YIKES! This video starts off wholesome enough, just a little boy named Asher learning to play fetch with the family dog. But then he picks up a big ol' SNAKE instead of a stick! Thankfully, no one was hurt, not even the snake. Read the rest
Some snakes have evolved the ability to glide through the air. For example, paradise tree snakes in southeastern Asia can launch off from a branch and fly as far as 10 meters. Scientists have known that the snakes flatten their bodies to gain lift but new research reveals that they also undulate their bodies as they're gliding in order to remain stable. Johns Hopkins University mechanical engineer Isaac Yeaton and colleagues from Virginia Tech put reflective tape on snakes' bodies and then used high-speed cameras to record their movements in the air. From Science News:
Gliding snakes undulate their bodies both side to side and up and down, the researchers found, and move their tails above and below the level of their heads.
Once the researchers had mapped out the snakes’ acrobatics, they created a computer simulation of gliding snakes. In the simulation, snakes that undulated flew similarly to the real-life snakes. But those that didn’t wriggle failed spectacularly, rotating to the side or falling head over tail, rather than maintaining a graceful, stable glide.
If confined to a single plane instead of wriggling in three dimensions, the snakes would tumble.
"Undulation enables gliding in flying snakes" (Nature Physics)
A Sydney veterinarian pulled an entire beach towel from the snake that ate it. The snake, Monty Python, an 18-year-old carpet python, is recovering; no word on the towel.
"A flexible endoscope was placed down Monty's gastrointestinal tract, which allowed us to visualise the end of the towel sitting in her stomach," Small Animal Specialist Hospital posted to Instagram. "With assistance from our internal medicine team, very long forceps were placed through the endoscope and used to grasp the towel." Read the rest
Someone has been depositing pillowcases filled with live snakes outside of a fire station in Sunderland, northeast England. Last week, 13 pythons turned up and one has since died. The latest collection included 15 corn snakes and a carpet python. Fortunately, those snakes seem to be in decent health, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). From CNN:
"We were in the midst of Storm Dennis at the weekend when these snakes, who need heat and light in order to survive, were left outside in the cold with just a pillowcase to contain them," said (RSPCA inspector Heidi) Cleaver. "It would have been very stressful for the snakes to be in such close proximity to each other as well..."
The RSPCA has appealed for information about the mystery surrounding the snakes being repeatedly dumped in the area.
images: RSPCA Read the rest
A reptile breeder in the SF Bay Area says he'd just finished giving a talk and was packing up in the parking lot when thieves stole one of his duffel bags containing four live snakes. Read the rest
A woman in Converse, Texas was awakened by her doorbell at 1am on Sunday. Video from the doorbell camera revealed the visitor to be a snake that had slithered up the door frame and pushed the button with its face. No word on whether she she invited the snake in for a nightcap. (KSAT)
When Jerel Heywood opened the screendoor at his friend Rodney Copeland's house in Lawton, Oklahoma, a snake darted down from its roost on the porch light and bit Heywood's head! A neighbor then rushed off over and dispatched the five-and-a-half-foot snake with a hammer.
Fortunately, the snake wasn't venomous. Heywood went to the hospital where he received stitches and a round of antibiotics. According to CNN, Copeland "hopes to keep away any (other) potential lurkers by spraying the yard with sulfuric acid."
"I hear they don't like that," he said. Read the rest
The snake is peculiar as an x-ray revealed it was not two separate heads forged together, rather it appeared to be one skull with an additional eye socket and three functioning eyes.
It was generally agreed that the eye likely developed very early during the embryonic stage of development. It is extremely unlikely that this is from environmental factors and is almost certainly a natural occurrence as malformed reptiles are relatively common.
When Moira Boxall returned to Glasgow from Queensland, Australia, she unpacked her suitcase and was surprised to find a small python had accompanied her on the trip. The snake had made the 9,000 mile journey tucked inside a shoe. This sounds like the makings of a fun movie! From CNN:
Read the rest
"I responded to a call from a woman who had just returned from a holiday in Australia who had found a small snake inside her shoe in her suitcase," animal rescue officer Taylor Johnstone said in a statement sent to CNN.
