Scientists Discover Silver Snake Species, Newly-Found Species Extremely Endangered

First Posted: May 27, 2016 05:50 AM EDT

A silver snake was noticed by a scientist in the southern Bahamas. According to biologist R. Graham Reynolds, who is a member of the scientific team that explores the remote islands, merely looking at the snake would instantly spot its difference.  

The silver snake seemed different from any species of known boa, based on the observation of Alberto Puente-Rolon, a member of the expedition. To make further comparison, the team went to search for boas but failed to find one. However, at about 3:30 in the morning, Reynolds said he was awakened by something crawling across his face - another silver boa appeared to have come down from the forest again. The group found their sixth specimen, as the DNA analyses in the lab have confirmed that the snake was a new species.

The new silver snake species was named the Conception Bank silver boa, Chilabothrus argentum, based on its color and since it was initially discovered in an appropriately named silver palm tree. The study about the species was published in the journal Breviora.

According to WLOS, those three other boa species from the Bahamas look different  from this newly-discovered species, with its dark stripes and splotches. The silver boa is paler in appearance and lives in trees, unlike the others, where it feeds mostly on birds.

Reynolds also took note of the fact that the new species emerges in a group of islands, which have not been linked to other islands in the Bahamas. He believes that the species only emerge on Conception Island Bank. Based on these observations, the whole silver boa population that is estimated to be less than a thousand in numbers, is therefore found in just one small area of the Earth.

However, this makes them prone to extinction. According to  Reynolds, the silver snake must be classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Citizen Times reported.

See Now: NASA's Juno Spacecraft's Rendezvous With Jupiter's Mammoth Cyclone

©2017 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission. The window to the world of science news.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics