Watch these acrobatic ‘ninja rats’ evade rattlesnake attacks

Using high-speed cameras and infrared lights, scientists captured remarkable footage of kangaroo rats kicking rattlesnakes in mid-air. At nighttime in the desert, sidewinder rattlesnakes hunt. They sit and wait in the darkness for unsuspecting prey, like kangaroo rats, to cross their paths. However, it has been observed that kangaroo rats have highly sensitive hearing and may be able to thwart an attack before the rattlesnake strikes. Within milliseconds of detecting the rattlesnake, the kangaroo rat will defend itself by contorting its body and leaping to avoid the snake's fangs. Even if the rattlesnake makes contact, the rat may still escape if it reacts before venom is injected. It can use forceful, mid-air kicks to dislodge the rattlesnake, leap away, and make its escape.