Naming rights for 5 new snail-sucking snake species auctioned to save rainforests in Ecuador

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  • June 14, 2018
  • The existence of five delightfully weird snail-sucking snakes slithering through the forest floors of Ecuador was announced by a group of scientists in a study in the open access journal Zookeys. Believe or not, there is an entire group of snakes for which snails are number one on their menu. This is why their jaws […]

    The Cerberus Groundsnake is a Critically Endangered new species from Ecuador

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  • March 22, 2017
  • With as many as 140 species, Atractus is the most diverse snake genus in the world, even though it can be found exclusively in Central and South America. However, these colubrid ground snakes seem largely under-researched, since there have been thirty-three species discovered in the last ten years only. As concluded by a team of […]

    Disentangling the myth of the singing bushmaster viper with the help of tree frogs

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  • November 17, 2016
  • Reaching over 3.5 m in length, the bushmaster (belonging in the Lachesis genus) is the largest viper in the western hemisphere. Legend spread among both colonists and natives from the Amazon region and Central America has it that it sings. Finding these numerous unrelated reports quite puzzling, since it is well known that snakes cannot […]

    Two new lizards with ‘heroic past’ discovered in the Chilean Andes

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  • Two new species of lizards have been discovered in the Andean highlands of Southern Chile. Collected from areas of heroic past, both small reptiles were named after courageous tribal chiefs who have once fought against colonial Spaniards in the Arauco war. The study, conducted by a team of Chilean scientists, is published in the open […]

    Scientists identify northeast Mindanao as major ‘bull’s-eye’ of biodiversity

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  • October 18, 2016
  • Butuan City, Agusan del Norte. In a scientific report appearing Monday October 17th in the open access journal Zookeys, a team of researchers led by herpetologist Dr. Marites Sanguila of Father Saturnino Urios University announced that they have identified a new “epicenter” of southern Philippine biodiversity in amphibians and reptiles. The international team of herpetologists […]

    Iranian coastal waters: New home to a rarely seen venomous sea snake

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  • October 10, 2016
  • Günther’s sea snake (Microcephalophis cantoris), a rarely seen venomous sea snake with distribution thought to stretch from the Malay Peninsula to Pakistan, has now been recorded from Iranian coastal waters off the western Gulf of Oman, more than 400 kilometers away from the westernmost boundary of its previously known range. In 1864, German-born British zoologist, Albert […]

    First description and video of a rainbow boa preying on a vampire bat in a cave in Ecuador

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  • October 4, 2016
  • While snakes are well-known enemies to bats, their preying on the winged mammals has hardly been recorded. Furthermore, no bat as big and heavy as the common vampire, has been described being killed and eaten prior to the present study, published in the open access journal Subterranean Biology. The study, where scientists, led by Sarah […]

    The Castaway: New monitor lizard fills top-order predator role on remote Pacific island

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  • February 25, 2016
  • Separated by several hundred kilometres from its next of kin, a new species of blue-tailed monitor lizard unique to the remote Mussau Island has been described. Unknown to science until recently and formally termed the “isolated”, it is the only large-sized land-living predator and scavenger native to the island. Dubbed a “biogeographical oddity” by its […]

    The third sister: Long-suspected third desert tortoise species proven to exist in Mexico

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  • February 11, 2016
  • The huge variability among the desert tortoise populations of Mexico has finally been given an explanation after casting doubts for several decades. The puzzle was solved by an international team of researchers, led by Dr. Taylor Edwards, The University of Arizona, who teamed up to find out whether there has been a previously unknown third […]

    The scaled king and his knight: 2 new giant bent-toed gecko species from New Guinea

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  • The extremely complex geological history of New Guinea has allowed many of its animals and plants the chance to grow different enough to make a name for themselves. In the case of two newly described and unusually large gecko species – only a noble name would do. The two new species whose names respectively mean […]