cat snake

Encyclopedia

cat snake

any of several groups of arboreal or semiarboreal rear-fanged snakes in the family Colubridae with eyes having vertically elliptical pupils similar to those found in felines. Cat snakes are nocturnal hunters that become active at twilight. By day their pupils are contracted to narrow vertical slits, but as night falls the pupils expand to a nearly circular shape to let in as much light as possible. The body is thin and laterally compressed, and the head is triangular and distinct from the neck. Their short rear fangs can deliver a mild venom that is not dangerous to humans. Representatives occur on all continents except Antarctica. Some of the major groups are listed below.

Learn more about cat snake with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: cat slide
Next Definition: cat soup
Words Near: cat snake
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for cat snake
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing cat snake
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;