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Ninja rats Drop-kicks deadly rattlesnake in an epic slow video



In the dark desert near Yuma, Arizona, there will be a showdown. Kangaroo rats are poured through the sand to find a midnight breakfast of creosote seed. Three centimeters away, the poison lies coiled and hungry, expecting the good one to take another step.

The duel is faster than you can blink. The serpent discards; the rat jumps in the air, kicks the snake in the head, and flips. None of the participants received the food they had hoped for.

Such encounters, like this, happen every night in the wilderness and go largely unnoticed by all but the creators. But recently, a team of researchers decided to get an idea of ​​the action by recording the summer value of snake-to-rat attacks using high-speed cameras. The resulting material indicates that the rattlesnake (Croftus genus ) and kangaroo rats (genus Dipodomys ) are surprisingly well-selected as a predator and prey. It also turned out that in the glorious slow movements, kangaroo rats are fluffy little ninjas capable of heavy kicking acrobatics that would lead to Bruce Lee's shame. [Photos: The Poisonous Creatures of the North American Deserts]

"Both rattlesnakes and kangaroos rats are extreme athletes with maximum performance during these interactions," Timothy Haywood, Associate Professor at the University of California, Riverside, and author of two new studies on rat / snakes' , says a statement. "This makes the system [high-speed camera] excellent for countering the factors that could influence the scale in this arms race."

  Kangaroo rat maneuver with rattlesnake.

Kangaroo rat maneuver with rattlesnake. Functional Ecology and Biological Journal of the Society Linnai, Hayam and his colleagues marked a handful of lateral radiators with radio transmitters, then traced the snakes while pursuing the kangaroo in the Yuma Desert. Over the next few months, the team recorded 32 snake-on-rat ambushes. Only about half of these blows ended with snake bites. By analyzing the slow footage, the researchers understood why.

While the sidewalks were incredibly fast, able to jump to absolute silence to reach their prey in less than 100 milliseconds (less than the time required to blink), the rats were even faster. The team found that kangaroos rats could react to incoming snakes in 38 milliseconds, sometimes jumping out of the serpent by 70 milliseconds.

Moreover, during these 70 milliseconds some kangaroos rats are able to get out. complex maneuvers in the air that let the snakes shake. A rat kicked a snake right under the head, sending the predator to fly a few paces. Another rat quickly changes its direction in the air, turning its long tail like a propeller to turn away from the attacking snake. Other kangaroos rats jumped seven to eight times the height of their body, firing away from the dangerous way. "These lightning-fast and powerful maneuvers … tell us about effective escape strategies by high-yielding predators," said Jaume. Perhaps he added that the keen protections of the kangaroo, which included exceptional hearing and explosive powerful hind legs, developed in response to the rapid velocity of predators as side and owl.

You can watch more of Jamie's footage. YouTube.

Originally posted on Live Science .


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