Rattlesnakes are the most highly evolved serpents in the world, possessing long, hinged fangs, heat-sensitive loreal pits, and that amazing cautionary appendage, the rattle. These snakes are true Americans, found only in the New Worid, and hold a unique place in the USA's history and culture. The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) is the largest member of the genus. On August 11, 1995, in Boone, North Carolina, a symposium was held on the biology and conservation of the Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) and the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake at the 38th annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR). Papers on the biology of the Timber Rattlesnake have been appearing for the last 20 years. However, the SSAR symposium marked the first time that substantive material had been presented on its relative, the Eastern Diamondback, much to the astonishment of many naturalists. This publication, then, provides an overview of our present knowledge of the natural history and biology of the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake.
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