Another photo of yesterday's rattlesnake. A rattlesnake's venom is primarily used as a safe way to kill rodents and other prey. The snake bites its prey, and then waits for it to die before eating it. How can the rattlesnake eat the prey without being poisoned?
There is a very big difference between venom and poison. Poison is a substance which is toxic when swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed. Venom is a toxic substance that is introduced directly into the lymphatic system, usually by a bite or sting. Rattlesnake venom is not poisonous, so eating the envenomed prey is not harmful to the snake, or to other animals that might find it.