Abraham Lincoln once said: "It is better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to open ones' mouth and remove all doubt."
On the other hand:
"What's the sense in being stoopid if you can't prove it?"
Mike Cardwell has convinced me that my little atrox did indeed shed their prebuttons.
Mike has given me permission to quote his words:
"Why do you think the tip of your neonatal sheds are wide open and oval in shape? Why isn't the end all shriveled like the rest of the exuvium - or like that of sheds from older snakes, for that matter? It's held open by the birth button inside! Turn one inside-out... or cut it open. I've attached a photo of two post-partum exuvia from C. mitchelli pyrrhus, with one turned inside-out. I know that scuts, cerastes, and helleri all shed the birth button and I'd bet a lot of money that all rattlesnakes do it the same way. (Be careful there, Mike. You're starting to sound like Roger Repp). I have other photos (somewhere) of back-lit birth buttons on neonates where you can see the first "permanent" button forming inside. The birth button comes off with the post-partum shed!"
Image 1: Mike's image of prebuttons of neonate speckled rattlesnake sheds:
Mike's effort inspired me to go back after my little atrox shed skins. Following his advice, I pulled the prebutton inside out, and took some photos. (The process of pulling the prebutton inside out could be likened to pulling the feces out of a fly's rectum. You sure know how to have fun Mike!)
Image 2 and 3: Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to present the prebutton of Crotalus atrox.
Now that I understand what a prebutton is, I have a newfound lack of respect for it. Talk about much adieu over nothing? A mucous membrane dingleberry? Why..........there ain't enough there to make a jock strap for a flea............
Now, will somebody please go and wake up the clouds?
Best to all, "Wrong Again Roger"