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Crotalus cerastes
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Crotalinae

Crotalus Linnaeus, 1758
Sistrurus Garman, 1883

The rattlesnake is a kind of snake, a reptile. About 50 kinds of rattlesnakes are known. They are a kind of pit viper. People of science call the two big groups of rattlesnakes (each called a genus) either Crotalus or Sistrurus. All of them have a poison bite, but some kinds are a much greater danger than others.

The name rattlesnake is used because they have a special tail with several parts on the end that can make a loud bzzzz sound, or rattle.

Rattlesnakes live in North and South America, especially, but not always, in dry areas. They eat small animals such as birds and rodents.