Rat Snakes

Facts about rat snakes.

Rat snakes are native to the northern hemisphere. These snakes are constrictors that grow to a medium or large size. They prefer to eat rodents and birds. Some species of rat snakes make attractive pets, while other species are aggressive and contain small amonuts of venom. The corn snake is a close relative to the rat snake family and it is usually kept as a pet. Adult rat snakes can reach a length of more than six feet. The appearance of the rat snake varies depending on their geographical region. They may be black, yellow, green, orange or gray. Adult rat snakes like to eat birds and bird eggs while their young eat frogs, lizzards and small rodents.

Rat snakes are not a protected species because they are really common in the Southeast. When these snakes are threatened or frightened they remain motionless. They are known to expel a strong odorous musk. Rat snakes have a wide variety of habitats. These habitatas include swamps, floodplains, forests and hills. In suburban areas they like to live in abandoned buildings and barns. They are excellent climbers and they can even climb brick walls and tree trunks.

The Texas rat snake is also called the chicken snake. This is a species of rat snake that is commonly found in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. These snakes portray aggressive biting and are known to be the meanest snakes alive. These snakes hibernate in the winter and breed in the spring and can lay up to about 20 eggs that hatch in the months of August and September. In the south, rat snakes can be found preying on baby chicks in or near chicken coops. They are after the chicken eggs as well. This rat snake can also be found near oak and pecan trees too. They love the Louisiana bayous and the prairies and hills in Texas. The Texas rat snake has never been bred in captivity due to it’s aggressive nature, but there are other beautiful species that have.

Black rat snakes are the most common and they are completely black except for a white chin. They also freeze and remain motionless when threatened. The Everglades rat snake is common in Florida. They can swim rapidly, even through swampy waters. The yellow rat snake is commonly found along the coasts. Rat snakes are considered useful in controlling pest populations. All rat snakes have a powerful slender body with a wedge-shaped head.

Image via Wikipedia

 

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