Organism Physiology: Rattle Snake

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Organism Physiology Paper: Rattle Snake April 16, 2012 The desert biome offers a unique ecosystem where organism must become accustomed to extreme temperatures ranging from the high 120 degrees in the summer to below 30 degrees in the winter. On top of extreme temperatures, organisms who live in this environment must also deal with dryness or low rainfall. Therefore, animals living in this ecosystem must adapt to withstanding very hot and very cold weather as well as surviving on the small food supply available in this environment. A prime example of this ecosystem is the Southwestern Desert. So what types of animals could possibly survive these harsh climate changes? One of the most interesting organisms that exemplify the adaptation…show more content…
In order to withstand cold temperatures, the diamondback rattle snake hibernates during the winter months in underground boroughs previously made by other animals as it does not have the ability to dig on its own (Glaudas, 2009). To protect it self from hot weather, the diamondback becomes nocturnal in the summer months and consumes its meals at night when the temperature becomes cooler. Therefore, it is most active during the spring and fall months when the weather is most ideal. The diamondback rattlesnake has the ability to slow its metabolic rate to reduce the amount of food, water and oxygen it needs to survive (Glaudas, 2009). The diamondback rattlesnake’s skin is also another example of how this organism has adapted to living in the Southwestern desert. The diamondback’s skin is made up of a protein called keratin which is largely found in human hair and fingernails (Busch Gardens, 2002). This barrier helps reduce the amount of water that is evaporated through the snake’s skin. This is extremely important to an animal that lives in an environment as desolate as the Southwestern United…show more content…
The fact that the diamondback is ectothermic or cold blooded, contributes to its diet as this feature means it does not need as much food as warm blooded animals for energy. Another adaptation trait is the diamondback’s behavior during each season. In the winter months it hibernates in underground boroughs, in the summer time, it hides during the day and hunts at night which means it is most active in the spring and fall. The ability to hunt for prey is vital to survival. The diamondback rattlesnake has infrared vision which helps it sense heat from warm-blooded prey as well as sense the danger of other predators. The diamondback shares many organs similar to humans especially when it relates to their digestive system. On the other hand, the diamondback has physical traits that aids in their adaptation to searching for food supply. Since the diamondback is part of the venomous family, it uses this trait to immobilize its prey and helps it conserve energy during the hunting process. Nevertheless, it is important to understand the adaptation patterns of the diamondback rattlesnake as this knowledge can lower the risk of a person coming into contact with this dangerous

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