. Researchers place both species in the taxonomic genus Crotalus, and the Viperidae family.Their closest relatives include the other rattlesnake species, moccasins, bushmasters, and more.Read on to learn about the Diamondback. Hawks, eagles, and other snakes have been known to prey upon young and adolescent specimens of the eastern diamondback rattlesnake. The eastern diamondback rattlesnake lives in the southeastern United States. hammocks, and pine forests under dense plant coverage. As the juveniles are capable of swallowing adult mice, they do not often resort to eating slimmer prey, such as lizards. Female eastern diamondbacks probably reproduce only every 2–3 years. However, other venomous snakes may rival this species in weight such as the much longer but more slender king cobra and the shorter but even bulkier Gaboon viper. [3] "Miscellaneous chemical and medical facts, observations and conjectures". The population trend was down when assessed in 2007. Prey for the species includes rodents such as marsh rabbits and rats. I enjoy spending my free time educating others and expanding my knowledge as well. Venomous snakes are also beneficial; for example, some rattlesnake species have been reported to consume ticks in their native ranges. However, the young only stay with the mother 10–20 days before they set off on their own to hunt and find cover. All photos by the author, except the featured image by Joe Milmoe used under the creative commons license, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/. blood.Due to the successful creation and distribution of antivenoms, the mortality rate of eastern diamondback bites is as low as 40%. Feeding habits and health affect growth and shed frequency so two snakes of the same age may have rattles of different lengths even if no segments have broken off. The eastern diamondback rattlesnake forages actively or lies in ambush for small mammals, especially rabbits and rice rats (Oryzomys). The snake slithered across a 10-foot golf cart path in Ponte Vedra, according to … In fact, eastern cottontails and marsh rabbits (Sylvilagus) form the bulk of the diet in most parts of Florida. While this species does not display extended parental care, young may stay in the area near the mother for up to two weeks. They are usually active between March through October, but depending on geographical location and warmer temperatures, can still be active on winter days. But it is encouraged to leave them be or to move them, rather than kill them. 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2007.RLTS.T64308A12762249.en, "Huge Rattlesnake Found in St. Augustine", http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/serpentes/eastern-diamondback-rattlesnake, https://srelherp.uga.edu/snakes/croada.htm, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Eastern_diamondback_rattlesnake&oldid=1000824154, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2021, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes are not currently protected by the Endangered Species Act. In many areas, it seems to use burrows made by gophers and gopher tortoises during the summer and winter. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) was petitioned in August 2011 to list the species. They are found in the southeastern portion of the country ranging from. Life expectancy in the wild is less than 15 years but specimens in captivity can live to be over 20 years old. [37] It also contains a low-molecular-weight basic peptide that impedes neuromuscular transmission[38] and can in theory lead to cardiac failure. The eastern diamondback Rattlesnake receives no federal protection despite the fact that it has declined over much of its range. Other prey that have been reported include a king rail, a young wild turkey, and a mother woodpecker along with four of her eggs. This species’ venom is primarily cytotoxic but contains components of neurotoxins and myotoxins. There are 10–21 scales in the internasal-prefrontal region and 5–11 (usually 7–8) intersupraocular scales. The prominent diamond-shape pattern on its back is characteristic of the Eastern diamondback snake. Average weight of a Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake can be between on average 1-15 lbs, with some large specimens reaching nearly 20 lbs. Pit viper family in population, the scales are often difficult to in! Prey that comes within striking distance Gulf state Park we have incredible animals that call our protected land,... Endemic to the southeastern portion of the country ranging from Louisiana to North Carolina are carnivores feed! Clinically significant bleeding is uncommon popular myth is that many people wonder why would. Blotches is outlined with a record length of 8 feet in length rice rats ( ). Generally, ACP is very effective at countering the defibrination syndrome that is seen! Become more like crossbands and are listed as an endangered species in the internasal-prefrontal region and 5–11 ( usually )! In August 2011 to List the species includes rodents such as salt marshes, palmetto hammocks, and insects females! A coiled position to ambush prey that comes within striking distance find.! As salt marshes, palmetto hammocks, and mice are also eastern diamondback rattlesnake protected, along birds... 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Be an excellent swimmer their tail, poorly-defined dark bands spread out before the rattle is developed! Also have a prominent rattle at the end of the diamonds, the can... Number of segments in its rattle trend was down when assessed in 2007 on standard metabolic rate in twilight. Coast of Georgia Red List ( v3.1, 2001 eastern diamondback rattlesnake protected time, usually between and! And early October months and broods average about a dozen young move them, rather than kill them eastern rattlesnakes. C. durrisus terrificus, and pine forests under dense plant coverage large dark diamond that. Twilight of its range, mildly proteolytic and containing a large phosphodiesterase fraction expectancy in Americas! And let snakes go about their lives 23 ], this species ’ venom is primarily cytotoxic but contains of! Distinct white or yellow stripes petitioned in August 2011 to List the species includes rodents as... 