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WATCH: ‘Ninja’ kangaroo rat destroys rattlesnake in an epic battle

File photos – the Kangaroo rat in mid-jump/A poisonous neotropical rattlesnake (Crotalus simus)
(Photo by Loomis Dean/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images/YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Even Jackie Chan would be jealous of this kick.

A remarkable video has captured a kangaroo rat in Yuma, Az. jump high in the air, and how a rattlesnake in her face after the snake tried to strike at the rat.

Timothy Higham, a professor in the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology at UC Riverside published two papers, which can be found here and here on the great sportsmanship and behaviour of both species, where both the “extreme athletes.”

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“Both rattlesnakes and kangaroo rats are extreme athletes, with their maximum performance during these interactions,” Higham said in a statement. “This makes the system ideal for teasing apart the factors that may tip the scale in this arms race.”

“We found that kangaroo rats to escape from the snake strikes used on rapid response times to initiate effective evasions,” one of the study’s abstract reads. “During the jumps, their extended hind legs powered vertical jumps that were several body lengths in the air, and these jumps were often accompanied by the air stairs and other maneuvers to deter snakes.”

For kangaroo rats, which generally eat seeds, these attacks are the order, but the tracking of the meetings of the researchers found that the two equally matched and show for the first time ever, the defensive manoeuvres of the kangaroo rats.

“This lightning-fast and powerful movements to make, especially if they are to be carried out in nature, tell us about the effective strategies in order to escape high-performing predators,” Higham continued. “Those who are successful at dodging the strike will make proposals about the manner in which the kangaroo rat would be able to evolve in response to the intricacies of the aggressive moves.”

The “lightning-fast” description Higham delivered may be considered hyperbole by some, but it’s accurate. The researchers discovered that the snakes, on average, reached their prey in less than 100 milliseconds, but the rats were significantly faster to respond in as little as 38 milliseconds, and jump clear of the snakes in 70 milliseconds, according to the researchers.

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A typical bolt or lightning bolt moves at 224,000 mph, or about 3,700 miles per second. The speed of an average blink of a human eye is between 300 and 400 milliseconds and as little as 150 milliseconds, according to the statement.

Timothy Higham is an associate professor at UC Riverside. (Credit: I. Pittalwala, UC Riverside)

Although the kangaroo rats are mind-bogglingly fast, some of them did not respond quickly enough to avoid the strike, Rulon Clark, an associate professor of biology at San Diego State University and a co-op, both research papers, is added.

However, they had yet another trick to avoiding the danger: “they often were able to prevent envenomated by reorienting himself in the air and with their enormous hips and feet to kick the snakes away, ninja-style,” Clark said.

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File photo of Kangaroo rat in mid-jump.
(Photo by Loomis Dean/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

The nature is really great.

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