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What the Heck Is This?

If you didn't figure out it's the skin of a snake, go ahead and smack yourself on the forehead now (and be careful if you go out in the woods).

You get two points if you guessed "rattlesnake." Check out the full image, with rattle, below. Meantime, some cool facts:

Most snakes don't see well. And snakes don't have ears in the conventional sense. But most snakes have a keen sense of smell.

To create that chill in your spine a rattlesnake's rattle moves back and forth about 60 times a second. The rattle's segments are formed more than once a year, each time the snake sheds its skin. And they sometimes break off. So it's a myth that you can tell a rattlesnake's age by the number of segments in its rattle.

If you're one who feels that chill just at the thought of snakes, you're not alone. Many people fear snakes, and scientists think humans may have evolved an innate tendency to sense snakes — and spiders — and to learn to fear them, because in fact they can be dangerous.

Did you know rattlesnakes can survive months without food, and they'll even grow while starving?

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Rattlesnakes will sometimes, but not always, let you know before they strike. (Image credit: Blair Bunting Dreamstime.com)
Robert Roy Britt
Rob was a writer and editor at Space.com starting in 1999. He served as managing editor of Live Science at its launch in 2004. He is now Chief Content Officer overseeing media properties for the sites’ parent company, Purch. Prior to joining the company, Rob was an editor at The Star-Ledger in New Jersey, and in 1998 he was founder and editor of the science news website ExploreZone. He has a journalism degree from Humboldt State University in California.