Snakes can definately live without their rattles. A snake’s rattle is made out of hollow segments of keratin, which is what hair and nails are made out of. Some snakes have been found with part of their rattle missing and they do just fine in the wild. It would be similar to a human losing a nail.
Rattle snakes certainly can live without their rattles. They usually use their rattle as a warning to scare away whatever, or whoever is threatening them. They also will usually rattle their tail before striking. Not having a rattle could certainly make their lives more difficult, but since its made of keratin it is not by any means a vital body part. Often times segments or pieces of their rattles get broken or fall off entirely.
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