Whenever you go into the natural territory of any venomous snake species you need to take precautions. Bites can be very nasty, requiring medical attention, or worse. Usually, though, we get warning that we are getting too close, helping avoid a situation where we, or the snake gets hurt.
The copperhead snake, which is found throughout the Eastern United States, is likely to freeze if startled in the hope it will go unnoticed. While this is often an effective technique because of its superb camouflage it can result in people getting too close, which is the main cause of bites by venomous snakes in their habitat. They do vibrate their tail when threatened but often only once they have already been discovered. The vibrating does little to alert others that they are there, until it is too late.
The snake is recognisable by its copper coloured head and brown body, along with its triangular head that is typical of all vipers. There are currently 5 known subspecies of the copperhead. As with all venomous snakes, the copperhead is to be respected and has quite a reputation among people that live around its habitat. Treat them with respect, though, and no harm should come to either of you.
Copperhead Snake Fact #10: Not Fatal
Copperheads are venomous snakes, and they do account for many snake bites in the United States every year. Despite this, however, they are unlikely to kill, and have been behind very few fatalities. The reason for this is that their venom is just not potent enough to be able to kill an animal as large as a human. They tend to take small prey, and their venom has evolved to be able to take what they need.
This does not mean that they should not be respected, though, as their venom still has the potential to do a great deal of damage. Their venom works by breaking down tissue and if not treated urgently, it can lead to irreparable damage. In some cases, it may be necessary to have extremities or even limbs amputated. The very young and the very old or weak are also at a greater risk.
As with any snake, it is best to play it safe and keep your distance whenever possible.
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