Coon Tail Rattlesnake Skull measures 2.3 in. Coon Tail Rattlesnake Skull is museum quality polyurethane resin cast. Known as Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

The Coon Tail Rattlesnake, Coontail rattler or C. atrox is the largest of the western rattlesnakes. Due to its distinctive black and white tail bands, it is often nicknamed the “coontail rattler”.

This venomous pit viper frequents a variety of habitats in the arid regions of the southwest, from the plains into the mountains. It is often nocturnal, which allows it to escape the midday heat of the desert.

The Coon Tail Rattlesnake or Western diamondback is considered to be one of our country’s most dangerous snakes, and will aggressively stand its ground and strike when it feels threatened.

When fully aroused, a diamondback may raise its head and a loop of its neck high above the coils, gaining elevation for aiming and striking.

Diamondbacks, like other snakes, do not hibernate in the true sense of the word, but rather employ an activity known as brumation.

This means that the snake’s metabolism, heart rate and breathing all slow down to a near stop, but they are quite awake and aware of their surroundings.

Coon Tail Rattlesnakes will often congregate in large numbers in “dens” to spend the long periods of inactivity of winter, and once temperatures achieve a level of warmth that the snake finds tolerable, usually in early to mid-March.

The males begin leaving the den site in their quest to mate. Females release a pheromone that attracts the males, and many times more than one male will encounter a female that is receptive.

During these encounters, the males will participate in a dramatic “dance” as they entwine their bodies together in a wrestling match style event.

The winner is the one who is able to pin the other to the ground, and mating ensues upon the dominant male’s victory.

Diamondbacks are ovoviviparous, which means they give birth to living young, which number from 4 to 25 are typically born in late summer and early fall.

Other than having a “button” on the end of the tail, the Coon Tail Rattlesnake babies are exact replicas of the adults and are fully capable of fending for themselves, including having fully functional fangs and venom apparatus.