“Snakes, I hate snakes.” — Indiana Jones
We feel ya, Indy. Snakes give us the willies, too. As fear-inducing as they are, you should know what kind of creatures you’re dealing with in the great outdoors. That’s especially true in Texas, where you can find both cottonmouths, a.k.a water mocassins, and rattlesnakes.
Cottonmouths are North America’s only venomous water snake, but they also move on land. Occasionally, they cross paths with rattlesnakes. If on such an occasion, one snake feels threatened by the other, they will fight. That was the case in this crazy nature video captured by YouTuber Ojtaro. Let’s just say the rattlesnake doesn’t fare too well.
You probably don’t have any warm and fuzzy feelings for rattlers or cottonmouths after watching that, but there are a few important notes about both snakes that you should keep in mind.
Cottonmouths rarely bite humans. They have a rep for being aggressive, but that’s only when they feel threatened. If you see a cottonmouth, high-tail it in the other direction, because they pack a wallop of a bite that will ruin you. How does one spot a cottonmouth? Young snakes have a broken pattern on their scales, while adults have a solid dark brown color. Their heads are triangular and blocky, and their mouths are wide.
Rattlesnakes, a distant cousin of the cottonmouth, are land snakes. How do you know if it’s a rattlesnake? The rattle is an unmistakable sound that has been burned into our primal brains. They’re one of the most poisonous snakes in North America, and getting bite by one spells hundreds of dollars in medical bills and wounds that look seriously nasty. And the cost of treating a bite will set you back a pretty penny.