Rat Snakes

By Steven Achin and Jacob Beder

History of Rat Snakes

The Rat Snake is most common in or near forested areas, forest edges with old fields, and abandoned buildings. It is most active in the day and can be active year round if the temperature is not too cold. All Rat Snakes are powerful constrictors. Adults and juveniles eat rodents and other small mammals, as well as birds and bird eggs. Juveniles also eat frogs and lizards. The Eastern Rat Snake is an excellent climber and climbs high into trees to hunt for bird eggs or squirrels. There is another species, many people call it the "Chicken Snake" because they can be found in hen houses where they eat eggs or chicks. If cornered or threatened, a Rat Snake will vibrate its tail rapidly. If this is done in an area of loose leaves, it can resemble the sound of a rattlesnake rattle.

Why Rat Snakes part of natural selection

All Rat Snakes have similar diets, are excellent climbers and kill by constriction. When startled they remain motionless and will avoid confrontation whenever possible. Even thought they are non-venomous, they will still bite. Rat Snakes can be found in a variety of different colors, from yellow striped to black to orange to greenish, because they are found all over the Eastern and Midwestern states and live in a variety of weather and terrain. Rat snakes are common in urban areas, but they can also be found in wooded areas, mountains or coastal regions. As a result, rat snakes have had to adapt to their local environments in an effort to avoid detection and hunt more effectively.

What does natural selection mean for Rat Snakes in the future.

Since natural selection is taking place for the Rat Snakes, it means that there will be either more or less of the animals that the snakes eat. It will eat more types of rodence. it will be able to hunt mice and rats.