Timber rattlesnakes are large, heavy-bodied snakes characterized by dark crossbands or chevrons on a lighter background. This species usually has a black tail, but there is considerable variation in the overall color of individual snakes. In the mountains, timber rattlers are usually yellow, dark gray, or sometimes almost solid black. The timber rattler is one of the species of snakes typically used by religions that practice snake handling. Most timber rattlers are reluctant to rattle or bite, and instead, rely on their excellent camouflage for protection. The venom of timber rattlers is very toxic, and deaths from their bites have been recorded.
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