Guide to the Tennessee Mountains
By Vernon and Cathy Summerlin
Although the bite of a copperhead is painful, it is rarely lethal. Copperheads'
dens are usually among rocks, where they hibernate from late October until
April. In summer they may migrate as far as 0.4 mile to lower elevations. Copperheads
kill their prey by injecting them with venom through their fangs that rotate
about 90 degrees from the roof of their mouth. Copperheads shed these hypodermic
injectors about once a month. Several new fangs are lined up behind the functioning
ones as replacements. Their venom is about six times weaker than a rattlesnake's,
but copperheads bite more people.
Published (print): 1999, Published (Web): January 2003,