Sonoran sidewinder

This photograph of a Sonoran sidewinder was taken at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Desert Duets: Sidewinder Activity Web Page

Sonoran sidewinders are just one of 29 species of rattlenakes that live in the Western Hemisphere from Canada to Argentina. They all belong to a group of poisonous (venomous) snakes called "pit vipers."

These animals are feared by many people. As with any poisonous animal, people should be cautious around rattlesnakes but killing them needlessly is not the answer to fear.

There are many myths about rattlesnakes. Learning more about rattlesnakes, their physical features and their place in ecology, may help you develop an appreciation for the importance of rattlesnakes in the food chain and their usefulness in the ecosystem.

Complete this category matrix by yourself or with a small group of classmates. Discuss how to keep people and pets safe around this fascinating creature.

Physical Characteristic or Behavior
Human and Pet Safety Precautions


Predator/Prey Relationships    


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Launched: February 2008
Updated: 28 July 2012