11 Difference Between Bull Snake and Rattlesnake with Pictures

What is the difference between bull snake and Rattlesnake?

Bullsnake and Rattlesnakes belong to the class Reptilia. Bullsnake is about the same size as rattlesnakes and has similar markings. This is why many have confused the two. Bullsnakes can make the same impression as rattlesnakes when interfered with. They share the same habitat and may even hibernate together.

The main difference between a bull snake and a rattlesnake is that a bull snake is a non-venomous snake while Rattlesnake is a venomous snake.

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Comparison Table (Bullsnake vs Rattlesnake)

Characteristics Bullsnake Rattlesnake
Venom They are non-venomous snakes. They are venomous snakes.
Tails They keep their tails close to the ground and do not have rattles. They raise their tails when rattling.
Heads They have narrow heads and relatively thick necks. They have large triangular heads that narrow dramatically at the neck.
Eyes The pupils are round. The pupils are vertical slits.
Markings The markings are darker and they turn squarish at the end of the tail. The markings are lighter and they have rattles at the end of the snake.
Activity They are diurnal; active during the day. They are nocturnal; active during the night.
What they feed on They majorly feed on warm-blooded animals. They feed on both warm-blooded and cold-blooded animals.
Digestive system They have an inefficient digestive system as they smaller prey but more of them. They have an efficient digestive system.
How they attack the prey They are active foragers, moving frequently. They ambush their prey.
Reproduction They lay eggs then cover them in a hole where they hatch. The eggs are fertilized internally and then they give birth to the offspring.
How they kill their prey They constrict their prey. They inject venom into their prey’s body.
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What Is a Bull Snake?

Difference Between Bull Snake and Rattlesnake

Bullsnake is a non-venomous snake. It has a narrow head and a relatively thick neck. Their pupils are round in shape. They have darker markings that turn squarish when you get closer to their tail. They mimic rattlesnakes in their behavior hence can easily be confused with the rattlesnakes.

They eat more than rattlesnakes. They are constantly foraging in order for them to get what they can eat. This makes them be diurnal animals as they need to look for their prey constantly. When they get hold of their prey, they constrict them to death before they feed on them.

They breed annually during the summer season. They lay several eggs, then dig a hole where they cover the eggs with soil. The eggs hatch during summer.

What Is a Rattlesnake?

Difference Between Bull Snake and Rattlesnake

Rattlesnakes are venomous snakes. They have triangular heads that narrow dramatically at the neck. When rattling, they raise their tails. The markings on the rattlesnake’s body are lighter as compared to the bull snake and have rattles at the end of their tails.

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They are carnivores and feed on entire meat. They have a variable diet that includes both cod and warm-blooded animals. They focus on one species at a time depending on the availability of the species. They bite then inject venom into their prey’s body which will eventually die before it feeds on it wholly.

They give birth to young ones after their eggs have been internally fertilized. The females carry them around basking in the sun for warmth before they give birth. They are nocturnal animals hence they are active during the night.

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Main Differences between Bull Snake and Rattlesnakes

  1. Bull snakes do not have rattles towards the end of their tails, unlike the rattlesnakes.
  2. Bull snakes have a narrow head with a thick neck while rattlesnakes have a triangular head that narrows dramatically at the neck.
  3. Bull snakes are non-venomous snakes while rattlesnakes are venomous snakes.
  4. Bull snakes reproduce by laying eggs while rattlesnakes reproduce by the females giving birth to young ones.
  5. Bull snakes majorly feed on warm-blooded animals while rattlesnakes feed on both warm and cold-blooded animals.
  6. Bull snakes are active during the day while rattlesnakes are active during the night.
  7. Bullsnake constricts their prey while rattlesnakes inject venom in their prey’s body.
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Similarities between Bull Snake and Rattlesnake

  1. They both belong to the same class.
  2. They are both carnivores.
  3. Both have markings on their bodies.
  4. They are similar in body size.
  5. They share the same habitats.

In Conclusion

Bullsnake and rattlesnakes belong to the class Reptilia. Bullsnake normally makes impressions like those of rattlesnake. They may make the rattling sound using their mouth or moving some dry leaves around their tail. The main feature that makes a bullsnake different from a rattlesnake is the presence and absence of venom.

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