Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Crotalus adamanteus

St. Joseph's Peninsula, Florida. September 2002.

After immobilising the baby rattlesnake behind the head with his herpetologist's tongs, Karl handled it with great care and expertise. He estimated it to be no more than a few hours old from the umbilical scar on the underside, which had not yet started to dry, and noted its length to be around a foot. Taking care to remain in firm control of the snake, Karl permitted me to touch it gently, so I stroked one finger along its beautiful diamond pattern.