What The Massasauga Rattlesnake Eats
The Massasauga rattlesnakes eat both cold blooded as well as warm blooded prey though they generally prefer the warm blooded ones.
They feed on small animals like frogs, smaller snakes and eat birds and mice. They will also eat lizards and creatures like centipedes. It has been found that the adult Massasauga tend to eat more mice while the younger ones prefer the reptiles.
This is how the Massasauga rattlesnake attacks and eats its prey. They kill with their venom and for their venom to get into the blood of the prey, they need to strike hard and true so this is what they do when they are within striking distance. If you were to take a full grown three-foot snake, it can strike almost a foot’s distance which is around one third of its length. The venom is in a sac above its palate and when it strikes, it flows out through a hollow in its fangs. The Massasauga can not only control the amount of venom released, it can also decide whether or not it wants to release the venom. So it might not do so when it is self dense, only when they want to attack and kill in order to eat. This snake can separately move each one of its fangs and when they are not needed, the fangs can be folded up and tucked away very neatly on the roof of its mouth. The inside of the Massasauga rattlesnake’s mouth is like a well-oiled piece of hi-tech machinery that it can control at will.
What a lot of shortsighted people don’t see is that snakes keep the ecological balance right because they eat the many rodents and reptiles that count for being one too many in this world. If only the Massasauga rattlesnake had not been reduced in numbers, the whole balance of nature in these areas would have been so much better.