Science: Rattlesnakes, A to Z

If anyone wants to know how to milk rattlesnakes, or how they taste French-fried, or whether their rattle is a love call, the place to find the answers is a monstrous (1,500 pp.) book called Rattlesnakes, published last week by Laurence M. Klauber (University of California Press; $17.50). The book covers rattlesnakes from A (Crotalus viridis abyssus) to Z (Crotalus zetazomae).

Milking rattlesnakes of their venom is relatively easy. During his 35 years as consulting curator of reptiles at the San Diego Zoo, Klauber milked 5,171 of them by opening their mouths with a metal claw, hooking their fangs over the edge...

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