Here are some facts about the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake:
Life expectancy is more than 20 years but is typically shorter because of hunting and human expansion. Solitary outside of mating season, they are one of the more aggressive rattlesnake species because they rarely back away from confrontation. When threatened they usually coil and rattle to warn aggressors.
This snake is key participant in the food chain and it is an important predator of many small rodents, rabbits, and birds. In turn it is preyed upon by a variety of larger mammals and birds, such as coyotes, foxes, and hawks. It is primarily a nocturnal animal, hunting for its prey on warm summer nights.
Gestation period lasts six or seven months and broods average about a dozen young. The young only stay with the mother for a few hours before they set off on their own to hunt and find recluse, thus the mortality rate is very high. Mating occurs in the spring and the females give birth to as many as 25 young, which may be as long as 12 inches in length. The young are fully capable of delivering a venomous bite from the moment they are born.