Fascinating stuff. I had no idea. Thanks!You might have actually come across the very rare Mojave Rattlesnake. See picture below of a young one, similar lighter color (compared to the diamondback). These Mojaves are considered even more poisonous than most other Arizona rattlers (I was an amateur herp when younger, actually caught one of these guys and donated it to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum).
So, that would be quite a find by you! You seem to be uniquely lucky to be spotting these rare reptiles (the G Monster too). Wow!
Though typically smaller than the Western Diamondback, the similar-looking Mojave (sometimes spelled Mohave) Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) is renowned for its uniquely toxic venom. Most North American pit vipers have venom consisting of toxins that effect the blood (hemotoxins), but the Mojave’s venom has predominately neurotoxic components, which effect the nervous system similar to Coral snakes, Cobras and Kraits. Drop for drop, the Mojave is considered to be the most venomous pit viper in the U.S. and (in my experience) it generally has an attitude to match.”
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BTW, the snake was very calm. I assume it was just too cold for him.
These are examples of dumb luck in my case.
BTW, the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum is one of my favorite places!