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An Eastern Rat Snake In the Circle of Life

An eastern rat snake
Stephen Lody Photography
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Wikimedia Commons
An eastern rat snake

The eastern rat snake is primarily active at night during the summer, and diurnal in the spring and fall. It is a terrestrial burrower and an excellent climber, and it may enter water. It is found under rocks and boards, and in trees under bark and within knot holes and palm fronds. The snake is a constrictor, and adults eat mainly endotherms while young eat mainly ectotherms. The diet includes rodents, lizards, frogs, and birds and their eggs.[17] The snakes can also eat young chickens and chicks, hence the common name chicken snake.

Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.