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Photos: How to Identify a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

Celebrated animal

Western diamondback rattlesnake

(Image credit: Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher)

Even though potentially deadly, western diamondback rattlesnakes are fondly displayed and even celebrated in our modern culture. The City of Tucson, AZ. actually built a pedestrian bridge in 2002 in the shape of a western diamondback, shown above, near downtown Tucson to span the busy East Broadway Boulevard. There are diamondback diners, diamondback apartments and diamondback stadiums. Author Joe Hayes wrote a successful children's book in 1993 entitled Soft Child: How Rattlesnake Got Its Fangs. The book follows a gentle, little snake who always worries about being stepped upon as he tries to stay alive in the desert. Soft Child is harassed by other animals until Sky God helps him become a rattlesnake. Even Major League Baseball honored the western diamondback rattlesnakes when the Arizona Diamondback baseball team began playing in 1998.

Western symbol

Western diamondback rattlesnake

(Image credit: City of Buckeye, AZ)

The Great American West has many iconic symbols i.e. dynamic sunsets, magnificent saguaro cacti, historic wild mustangs and vast, vast landscapes to name but a few. And added to that list could also be the western diamondback rattlesnake whose slithering grace, ability to environmentally adapt and deadly potential has impressed and terrorized human cultures for thousands of years.