Saturday, 8 September 2012

New species of blind snake found in Brazil - via Herp Digest

New, London, Aug 2 (IANS) 
Scientists in Brazil have discovered a new species of a blind snake that is closely related to salamanders and frogs, it was reported here.

The atretochoana eiselti was found after engineers drained a hydroelectric dam over a river connected to the Amazon, the Daily Mail reported Thursday.

Biologists discovered six snakes - each about a metre long - at the bottom of the bed of the Madeira river in Rondonia.

Though the creatures were found in November last year, scientists have just now correctly classified the snake's genus.

They confirmed it is a rare creature which has only been spotted sporadically since it was first seen in 1968.

"Despite looking like snakes, they aren't reptiles and are more closely related to salamanders and frogs. We think the animal breathes through its skin, and probably feeds on small fish and worms, but there is still nothing proven," said biologist Julian Tupan, who works for Santo Antonio Energy - the company which constructed the dam. (IANS)

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