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All Images

Discovery
Snake Tales

Back to article | Note about images

Robbosquirrel, the robotic squirrel.

A robotic squirrel is shown with remote control equipment used to direct the squirrel's tail signals in controlled experiments with live rattlesnakes. Such experiments would be impossible to conduct with live squirrels, whose behavior can't be manipulated in controlled studies.

Credit: Sanjay Joshi, UC - Davis


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Robosquirrel presented to a rattlesnake

Robotic squirrel meets a rattlesnake.

Credit: Sanjay Joshi, UC - Davis


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Researchers with robotic squirrel near a cliff.

Researchers prepare to introduce robotic squirrel to a rattlesnake near a cliff.

Credit: Sanjay Davis


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A wireless video camera records in the field

This wireless video camera records interactions between robotic squirrel and snakes.

Credit: B. Putman, San Diego State University


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Rulon Clark marks a rattlesanke being held in a tube by Matthew Barbour.

Although Rulon Clark has worked with snakes for many years, he has never been injured by one. He uses precautions such as staying outside of the strike range of non-sedated rattlesnakes, never handling rattlesnakes directly, only handling rattlesnakes that are held in plastic tubes, and wearing snake leggings while working in the field. Snake leggings consist of Kevlar inserted into gators that cover the lower legs.

Credit: Rulon Clark, San Diego State University


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In the first clip, the robotic squirrel is remotely controlled to tail flag. The hidden rattlesnake shows no response. In the second clip, the rattlesnake is hiding in ambush position at a different location. In response to the robotic squirrel approach with no tail flagging, the snake launches a venomous predatory attack at its head.

Credit: Rulon Clark, San Diego State University

 



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