LIFESPAN– 6-8 Years
CLUTCH SIZE- 12-24
Chicken snake crush their prey to death and swallow it whole. There are some common misconceptions about how constricting works. One is that constrictors crush or break the bones of their prey. Another is that they suffocate it, squeezing the prey’s lungs too tightly to work. “It turns out that the squeezing overwhelms the circulatory system which cause the Blood cannot get to the brain, and the animal dies within seconds due to ischemia.
Chicken snakes often feed on small rodents, such as mice, rats, chipmunks and voles, but they are also known to eat frogs, lizards, birds and bird eggs. Juveniles are more likely to eat the cold-blooded preys, while adults stick almost to the warm-blooded animals. Some species of rat snakes are called chicken snakes because they like to eat chicken eggs.
Chicken snakes are known to both wait for and to attack their prey in a conceal position and to actively forage for it. Sometimes after killing their prey, rat snakes continue hunting. They do this because they are camouflaged in the prey’s scent so other prey is less likely to notice them. They might kill more animals and then return to the original kill. Therefore, rat snakes may eat many animals in a single meal.
Chicken snakes are found throughout North America, from Central America to Southern Canada. Their habitats vary by species. The following is a list of some common rat snake species’ ranges and habitats.
Eastern rat snake/ Black rat snake
Texas rat snake
Yellow rat snake
Red rat snake
Grey rat snake
A genetic experiment that went wrong, when scientists attempts to make a long wingless and legless chicken to drive all fried chicken fast food enterprises to bankruptcy.
A snake doing a Marty Mcfly in “Back to the future” and going crazy if anyone calls it “chicken”.
Chicken snake is the common name given to a number of snake species found in North and Central America, namely in the United States.
People use these common names and sometimes the same species has one name in a state and in another is called something else. Or two completely unrelated species are called the same in different parts of the world, or even in the same country.
Chicken snakes can vary widely in appearance. They can have blotches, stripes, a combination of both, or be single-colored. They can be black, red, brown, yellow, grey or black-and-white colored. They have keeled scales, slender bodies, and wedge-shaped heads.
Their pupils are round, as are most nonvenomous snakes. Some species of rat snakes reach lengths of 10 feet, though 4 to 6 feet long is more common. Different type of snakes have different type of appearance. They are as follows-
Eastern rat snake/ Black rat snake– This is a shiny, primarily black snake. It has a white chin and many animals have white bellies. When their skin is stretched, such as after a meal, a spotted pattern may be visible. Spots might be white, yellow, red or orange. Bellies are sometimes chickened in grey, brown, white or yellow. Juveniles are blotchier and have white or grey bodies.
Texas rat snake– These commonly found snakes often grow more than 6 feet long. Their coloration varies somewhat by location, with snakes in eastern Texas being greyer while those in central Texas being yellower. All Texas rat snakes have reddish orange skin beneath their scales. They tend to have white or grey bellies and grey heads. Texas rat snakes have splotchy patterns.
Yellow rat snake– Yellow rat snakes are the most common rat snake found in the Florida and peninsula. They are the morph of the eastern rat snake/black rat snake with all-over yellow or orange coloring on their body. They commonly have four narrowed brown stripes going down to their backs and yellow irises.
Red rat snake– Red rat snake is an old-fashioned name for the corn snake. Red rat snakes sometimes vary in color but have yellowish or orange bodies with large red uneven patches on their backs, dark marks on their bellies, and a V shape on the peak of their heads.
Grey rat snake-Grey rat snakes are the largest snakes found in Canada and are long up to 7 feet in length. They have greyish coloring with black or dark grey blotches on their backs and bellies. Juveniles are brightly patterned, but that fades somewhat with adulthood.
Chicken snakes are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs that spend a very little time by incubating inside the mother. If conditions are satisfied, females may lay two clutches of eggs per year. Otherwise, they usually lay one. In cold climates, they may lay eggs less frequently. Mating season is often in the late spring, though it depends on the climate.
Males attract females through pheromones and will sometimes fight other males for the same female. Five weeks later, females lay clutches of about 12 to 20 eggs in a hidden spot, such as in a hollow log or pile of compost. The burying beetle is a common parasite of rat snake eggs.
The beetle lays its eggs besides the snake eggs, and the baby beetles eat the snake embryos. The young hatch after about two months. Chicken snakes offer no parental care to their young. Baby rat snakes are often long, around 12-14 inches (approximately 30-40 centimeters. They are preyed by hawks and other snakes.
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