Thursday 29 September 2016

New deadly snake – Kimberley death adder - discovered in Australia

Published 16/09/2015 | 14:39

The snake is typically about 24 inches long, and is quite rare. Photo: Ryan Ellis, Western Australian Museum
The snake is typically about 24 inches long, and is quite rare. Photo: Ryan Ellis, Western Australian Museum

A new species of venomous snake has been discovered in Australia.

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The new species – a Kimberley death adder - is a venomous orange-brown snake which is a “sit-and-wait” predator. 

It joins onto the list of poisonous creatures in Australia, which is believed to have 20 of the world's 25 most deadly snakes.

The Kimberley death adder has diamond-shaped scales and camouflages itself before pouncing on passing creatures such as birds, frogs and lizards, or potentially humans, the Telegraph reports.

Scientist Simon Maddock led a team which examined the snake’s genetic and biological characteristics and confirmed it belonged to a distinct species, which was named acanthophis cryptamydros, or the Kimberley death adder.

The snake is typically about 24 inches long, and is “quite rare” according to the scientist.

“Surprisingly, the snakes it most closely resembles aren’t its closest genetic relatives … And given the number of new species found in Kimberley recently – including frogs, lizards and many plants – it’s likely to be just one of many currently undescribed snakes in the west of Australia.”

The findings have been published in the journal Zootaxa.

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