Rattlesnakes and Climate Change

No matter how we try to view the changes to our climate with some degree of positivity, there are few benefits or species expected to adapt easily. A recent news article in Phys.org indicates that rattlesnakes in continental United States may enjoy temperatures of 86-89 degrees Fahrenheit – warmer than they usually experience. Rattlesnakes have become experts in thermoregulation.

Where there are extensive periods of warmer temperatures, this would provide a greater opportunity for rattlesnakes to hunt as cold weather restricts activity and even the risk of reduced prey may not be too problematic either. An adult rattlesnake typically needs just 500-600 calories annually and this is easily obtainable. One word of caution is that while rattlesnakes may adapt well to changing climates, increased numbers could have a negative impact ecosystems going forward. Nature is an intricate balance and this would need to be monitored.

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