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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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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