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July 25, 1959


Author Affiliations

3600 Spruce St. Philadelphia 4.

JAMA. 1959;170(13):1586. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010130090028

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To the Editor:—  Mr. Roger Conant, curator of reptiles at the Philadelphia Zoo, tells us that most of the rattlesnakes in the humid East and Southeast become nocturnal during very hot weather. They remain hidden during the daylight hours and do their prowling and hunting after the ground and air have cooled. The situation is somewhat different in the arid regions where the temperature rises very high during the daylight hours, especially when there are no clouds. In these regions temperatures tend to drop considerably at night, and this is especially true at higher altitudes. Nocturnal temperatures in these areas may be too low to stimulate the snake into activity. However, Mr. Conant tells us that the herpetologists who live in the West say that it is most unusual to find rattlesnakes about at any time of the day except in the spring of the year when they have recently

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