Thursday, February 18, 2010

Meet Cross' Critters: Part III: Lactose


Red touches black, You’re okay jack,
Red touches yellow,You’re a dead fellow.

This simple rhyme helps differentiate between a harmless milk snake like Lactose and a venomous coral snake. Often found in forested regions or prairies, these nocturnal critters slither to and fro in search of a scrumptious diet of slugs, insects, earthworms, small mammals, birds, and eggs. In fact, they'll eat pretty much anything, as milk snakes are "opportunistic eaters." Like the classic joke, they're into see-food--they see food, and they eat it. This means Lactose requires a cage of his own. Place him in a cage with another snake and someone's gonna be lunch.

Milk snakes get their name from myth. Legend has it milk snakes, prone to wandering into barns, would such milk from the udders of cows. All they really want are the mice that run rampant on barn floors and the dark, cool environment barns supply. Cows can rest easy--their milk is safe.

Overall, milk snakes are docile and will only strike when threatened. A perfect reptilian pet for Mr. Cross and his band of sixth-graders!

"Live, Learn, Teach"
Mice Don't Taste Like Chicken- August 2010

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