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Copperheads in Kentucky Presentation by Chris Kenney.

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1 Copperheads in Kentucky Presentation by Chris Kenney

2 What states can Copperheads be found in?  Copperheads can generally be found in a number of habitats including, but not limited to: Wood slab piles, sawdust piles, rock piles and brush piles created by land clearing, or along utility rights of way

3 What are the distinctive features of a copperhead?  Hourglass crossbands on the body that are narrow across the top, and wide across the side  Coppery brown, to bright orange in color  Average length 30 inches  Unmarked, triangular copper colored head

4 What do they eat?

5 Mating habits…  Mating occurs in the spring and young are born in late summer or early fall  Females give birth only every other year  Lifespan generally lasts about 15 years

6 How do Copperheads kill their food?  Fangs inject prey with hemolytic venom (breaks down red blood cells which subdues prey for easy swallowing)  They are most active April through late October, diurnal in the spring and fall, and nocturnal during the summer

7 How deadly are Copperhead bites?  Copperhead bites rarely lead to fatalities of humans  Bites are usually to protect themselves, or to subdue their prey for a meal  An average of 5 to 15 people die each year of venomous snake bites  Symptoms of a Copperhead bite include: Bleeding Breathing difficulty Low blood pressure Nausea and vomiting Numbness and tingling Pain at site of bite Shock Skin color changes Swelling Thirst Tiredness Tissue damage Weakness Weak pulse

8 Treatment of a snake bite…  Victim should be immobilized, transported to hospital as quickly as possible  Wound cleaned with soap and water  Tourniquet is applied two to four inches upstream of the bite area to cut off any spreading  Antivenum is given through intravenous adminstration

9 Difference between venomous snakes and non venomous? Non-venomous snake 1.Round pupils 2.No sensing pit 3.Head slightly wider than neck 4.Divided anal plate 5.Double row of scales on the underside of the tail Venomous snake 1.Elliptical pupils 2.Sensing pit between eye and nostril 3.Head much wider than neck 4.Single anal plate 5.Single scales on the underside of the tail

10 Myths of Copperheads…  Myth… 1. Copperheads smell like cucumbers… 2. Copperheads travel in pairs… 3. The female Copperhead lays eggs and protects them… 4. A Copperheads venomous bite is lethal to humans…  Fact… 1. True and false, when approached, a Copperhead secretes a smell that could be mistaken as similar to a cucumber, but at rest doesn’t have any smell 2. Copperheads compete for food and sleeping space with other Copperheads 3. Female Copperheads give birth to live babies, they do not lay eggs 4. Very rarely are Copperhead bites deadly to humans if treated properly

11 Images…

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