Petrie, a corn snake at the , has soft scales on her belly, but that's only because she's in captivity, said Lynn Hamlen, executive director of the nature center.
"We lost one for about eight months outside," she said. "And when we found it again, it had rougher underskin. This one has baby-soft skin."
Petrie dines on frozen mice at the nature center. In the wild, she would hunt for rodents in deciduous forests and on the borders of forests and corn fields, where mice often can be found. But corn snakes have been known to go up trees to search for birds' eggs.
Corn snakes are "constrictors," meaning they coil themselves around their prey, squeezing it to death. Then the snakes swallow the victim whole, head first.
Some say corn snakes got their names from hanging around corn fields. Others say the designs of the scales on their bellies are reminiscent of indian corn.
Females will lay a clutch of about 30 eggs with soft shells. After about two months, baby snakes come out. The snakes live for about 15 to 20 years and adult snakes are 2 to 4 feet long.
Corn snakes can be found across the eastern United States, from southern New Jersey to Florida and west to the Rocky Mountains.