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Rat snake facts for kids

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Rat Snake
Zamenis longissimus.jpg
An Aesculapian Snake, Zamenis longissimus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Subclass: Diapsida
Infraclass: Lepidosauromorpha
Superorder: Lepidosauria
Order: Squamata
Infraorder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Various

Rat snakes are medium to large snakes that can be found mostly in the northern hemisphere. They feed primarily on rodents and birds and, with some species being over 3 m (10 feet), they are on the top levels of some food chains. Many species make attractive pets and one, the corn snake, is one of the most popular reptile pets in the world. Other species can be very sensitive and sometimes aggressive, but the bites are not dangerous. Rat snakes were long thought to be completely nonvenomous, but recent studies have shown that some do have harmlessly small amounts of venom in them. When frightened, rat snakes may freeze, which is why a lot has been killed in traffic.

Rat snakes in captivity

Rat snakes are commonly kept as pets. The corn snake especially is one of the most popular pet reptiles, and belongs to the rat snake family.

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Rat snake Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.