To find out, Penning and his colleague Brad Moon taped pressure gauges to pre-killed rodents, and then offered them to kingsnakes and ratsnakes— individuals from six different species. Penning and Moon ruled out two possibilities. A typical fight can be over in a few minutes, but if the kingsnake is inexperienced, the wrestling can go on for six to seven hours. These animals get their name because they specialize in killing other snakes. The ratsnake tries to escape, but almost never does. They do so by constriction—wrapping their coils around their opponent and squeezing so hard that they trigger cardiac arrest. They look similar from the outside, but they somehow squeeze much harder. We want to hear what you think about this article. Typically, when scientists study constrictors, they look at big ones like pythons or boa constrictors, as they attack mice or rats.
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