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Pronunciation: krot'a-lus

Definition: A genus of rattlesnakes (family Crotalidae) native to North America, having large fangs that are replaced periodically throughout life and a venom that is both neurotoxic and hemolytic. The largest species are the diamondbacks of the southern states (Crotalus adamanteus) and western states (Crotalus atrox); the smallest are the pigmy rattlers (Sistrurus miliarius barbouri, S. miliarius streckeri, and S. miliarius miliarius.

[G. krotalon, a rattle, fr. krotos, a rattling noise]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.