American copperhead

American copperhead Introduction

The American copperhead is a species of venomous pit viper snakes that is endemic to eastern North America. Copperheads get their name, unsurprisingly, from their bronze-hued heads. These large snakes, found through the southern and eastern United States, have bodies that range from tan to copper to gray, with characteristic hourglass-shaped stripes. The reptiles grow to lengths between two and three feet, although there are records of individuals longer than four feet. Their stout bodies abruptly taper toward their thin tails. Luckily, their venom is not among the most potent, and bites are rarely deadly; children, the elderly, and immunocompromised people are most at risk. The snakes typically feed on mice and other rodents, but will also go after small birds, lizards, and frogs. After biting their prey, the serpents often hold it in their mouth until the venom has done its job. Immature copperheads have unique, yellow-tipped tails, which they wiggle and use as a lure to attract prey. This coloration fades when they reach about three years of age. The snakes, which reach sexual maturity at four years of age, live for around 18 years.

Keywords to learn

Immunocompromised: having an impaired immune system

Immature: not fully developed


About Me

Hey Kids, my name is Adan the American copperhead and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species @

http://www.kids.nationalgeographic.com

 

 

Key Data

  • Order:
    Squamata.
  • Lifespan:
    18 years.
  • Class:
    Reptilia.
  • Scientific Name:
    Agkistrodon contortrix.
  • Mass:
    100 to 340 grams.
  • Length:
    2 to 3 feet long.
  • Region found:
    North America.
  • Population Status:
    Least concern.
  • Current population trend:
    Stable.
  • Diet:
    Carnivorous.
  • Sexual maturity:
    4 years.

 

As you have just learned, the copperhead is one of the most well-known snakes in the world and its probably the most well known venomous snake in North America, behind the rattlesnake.

 

Now that you know more about the American copperhead by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.

 

 

Download questions about the American copperhead here: American copperhead (answers are on this page)

 

Teachers. For more in depth work sheets on snakes. Click on Kidskonnect Worksheets

 

 

American Copperhead Fun Facts for Kids

  • # 1. The copperhead is responsible for more venomous snakebites than any other in the United States, in part because they are widespread and populous.
  • # 2. Copperhead venom is hemolytic, meaning it breaks down blood cells.
  • # 3. The animals are a type of pit viper, and have small indentations in their head, between their eyes and nostrils, which allow them to sense heat.
  • # 4. These snakes commonly breed in the spring, at which time males search out females and become aggressive while competing with one another. In the winter, the animals will den underground, commonly returning to the same spot year after year, and often live there with other snake species, such as rat snakes and rattlesnakes.
  • # 5. Females give birth from a couple to as many as a dozen offspring, which are born in a thin membrane through which they quickly break free. The young are born with fangs and venom and may even feed before hibernating for the winter.

Q&A Corner

# 1.  Name one characteristic of an American copperhead?

 

# 2. What Order does the American copperhead belong to?

 

# 3. What is the population status of the American copperhead?

 

# 4. What is the body does the American copperhead venom attack?

 

# 5. What season do American copperheads breed?

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