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July 25, 1959


Author Affiliations

1525 S. Broadway Los Angeles 15.

JAMA. 1959;170(13):1586. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010130090027

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To the Editor:—  In The Journal, May 16, 1959, pages 268 to 272, is a good article by McCreary and Wurzel on poisonous snake bites. On page 270 is a puzzling statement that "All the Crotalidae are front-fanged serpents, generally nocturnal in their habits, and usually capable swimmers."I am in my late 60's, have lived all my life in what may be correctly called rattlesnake country, and have seen many rattlesnakes in their natural habitat. I have heard accounts of persons sleeping on the ground at night and being bitten by rattlesnakes, but I have been unable to obtain verification of any such account. Especially in this western country it has been my observation that the rattlesnake stays in the relatively cool shaded areas during the hotter portion of the day. Especially at altitudes above 2,000 ft., the nights are frequently quite cool and snakes become lethargic. I would

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