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In South Dakota's Black Hills, prairie pattlesnakes are increasingly unable to warn anyone around them of their presence, most likely due to a genetic defect.People may think they will hear the telltale rattling sound before a rattlesnake strikes, but that’s not always the case. Now in South Dakota's Black Hills, Prairie Rattlesnakes are increasingly unable to warn anyone around them. While theories range from random deformities to broken tails from fights with predators, it seems the most likely cause is a genetic defect of the tail muscles responsible for shaking the rattle. Rattlesnakes that do rattle around humans usually end up dead from a gunshot, shovel, or whatever other weapon people may have. In recent years, Terry Phillip, from Reptile Gardens, has noticed more and more rattlesnakes with curled tails. Since they can’t shake their rattle, but can hide themselves well among their surroundings, they survive, reproduce, and multiply the defect.Also, these silent rattlesnakes are usually more aggressive. At surprisingly small lengths of up to 3 feet, Prairie Rattlesnakes are one of most toxic species of snakes in the U.S.; once bitten, the venom can kill a human being in about 2 hours.