Nature School Game Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global citizen science platform
to discover, share and identify wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Nature School For Teachers - Fall 2020 Launch! visit nature school

Great Basin Rattlesnake

Crotalus lutosus


A really pretty black and white phase of this snake, from a den where most are the usual straw or brown coloration typical of this area. It was a large adult, probably male, found about 50 yards from the primary den location.


rocky canyon surrounded by grassland

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


KarenL 6 years ago

Fun fact! Scientists believe rattlesnakes may have evolved their “rattles” to reduce the risk of being stepped on and crushed by bison! The rattle is formed of modified scales that create a series of hollow, interlocked keratin segments that vibrate against each other when special “shaker” muscles in the tail are contracted, producing the characteristic rattling sound. The muscles that cause the rattle to shake fire around 50 times per second!

Rattlesnakes do not seek out humans and will normally flee when approached or give a warning rattle is they are unable to find shelter. Although they are highly venomous, on average less than one person per year in the US dies from a rattlesnake bite – compared with over 50 people who die annually as a result of an allergic reaction to a bee sting.

Rattlesnakes live in a wide variety of habitats but tend to avoid developed areas and wide open spaces where they cannot hide from predators. Mass killings during events like rattlesnake round-ups, deliberate extermination campaigns, and habitat loss all pose severe threats to rattlesnake populations in many areas, and several species including the timber rattlesnake, massasauga, and canebrake rattlesnake are listed as threatened or endangered in many U.S. states.

BryanHughes 6 years ago

Thanks! It was one if the nicest of that species I found last year.

EmilyMarino 6 years ago

Beautiful snake!

Spotted by

Idaho, USA

Spotted on May 20, 2013
Submitted on Jan 20, 2014

Related Spottings

Mojave rattlesnake Black-tailed rattlesnake Timber Rattle Snake Black-tailed Rattlesnake

Nearby Spottings

Gopher Snake Spotting great blue heron and bull frog Unnamed spotting