Scientists have discovered a new species of poisonous venomous water snake in Borneo that can change its colors. The half-meter-long snake is a member of the genus Enhydris and might only live in the Kapuas River drainage system of Borneo. It's not yet known whether the chameleon-like behavior is a defense mechanism or something else. German zoologist Mark Auliya , a consultant for the World Wildlife Fund, and his colleagues named the creature the Kapuas mud snake. From the World Wildlife Fund:
"I put the reddish-brown snake in a dark bucket. When I retrieved it a few minutes later, it was almost entirely white," said Dr Mark Auliya, reptile expert at the Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig in Germany, and a consultant for WWF…
"The discovery of the 'chameleon" snake exposes one of nature's best kept secrets deep in the Heart of Borneo," said Stuart Chapman, WWF's international coordinator of the Heart of Borneo initiative.
"Its ability to change colour has kept it hidden from science until now. I guess it just picked the wrong colour that day."
However, WWF warns that the home of the new snake is threatened. Today, only half of Borneo's forest cover remains, down from 75 per cent in the mid-1980s.
Link to WWF news, Link to New Scientist article about the discovery