Nature & Environment
'Snake inside a snake' identified 40 years on
By T.K. Randall
January 24, 2019 · 3 comments
The snake had been eaten by another, larger snake. Image Credit: Gabriel Ugueto / The University of Texas
A snake found inside the belly of another snake in the 1970s has turned out to represent a whole new genus.
The specimen, which was found inside the belly of a coral snake in Mexico, was completely unknown to science - prompting a search for answers that would go on to span more than four decades.
Biology professor Jonathan Campbell from the University of Texas and colleagues embarked on numerous trips to Mexico in an effort to find another specimen, but were ultimately unsuccessful.
It wasn't until relatively recently when researchers used computed X-ray tomography (CT) scans to build up a digital image of the reptile that it was finally possible to accurately describe it.
It turned out that the snake was not only a new species, but also a new genus.
It has since been named Cenaspis aenigma
, which means 'mystery dinner' in Latin.
Measuring approximately 25.8 centimeters in length and with pale brown scales, it is believed to be a type of burrowing snake with a diet consisting primarily of insects.
Source: Live Science
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