Mark (mhaithaca) wrote,
Mark
mhaithaca

Rattled

It's funny that Michelle mentioned last night that king snakes can occasionally vibrate their tails, in what I guess is a vestigial remnant of the same talent that rattlesnakes still use to such great effect -- because Charlie did it this morning!

Having gleaned last night that Charlie might need to eat twice a week during the summer, I took out some frozen snake food when I got home to defrost in the refrigerator overnight, and fed her this morning before work. Oddly, she retreated with the first rat into her hide, and then her back half came out (snaked out?) and coiled over the hide.

Since I couldn't see what was going on, after about ten minutes I got curious, and started opening the tank cover with a thought of lifting the hide (which I do all the time) to see if she was having trouble swallowing her rat. Well, she started whapping her tail at an impressive rate, creating quite a buzz as it hit the pine chips and the glass side of the tank. OK, then! I'll stay out.

A few minutes later, she poked her head out, clearly ready for more, so I fed her the other rat. For this one, she stayed outside, and I got a few pictures as she managed to get her mouth around her improbably large morsel. When she finished this one, she resumed flicking her tongue; when she ate her first rat after two mice a few weeks ago, she was definitely done, but I guess she's getting hungrier! I'm really skeptical that she could fit her mouth around a bigger rat, but I also know she's better off eating fewer bigger prey animals than more smaller ones.
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