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Posted by Terry Cox on April 29, 2003 at 04:42:43:
Last night I discovered both my yearling forest rats had shed. As I was taking one out to see if I could get a photo, it skunked me. Man, what an odor. Actually, many of the Asian ratsnakes are quite odiferous just after brumation. The forest rat smelled exactly like my Chinese twin-spots, several of which had skunked me just last weekend. I was wondering if we could hypothesize an evolutionary connection through this type of behavior. It might be interesting to chemically analyze the spray.
On another note..I put the forest rat back in it's cage and put a live, large pink in with it. It immediately attacked and devoured the pink. It did not use constriction. I thought it was interesting in comparison to the Mandarin Ratsnake. The forest rats are more diurnal, at least in spring, and seem to be good feeders. They are proving to be much easier to care for than what I had heard from previous keepers (mostly Japanese), as is the case with most ratsnakes, once they are being captive raised.