Velvet Black Viper

Velvet black viper revealed in reports in Wired Science 16 May 2013, ABC News in Science 17 May 2013 and Nature Scientific Reports doi:10.1038/srep01846 16 May 2013. The West African Gaboon viper, Bitis rhinoceros, has a distinctive geometrical pattern of black, brown and white patches on its skin. The black patches are a particularly dense […]

Read More

Snake Slithering Explained

Snake slithering explained in articles in ScienceNOW 8 June 2009 and BBC News 9 June 2009. Snakes can propel themselves forward by pushing against objects in their path such as rocks and twigs, but they can also move along smooth surfaces using a slithering movement, known scientifically as “lateral undulation” because it leaves an S-shaped […]

Read More

Snake Leg Loss

Snake leg loss described in articles in ScienceShots and ScienceDaily 7 February 2011, ABC News in Science and BBC News, 8 Feb 2011, and Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology vol. 31 p2, January 2011. No living snakes have legs but three fossil snakes have been found with tiny back legs. A group of French and German […]

Read More

How Snakes Drink

How snakes drink reported in New Scientist 20 February 2012 and Journal of Experimental Zoology 6 February 2012 DOI: 10.1002/jez.1710. David Cundall of Lehigh University, Pennsylvania had observed boa constrictors sucking up water through a small hole in their mouths, as if they were drinking through a straw. However, he was unable to measure any […]

Read More

High CO2 Made For Giant Snake

High CO2 made for giant snake based on new fossil find according to reports in EurekAlert and BBC News 4 Feb 2009, and Nature, vol. 457, p715, 5 Feb 2009. A team of scientists led by Jason Head (University of Toronto at Mississauga, Canada), have found fossilised bones of a giant snake in the Cerrejon […]

Read More

Snake Leg Loss Genes

Snake leg loss genes found, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News 20 October 2016, Current Biology doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.09.020, published online 20 October 2016 and Cell, Vol. 167, p633–642.e11, doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.09.028 20. The most characteristic features of snakes are their long body form and lack of legs. Pythons and boas have tiny bony limb remnants […]

Read More

Pit Start for Snakes

“Pit start” for snakes, reported in ScienceNOW 15 November 2004. The complete item reads: “Biologists have long thought that pit vipers use the heat-sensing pits on their faces mainly to track warm-blooded prey. But a paper in the 15 November Journal of Experimental Biology finds that the pits also help the snakes gauge the temperature […]

Read More