Eco-Activity #53: Venomous or Harmless? A Dangerous Game!

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Venomous or Harmless? A Dangerous Game!

Are eastern milksnakes venomous? No, but they want you to think that they are! You see, eastern milksnakes are masters of disguise. Not only do they look a little like the venomous Massasauga rattlesnake, but they try to act like them too to trick predators into keeping their distance! Ssssssneaky!

When an eastern milksnake gets confronted by a potential predator, they put themselves in a strike position and vibrate their tail, just like a Massasauga rattlesnake would. Even though the eastern milksnake does not have a rattle, it can still make a very convincing rattling noise by striking dried leaves with its vibrating tail. This Massasauga rattlesnake mimicry is usually more than enough to make any potential predator think twice about bothering the eastern milksnake.

Now, the question is, can you tell the difference between an eastern milksnake and a Massasauga rattlesnake? Use the guide to learn how to tell the difference. When you think you know how to tell them apart, test you skills with our picture quiz above. Good luck!

You can help support important research to protect this unique species by purchasing an Eastern Milksnake Wildlife Adoption kit! 

Plushie adoption kits are only $40 and include this super friendly, larger-than-life snake plushie, a certificate and a poster, and when you make your purchase through the Earth Rangers App your child will also earn points to help them level up on their Earth Rangers journey—plus a set of virtual rewards they can show off!

Are Digital Adoption packages more your style? They’re only $10 and an Earth Rangers App exclusive! These include a virtual badge, a virtual animal to accompany your avatar on the home screen in the app, a cool avatar bonus item, and a virtual adoption certificate!

12 COMMENTS

  1. I loved reading this snakes are so cool. Most people don’t like snakes because they bite but I love them

  2. I know that a venomous snake has a triangular head and vertical pupils. Non venomous snakes have a more round head and round pupils.
    Still, it is cool to test this out on images!