When we think of Ohio, the first thing that comes to mind is probably cornfields, or maybe football. But there are many other things that make this state so unique. For instance, there are some really dangerous animals in Ohio that you should avoid at all costs.
While Ohio may seem safe on the surface, there are a few animals that you should be aware of, like spiders, snakes, and other reptiles. In this article, we'll be talking about the dangerous animals that inhabit Ohio, and how to avoid them.
Northern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
Copperheads are some of the most dangerous animals in Ohio. While they are similar to other snakes, they have a distinct hourglass pattern on their skin which is very easy to identify. Copperheads are about as thick as your thumb and can grow up to 3 feet long. They have an average life span of 10 years, but many don't make it past their 2nd year.
Copperheads live mainly in the Appalachian Mountains, but they can also be found throughout Ohio. They are nocturnal and solitary creatures that usually spend the day hiding out under rocks. Their favorite eating spots include dense brush piles, abandoned mines, rock ledges
Black Widow Spiders (Latrodectus mactans and L. variolus)
Black widows are one of Ohio's most dangerous animals because they're highly venomous and often found indoors. These spiders have a black coloring with an orange or red hourglass on their abdomen to help distinguish them from other spider species. They can grow up to 3 inches long, and they release venom when threatened. Females will often eat the male after mating in order to secure a food supply for their eggs.
Black widows prefer dark, dry areas like shady porches and garages. They spin webs that are funnel-shaped – an easy way to identify them! Like many other spiders, black widows will release silk so they can easily climb up walls or objects nearby to escape predators
Recluse Spiders ( Loxosceles reclusa and L. rufescens)
Recluse Spiders are one of the more dangerous animals in Ohio because it can inflict a very harmful bite that causes tissue damage, scarring, and even death. They are also commonly known as fiddle-back spiders or brown recluse spiders because their coloring is usually dark brown with violin-shaped markings on their backsides.
Recluse spiders are usually very skittish and will flee at the first sign of danger. However, they can also be found in homes when seeking a mate or food. They typically build their webs near woodpiles and areas where outside elements like rainwater tend to collect.
Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)
Common snapping turtles are one of Ohio's most dangerous animals because they're known to swim and climb underwater. But what makes them so unique is that they have a very strong bite – their jaws can crack through turtle shells! They can grow up to 20 inches in size, but this large reptile only weighs around 20 pounds when fully grown.
Snapping turtles are solitary animals that spend most of their time in the water or on land. They can be found in Ohio's lakes, ponds, and rivers. The larger snapping turtles tend to stay near the bottom of bodies of water, while smaller ones like to bask on logs and rocks
Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus)
The massasauga is an endangered species that can be found throughout Ohio. It's one of the more dangerous animals in Ohio because it only has 3½ hours worth of venom. This rattlesnake will release this venom when threatened, but rarely attacks humans unless provoked.
Massasaugas are shiny black and have a white stripe on their sides. They can grow up to 20 inches long and have 4-6 rattles on their tail. Massasaugas are expert hunters who prefer to eat mice, squirrels, rabbits, insects, and salamanders.
Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus Horridus)
While the timber rattlesnake isn't native to Ohio, it can often be found in places like fishing ponds and lakes. But because they're so well camouflaged, many people don't realize how dangerous they are. This rattlesnake's coloring blends really well with its surroundings, which makes it hard to see.
Timber rattlers are gray with rows of darker gray or black squares along their backs. They also have a little orange "button" on each side of their tail that is used to warn predators they're dangerous. The timber rattlesnake can grow up to 3 feet long, but they weigh around 25 pounds when fully grown.
All of these animals are dangerous in their own way. So remember to keep an eye out for these and other types of wildlife while you're outside this summer! Now it's time for you to let us know in the comments what other dangerous animals you know.
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