The Cottonmouth and Rattlesnake Showdown: A Closer Look at Their Lethal Weapons

When two venomous snakes come across each other, it’s a battle for survival, and only one will come out victorious.

In a recent video, a rattlesnake was seen wandering aimlessly into the path of a hungry cottonmouth. Both are known for their venomous bites, and it’s not uncommon for them to prey on other snakes occasionally. So, the outcome could have gone either way. However, in this instance, the cottonmouth was quicker, delivering a paralyzing venomous bite with deadly accuracy.

Cottonmouth snakes, also known as water moccasins, are semiaquatic and can grow up to 5 feet long. They have a distinctive triangular head and thick, muscular body, and can be found throughout the southeastern United States near swamps, lakes, streams, and other water sources.

In comparison, the rattlesnake in the video is significantly smaller than its opponent, but some species can grow up to 8 feet long. Rattlesnakes are often preyed upon by kingsnakes, but death by cottonmouth is not unheard of either.

Both rattlesnakes and cottonmouths are pit vipers and have snake heat-sensing pits between their eyes and nostrils, which allow them to detect subtle temperature differences and track their prey.

Once the rattlesnake was paralyzed, the cottonmouth proceeded to devour it whole. Eating another snake can be a challenge, especially if it’s the same size or bigger than their own body length. However, cottonmouths accomplish this by using their esophageal muscles to fold their prey into waves.

This particular cottonmouth seemed to have no trouble swallowing the rattlesnake whole. The video was filmed in the Everglades, just another day in Florida!


Scroll to Top