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Rat Snake by Tanmoy Ghosh
Rat snakes are large, fast moving reptiles, often seen in rice fields and near human habitations. This is where their principal prey – rats and frogs – are abundant. In the breeding season, when a male is seeking a receptive female, rival males may challenge him. The resultant contest takes the form of a ritualised combat dance in which each male raises its fore body off the ground, entwines the adversary’s body and tries to wrestle the opponent to the ground. The more powerful reptile usually wins the right to mate.