Scientists discovered and now described a previously unknown species of snake. Oddly though, they didn't collect this snake in the wild but rather found it inside the belly of another snake. The University of Texas at Arlington biologists have given the snack snake the official name of Cenaspis aenigma ("mysterious dinner snake.") From National Geographic:
This species has unique features that separate it from its relatives, including the shape of the its skull, the covering of its hemipenis—its reproductive structure—and the scales under its tail.
In 1976, in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, palm-harvesters working deep in one of the region’s forests found a Central American coral snake—a vibrantly-colored species with neurotoxic venom. When researchers obtained it, they found that its last meal was another smaller serpent.
This ten inch-long, male snake was something special, as it didn’t match any known species, so the specimen was preserved in a museum collection. The research team returned to the area at least a dozen more times over several decades, but never found a living representative of the odd snake species.
More in the scientific paper: "Caudals and Calyces: The Curious Case of a Consumed Chiapan Colubroid" (Journal of Herpetology)
(image: rendering of Cenaspis aenigma by Gabriel Ugueto) Read the rest
Over the weekend, firefighters in Conroe, Texas responded to a house fire caused by Christmas tree lights. When they arrived, they were faced with more than 100 snakes and numerous lizards. From CNN:
The reptiles -- which, according to CNN affiliate KTRK included several five- to six-foot-long pythons and boa constrictors -- were in glass cases but still needed to be carried outside the house. With the help of the home's owners, fire crews ferried the snakes to safety...
"The homeowner wasn't willing to give a lot of information on why they had so many snakes. In fact, they told us the snakes don't like people in uniform," Flannelly added. "But as firefighters, we will do anything to help anybody."
Several reptiles died in the fire but the ones that were rescued were transferred to a local facility and are expected to be okay, KTRK reported.
This snake has a mission. It slithers quickly into an open door police station in northern Thailand and makes it way to a visitor who is at the station to report an incident.
Without provocation, the snake leaps at the man. The man panics for a bit, but handles the situation like a champ. After a few moments of trying to fight it off with his legs and feet, he manages to grab the snake at both ends and carry it off. He even seems a bit amused, offering it to an officer before taking it outside.
Seems like this isn't the first time this dude has had to deal with a snake.
A staff meeting at a bank in Nanning, southern China was interrupted when a 5-foot python fell from the ceiling. CCTV video below. From Yahoo!7:
A snake catcher was called to retrieve the python, which will be sent to a local wildlife conservation centre.
According to online reports, this is the second time a snake has slipped into this branch of the bank.
After discovering a snake sunning itself, presumably on its turf, this squirrel went all NIMBY on its legless interloper. Behold: a death of 1,000 nibbles.
Admittedly, the camera work here is kinda lousy, but the fight is absolutely fascinating. I knew that squirrels could be vicious, but the careful, prolonged attack the rodent dishes out on what you'd have assumed would be the more dangerous of the two species involved in this scuffle is really something else. Read the rest
For nearly two months now, the people of Poland have been captivated by the tale of a missing 16-foot python that is believed to be slithering around Warsaw still. Read the rest
Mike Greene of Lattimore, North Carolina is a good neighbor. When the 88-year-old man down the street called Mike to help get a snake out of his toilet, he was happy to help. After all, he'd had plenty of practice.
"When I arrived, only the tail of the snake was visible, so I had to reach in and pull the snake out of the toilet," Greene says. "It was a very long black rat snake, about 6-feet-long. This was the sixth snake that I have removed from the same toilet in the past four years."
In the video below, a rooster in India tangles with a deadly cobra that can deliver enough venom in one bite to kill 20 people, and many more roosters. From National Geographic:
The rooster pushes the cobra away from the other chickens, sometimes dropping and pecking at it and sometimes running with the snake dangling from its beak. The bobbing movements of the rooster seem well-suited for this kind of fight, making it harder for the cobra to strike with its lethal venom.
At the end of the encounter, the rooster swallows the weakened snake whole, sliding the reptile into its beak as the creature’s muscles coil uselessly a couple more times.