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The kangaroo rat is a small nocturnal seed-eater, weighing in at five ounces soaking wet, which hardly ever happens since it lives in the desert. One of its many predators is the sidewinder rattlesnake, a two-foot long viper weighing in at a little over seven ounces. The rat has sensitive ears, strong legs and big feet, the better to hear a predator and leap in the air or kick sand in its attacker’s face. The snake has venom and a speedy strike. So who wins in the never-ending evolutionary battle between predator and prey? In one recent study in a Southern California desert, rats overwhelmingly defeat snakes , escaping in all of 23 recorded attacks during 40 encounters. The recordings cap... Full story

12 October