Great Plains Rat Snake

 

This snake doesn't like having its picture taken!!!

I could not find the scientific name for my animal, but I did find other information about my animal. My animal's geographical range is from southwest Illinois to southwest Colorado, and from eastern New Mexico - south through Texas. So it mostly lives in the Midwestern U. S. Its habitat is underneath stones, in rock crevices, caves, etc., in warm weather.

Its classroom habitat is in a 10 gallon glass aquarium with a rock and a water bowl. The water bowl has to have a thick heavy bottom and is kept3/4 the way full, so the snake won't tip it over. The cage should be kept clean and have enough bedding so the snake can have a soft place to move around on and burrow into. The food it eats in the classroom is small mice.

In the wild it still eats mice, but it also eats other small warm-blooded animals like small birds. There are animals that eat the snake. They are the hawk, eagle, and other large animals. Get this-humans also eat snakes, but not as often as an eagle.

Rat snakes can live for a long while. I didn't really find its life span, but some snakes live up to 20 to 25 years. The rat snake lives alone most of its life. The mating of this reptile is still unknown, but it lays 4 to over a dozen eggs. It takes up to two months for the eggs to hatch.

It's amazing how this reptile eats. First it has to find the scent of an animal, track down that animal and eat it. When it spots its prey, it coils its body up a little, then shoots out like a spring. After it grabs its prey, it wraps its body around the victim. After the animal is dead, the snake opens its big mouth and starts to eat the dead prey.

If you poke at the snake it will turn around in anger, so don't tease this reptile. When it's on the ground, it moves very smoothly, but when you hold it, it coils around your hands. If you hold a snake, be very careful and support its entire body by holding it with two hands. Don't swing the snake around like a piece of string. Hold it loosely and let it crawl through your hands. In the classroom, keep all reptiles and mammals away from each other.

My snake moves too much!!!

 

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