A video making the rounds online shows a kangaroo rat displaying impressive survival skills against a rattlesnake in the Yuma area.
As National Geographic reported, the video was made as part of a pair of new studies that show kangaroo rats are not as helpless as previously thought. In fact, the series of slow-motion videos revealed that the rodents can detect the strikes of sidewinder rattlesnakes within a fraction of a second, then leap out of the way using their powerful hind legs.
The studies also found that the rats were sometimes bitten by the snakes but were able to kick them away before they could inject any venom.
Scientists videotaped 32 strikes by 13 snakes over several nights in the desert. Only 15 of those strikes resulted in bites, and just seven led to the snake getting a meal.
The studies were published in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society and in the journal Functional Ecology.