Silent Rattlesnake at Eaton Canyon (Video)

A Patch reader posted the following rattlesnake encounter at Eaton Canyon on YouTube

Patch reader Brent Morgan has three times, in three separate locations, spotted a black rattlesnake at night while walking his dogs.  And the spooky thing, Morgan wrote in an email to Patch, is that none of the snakes has not given the usual rattle shaking warning in any of the three encounters.

Morgan posted the above video to YouTube of his encounter with the snake at Eaton Canyon and described it as a "rumored hybrid species, most likely Pacific and Mojave" with a neurotoxic venorm. 

A 2009 article in Scientific American discusses the Southern Pacific rattlesnake and the neurological symptoms their bites induce.  The article notes that there seems to have been an increase in recent years of bites from that rattlesnake relative to other rattlesnake types in Southern California and also suggests the possibility that the snakes' venom could be the result of interbreeding with Mojave green rattlesnakes.

The Southern Pacific rattlers also are known to have dark coloring as this page in the Aquarium of the Pacific website attests.

p ungaro September 18, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Maybe Survival of the quietest? I am happy to know that you do in fact know what to do around snakes. I was just concerned others may not act with enough caution. A friend of mine was recently in Big Bear walking his dog. After they passed a shrub he heard a flop sound behind him, he turned just in time to see a silent rattler just missing the attempted strike on the dog.
Corinr Hdparmon September 18, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Instead of the condescension and smart-assery p ungaro, try to appreciate the fact that this encounter, admittedly a dangerous one, is helping to raise awareness and is a great step towards unfolding the mystery of this new species. Simply copying and pasting an excerpt from eHow doesn't quite cut it. PS Great article Dan! Hopefully we can learn more about this silent snake so we know how to protect and heal ourselves if it ever does show aggression.
Karen Mateer September 18, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Interesting video and a good reminder that one needs to be aware while hiking in the park. Please note this is one more good reason to follow the park rules and not be on the trail after sunset as a dark "stealth" snake would be hard to see in fading light. Karen Mateer, President Eaton Canyon Nature Center Associates
p ungaro September 18, 2012 at 10:18 PM
"condescension and smart-assery" was not my intent. As for "Simply copying and pasting an excerpt" I was just quoting my source.
Shield September 22, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Nowhere near a snake expert either, but I was around numerous reptiles including rattlesnakes in my 8th grade science class, with one of my favorite teachers, Mr. O'Donnell. This was in 1967 and I doubt a teacher today could do things like he did, such as take field trips with students to capture and milk venom from the rattlers. I'm wondering if the snake didn't feel threatened is why he didn't rattle.


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