Yesterday we visited the Yagiyama zoo, to get some real hands-on experience with snake-gaits! We got an hour to set up some tests and play with a couple of japanese rat snakes, a very pretty, light-blue and docile snake (at least the two we got to handle were).
We had a couple of simple tracks prepared which we could quickly assemble, and then let the snake run through so that we could observe the snake change gait according to the environment. The snakes didn't like crawling through the first set we had, but we soon got him to go through tight corridors with a concertina gait!
We also tried out course of pegs to see how the snake exploits these obstacles, and boy does it seek out those surfaces to wrap around! Even just holding the snake, it'll happily wrap around all your fingers and it's quite remarkable just how much force they can transfer to an obstacle-hold at pretty much any length of their body.