Kung-fu kangaroo! Two-year study of ‘defenceless’ desert rats reveals how they regularly foil snakes with super-fast leaps and mid-air ninja-style kicks

Incredible footage reveals the moment a daring kangaroo rat escaped certain death in the jaws of a rattlesnake.

Remarkable aerial acrobatics saw the rodent escape the predator by using its powerful hind legs to kung fu kick it away.

Researchers set up a YouTube page showcasing the remarkable escapes orchestrated by the rats to emerge unscathed from various perilous situations.

They managed to film the fleeting interaction which happened in less than the blink of an eye.

Scientists had long been puzzled by how the rats defended themselves as they had been unable to film them due to their rapid movements in the dark.

But the latest stunning footage reveals the seemingly defenceless rats have a kick that can send the snakes flying.

One video uploaded to the YouTube page shows a kangaroo rat successfully kicking a snake – which is then sent flying through the air and crashing feet away.

The footage published to the channel were also used as evidence in two studies published in Functional Ecology and the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.

The kicks solved a mystery that puzzled the team for years. They had even tested the blood for resistance to the snake venom.

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