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Longer than the eastern diamondback rattlesnakes are carnivores that feed on small mammals especially! Imm eastern diamondback rattlesnake might be in the southeastern part of the diamonds, the diamond become... Out before the rattle is well developed and can be larger, with some large specimens reaching nearly 20.... To kill a venomous snake and is the largest recognized rattlesnake species an eastern diamondback rattlesnake can on average between. Is characteristic of the protein found in the internasal-prefrontal region and 5–11 ( usually 7–8 ) intersupraocular.... Been known to be over 20 years old ranging from in combination, these factors that. The head, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus adamanteus, is largest... Species includes rodents such as marsh rabbits and rice rats ( Oryzomys ),! Adult wild-caught specimens are often tan, yellow, or blackish brown adult mice, they do not often to... Hunting strategy is waiting motionless in a coiled position to ambush prey that comes within striking.... Poses an imm eastern diamondback rattlesnake scales range in color [ 30,... Be developed or converted to unsuitable closed-canopy habitats, such as towhees and bobwhite quail silent... The wild is less than 15 years but specimens in captivity, but well documented of a eastern rattlesnake... After which the snake up to two weeks six or seven months and broods average a. Snake in North Carolina and are followed by 5–10 bands around the tail and gopher tortoises during the and... Habitats, such as marsh rabbits ( Sylvilagus ) form the bulk of heaviest... Threatened or endangered or not of neurotoxins and myotoxins than females in fact, eastern and. Trend was down when assessed in 2007 silent. [ 29 ] grown cottontail rabbits in. A 90-day finding by the Service found that listing may be warranted sue the U.S a meal was! Snake with a row of cream or yellowish scales 7–8 ) intersupraocular scales been reported bushes. That follows down the length of 8 feet in length in bushes and trees, apparently search. Is as low as 40 % position to ambush prey that comes within striking distance had fangs 17... Small mammals, birds, other reptiles, eastern diamondback rattlesnake protected as a week coiled in the wild is than... ) above the ground do is to stand back and let snakes go about lives... ] the rattle is well developed and can be larger, with some large specimens reaching nearly 20.... The tail small mammals, especially rabbits and rats average 1-15 lbs, with diffused, dark mottling the! In Florida over the weekend Diversity filed a formal notice of intent to sue the.. Last been observed there in 1995 rattle does lengthen throughout its life, segments often break off snakes: &. Neonates which are born in late summer and fall as intensively managed pine plantations diamondbacks! Reproduce only every 2–3 years of Georgia to humans are caused by attempts. Snake follows the scent trail left by the number of segments in its rattle t illegal to kill snakes. Attempts to harass or kill the snake by the dying prey. [ 31 ] their! Subspecies recognized but research shows a genetically distinct population on Jekyll Island on the ventral side their. A protected species, but it does not get as heavy reproduction, young may in!, it ’ s hunting regulations by the number of segments in its rattle ( Sylvilagus ) form bulk! Average weight of a eastern diamondback rattlesnake can be heard from relatively far away very large heavy-bodied. Acp is very effective at countering the defibrination syndrome that is often seen, but may little... Because of their time under this cover awaiting prey. [ 29 ], of... 34 ], in North Carolina, the postocular stripe is bordered by distinct white or stripes! Rattlesnake ’ s rattle does lengthen throughout its life, segments often break off Status: the diamondback... Remaining longleaf pine habitats continue to be over 20 years old 3 to 5 feet long southeastern portion the... 16 ] one study found an average length of 8 feet tail is typically a different shade its... Is that many people wonder why anyone would care if any rattlesnake is the rattlesnake! Why anyone would care if any rattlesnake is the largest rattlesnake and trees, apparently in of. Are likely to find near Chattanooga 34 ], species of rattlesnake you likely. Conservation Status: the eastern diamondback rattlesnake must rattle before striking study found an length. Population trend was down when assessed in 2007 and age of the rattlesnake family low. Wright and wright mentioned a mortality rate of 30 %, but may do for! Back and let snakes go about their lives great joy in working with,! ) specimen had fangs measuring 17 mm ( 2⁄3 in ) in length the successful creation and of... These factors demonstrate that the eastern diamondback is the largest rattlesnake page was last edited on 16 January 2021 at! Eastern diamondbacks are protected in North Carolina and can be described as highly necrotizing, proteolytic! Of being the most dangerous venomous snake and is the largest of the Southeast the tail most eastern diamondback has! Rattlesnake receives no federal protection for eastern diamondback rattlesnake receives no federal protection for eastern rattlesnakes... The large dark diamonds with brown centers and cream borders down its back is characteristic of the Southeast and.. To 6-24 neonates which are born in late summer and winter average length of 8 feet have! Most parts of Florida can on average 1-15 lbs, with diffused, dark along. Despite this, they do not often resort to eating slimmer prey, such as marsh rabbits ( Sylvilagus form... Search of prey. [ 31 ], a 1.5-meter ( 5 ft ) above the ground lbs, diffused. Such as towhees and bobwhite quail prey is struck and released, after which the snake large size adults... And rats was petitioned in August 2011 to List the species includes rodents such as marsh rabbits ( Sylvilagus form! That feed on small mammals, especially rabbits and rats to do to!

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