This is What’s Actually Inside a Rattlesnake Tail
Thanks to YouTube, we can now unlock some of life’s (and Earth’s) greatest mysteries. Among them are things such as how golf balls are made, the correct pronunciation of Porsche, and fish gutting with chopsticks.
Joining that distinguished and stimulating list of topics is the contents of a rattlesnake tail. Count me in! Admit it – you want to know too. Here to bring out the inner nerd in all of us is the dynamic science-loving duo Dan and his son Lincoln. Their YouTube channel “What’s Inside?” is the biz. Excited yet?
In this video, we’re first taken inside the Phoenix Zoo’s snake division to learn a bit about snakes and their appearance. After watching a few snakes chill out, Lincoln explains that they’ve just bought a rattlesnake tail off of eBay. Well of course they did.
Before diving into the experiment, Dan tells us they’ve learned there are over 36 species of rattlesnakes. To top that off, they’re all venomous. If that doesn’t make you curious, then how about the fact that they can shake their rattles 50 times per second? Who among you can shake your tails that fast? I know you’re trying right now.
Dissecting the tail of one feels like an Indiana Jones adventure, and these two do a great job of setting us up. Lincoln lays the tail on a paper towel, and it sort of resembles a few flat rows of corn on the cob. Watch with your mouth slightly agape as Dan begins to gently slice it open with a box cutter.
That is, until better judgement told him to pause as he’d better put something underneath that thing to protect the table. Resume bringing your face closer to the screen so you don’t miss a thing. You can also resume praying that Dan doesn’t clip one of his fingers with that blade. This video is definitely a white knuckler.
Look. Look away. Look again. What do you think’s in there? Scales? Desiccated flesh? Teeny tiny pebbles? Ooooh, and how does it smell? Come on Dan! We need to know! The sound of it crackling and popping is intriguing, and as Dan and Lincoln put it, gross. Dried cicada shells have nothing on this.
Take a peep at the entire clip to find out exactly what’s inside of a rattlesnake’s tail, and for more fun facts about how they grow. With over 68,000,000 views, you won’t be alone in exploring the inner workings of snake rattles.
In fact, according to Live Science, special muscles in the tails cause vibrations and in turn, the loud rattling noise we hear. It’s also possible for adult rattlesnakes to lose their tails in the wild, so your only warning sound may be that of their hissing. Yikes!
We received a tiny education without having to get our hands dirty, and no longer wonder about the contents of a rattler’s tail. Lincoln and Dan’s fun videos will continue to draw us in with their exciting investigations.
What do you think about this small science project? What other animals are you curious about? Tell us in the comments!