It's Complicated! Ontogenetic variation in venom composition of rattlesnakes
Hayes, William K. Hayes
Department of Earth and Biological Sciences
Loma Linda University
Loma Linda, California USA
When young, the small size of rattlesnakes severely constrains the prey they can capture and consume. As they grow and mature, their larger size and greater venom supply expands their range of prey intake. Venom composition often changes with growth (ontogeny), as expected, but when evaluated across and within species, this outcome becomes more complicated than expected.