Wild Animals

Top 10 Animals that Scare Us the Most

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If you see a rattle, give it some space and steer clear.
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The rattlesnake comes equipped with a warning sound that's enough to stop anyone dead in his or her tracks. With the potential to grow up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) in length, this snake is the largest venomous snake in the U.S. A member of the pit viper family, it comes equipped with two heat-detecting pits under its nostrils, which help the rattlesnake hunt prey -- even in the dark. These snakes also come complete with a forked tongue that acts as a navigational device and a hinge-like mouth that can open 180 degrees, making it easy to swallow victims whole. There are a variety of rattlesnakes, and they come in different patterns and colors, but you'll know one based on its signature tail that rattles when the snake feels threatened.

Although rattlesnakes are venomous, they also play an important role in our ecosystem: providing natural pest control. Never try to kill a rattlesnake. If you see one while hiking, walk around it and let it be. If you find one in your yard, it's best to leave it alone and call animal control, which will remove it from your property. You should never accept a rattlesnake -- or any venomous snake -- as a pet. If bitten by a rattler, seek medical attention immediately.

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