Watch these acrobatic ninja rats evade rattlesnake attacks
Using high-speed cameras and infrared lights, scientists captured remarkable footage of kangaroo rats kicking rattlesnakes in mid-air. At nighttime in the desert, sidewinder rattlesnakes hunt. They sit and wait in the darkness for unsuspecting prey, like kangaroo rats, to cross their paths. However, it has been observed that kangaroo rats have highly sensitive hearing and may be able to thwart an attack before the rattlesnake strikes. Within milliseconds of detecting the rattlesnake, the kangaroo rat will defend itself by contorting its body and leaping to avoid the snake's fangs. Even if the rattlesnake makes contact, the kangaroo rat may still escape if it reacts before venom is injected. It can use forceful, mid-air kicks to dislodge the rattlesnake, leap away, and make its escape.
Never miss a Nat Geo moment
Join our curious community and you'll have access to some great features!
Personalised content reflecting your interests on the site
Watch exclusive videos before anyone else
Favourite content that you like or want to check out later
Free SMS and Email reminders so you never miss a show
Get notified when content that interests you is published
Share your photos on Snap! that could appear on TV
Share your thoughts and opinions on various matters
Receive a monthly newsletter with loads of great content