The eastern diamondback inhabits pine forests, coastal hammocks, salt marshes and swamp forests that are found in its range in the southeastern United States. It often makes a home in the burrows of other animals, including the gopher tortoise.
These snakes are skilled swimmers, and have been seen swimming in the ocean, miles from land.
When feeling threatened, the snake will shake its tail to produce a rattling sound to warn any creature nearby to stay away.
The snake uses its strong venom to subdue its prey, which includes small mammals such as rabbits, squirrels and rats, as well as birds. Larger birds like hawks and eagles are known to prey on younger rattlesnakes.