Guest blog post: Snakes disembowel and feed on the organs of living toads in a first for science

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  • September 28, 2020
  • Guest blog post by Henrik Bringsøe Our observations on the quite small-bodied Asian kukri snakes in Thailand have documented a feeding behaviour which differs from anything ever described in snakes.  Normally, snakes would swallow their prey whole. However, this particular species: the Small-banded Kukri Snake (Oligodon fasciolatus), would instead use its enlarged posterior maxillary teeth […]

    Reptile poaching in Balochistan (Pakistan) is on a decreasing trend but still troublesome

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  • May 14, 2020
  • A view of wooden boxes for transportation of reptiles by illegal collectors.

    Since 2013, following a strict enforcement of provincial wildlife legislation in the less studied regions of Asia, the overall trend of illegal reptile poaching is steadily decreasing. Despite that, the issue is not yet resolved and poached reptiles are largely destined not only for the international pet trade, but also utilised in folk medicines and snake charmer shows, according to a recent study, published in the open-access journal Herpetozoa.

    Welcome to the House of Slytherin: Salazar’s pit viper, a new green pit viper from India

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  • April 21, 2020
  • Trimeresurus salazar sp. nov. paratype female BNHS 3555 in life

    During an expedition to Arunachal Pradesh in India, part of the Himalayan biodiversity hotspot, a new species of green pit viper Trimeresurus salazar with unique stripes and colouration patterns was discovered near Pakke Tiger Reserve. Scientists named the snake after J.K. Rowling’s fictional character, the Parselmouth wizard and the founder of one of the houses in the magical school Hogwarts, Salazar Slytherin. The discovery is published in the open-access journal Zoosystematics and Evolution.

    Scientists discover bent-toed gecko species in Cambodia

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  • April 13, 2020
  • Originally published by North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences A new species of bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus phnomchiensis) has been described from Cambodia’s Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary by Wild Earth Allies Biologist Thy Neang in collaboration with North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences‘ Herpetologist Bryan Stuart. This new species is described in ZooKeys. The species was discovered […]

    Vibes before it bites: 10 types of defensive behaviour for the False Coral Snake

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  • March 23, 2020
  • Oxyrhopus rhombifer

    The False Coral Snake (Oxyrhopus rhombifer) may be capable of recognising various threat levels and demonstrates ten different defensive behaviours, seven of which are registered for the first time for the species. Scientists from the Federal University of Viçosa (Brazil) published their laboratory observation results based on a juvenile specimen in the open-access journal Neotropical Biology and Conservation.

    New species of stiletto snake capable of sideways strikes discovered in West Africa

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  • March 11, 2019
  • Following a series of recent surveys in north-western Liberia and south-eastern Guinea, an international team of researchers found three stiletto snakes which were later identified as a species previously unknown to science. The discovery, published in the open-access journal Zoosystematics and Evolution by the team of Dr Mark-Oliver Roedel from the Natural History Museum, Berlin, provides further evidence for the […]

    Newly discovered turtle species is facing extinction

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  • February 13, 2019
  • For decades, it has been assumed that the Chinese Softshell Turtles from East Asia all belonged to one and the same species, Pelodiscus sinensis. Widely distributed all the way from the Russian Far East through the Korean Peninsula to China and Vietnam, the species was said to vary substantially in terms of its looks across localities. […]

    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 […]