"Are you afraid of snakes? How about venomous snakes? Most people turn the other way when they encounter a venomous snake. However, ground squirrels, unlike people, show no fear in the face of predatory rattlesnakes. Squirrels often approach snakes to within striking distance, kick dirt in their faces, and waive their tails back and forth (a behavior known as tail-flagging). This research project aims at finding out why squirrels approach snakes and tail-flag, behaviors that seem logically maladaptive."