Before I was bitten, I had a heated debate with my mechanic about the dangers of baby rattlesnakes versus adult rattlesnakes.
Hello, adult snakes are bigger—that would mean bigger venom sacks—with a lot more venom. His argument was that baby snakes can’t control their venom output; in other words they don’t give dry bites.
Every time I spoke to my mechanic, he would be in possession of my car. He would also be in the process of calculating my invoice.
So, I bit my tongue more than once during "the baby rattlesnake debate."
One day he pulled some lame information off the Internet that stated baby rattlesnakes were considered more dangerous, because when they bite, they cannot control the amount of venom they release.
He held a printed copy in my face and said, “Here, this copy’s for you.” He placed the copy on top of my invoice and handed it to me. I took it with little emotion and reluctantly said, “Thanks.” I turned and walked away, rolling my eyes.
There are two problems with this “baby snake” argument.
First, I think we all know that people on the Internet don’t always have their facts correct.
Second, it wouldn’t matter if a baby rattlesnake released all the venom it had, it only carries a tiny amount in its tiny little venom sacks in its itsy-bitsy head.
Then, lo and behold, I was bitten—and at the same time I was enlightened on all things rattlesnake. My mechanic never saw me during my recovery and I never said a word. I’m too cheap to argue with him.
But now I’ve got the facts from the experts.
When rattlesnakes are babies, they are too small to eat what adult snakes eat. An adult’s diet consists mainly of mammals like rodents. A baby rattlesnake eats mostly reptiles such as little lizards.
The baby rattler’s venom contains more neurotoxin than the adult’s, because reptiles react differently to adult rattlesnake venom.
Neurotoxins are more dangerous than cytotoxins, which make up most of an adult rattlesnake’s venom.
Therefore, baby rattlesnake venom may be slightly more toxic than adult venom. However, all snake experts agree that being bitten by an adult rattlesnake is far more dangerous than a bite from a baby rattlesnake.
For more information on rattlesnakes and gardening go to Gardeners Anonymous.
Next: What To Do If You Are Bitten By a Rattlesnake