but I seem to recall reading that the Eastern Diamondback is supposedly the heaviest venomous snake in the world, with some specimens weighing in at over 40 pounds.
A 40 pound rattlesnake would be well over 10 feet long. I read an account where a researcher in the Everglades had an individual E. Diamondback that was almost 8 feet long and weigh about 20 pounds. I would guess that the stories you read were also myths.
You can find different answers about what is the heaviest venomous snake; some say the E. Diamondback and some say the Gaboon Viper. There is an unconfirmed record of an 8 ft E. Diamondback that weighed 34 pounds, probably a captive specimen. Most are going to be around 4 to 6 ft and may get up to 15 to 20 pounds.
As far as a 97 pound rattlesnake, that's very far-fetched. A 21 ft python (captive) was weighed in at 143 pounds (that's not quite 50 pounds more than the 97 pound myth). We're not going to have any snakes native to North America reach that size.
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