Indian Scientists Discovered a New Species of Snakes Thanks to a Post on Instagram
Attracted by the photo posted on Instagram, Indian scientists have discovered a previously unknown species of snake. Due to the 2020 pandemic, Virendar Bhardwaj spent a lot of time at his village home in the western foothills of the Himalayas and began to explore his place. The man started to photograph animals and reptiles that he found nearby. Photos of living creatures that he found there- lizards, frogs, insects, and snakes the man posted on Instagram. In June, Bhardwaj posted two pictures and a video of a striped snake approximately 30 centimeters long.
One of these photos caught the attention of researchers at the National Center for Biological Sciences in Bangalore. The photo showed a kukri snake. The name of the reptile is due to the resemblance of its teeth to the Nepalese curved kukri knives. This is one of the cruelest snakes in the world- it guts the insides of its still living victims, plunging its head into their bodies.
After examining the DNA of the samples, scientists found out that they belong to a species other than the common kukri. To study morphology, the samples of the found snake were compared with data from the literature and museums, as well as scanning by microcomputer tomography. As a result, the research team confirmed that the snake belonged to a species previously unknown to science.
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