Foot-long Dwarf Boa!

There’s some fun news from Ecuador! Article excerpt:

Alex Bentley, research coordinator of the Sumak Kawsay In Situ field station in the eastern foothills of the Andes, stumbled across a small, curled up snake in a patch of cloud forest, an upland forest where clouds filter through the treetops.

He sent a photo of the snake to colleagues, including Omar Entiauspe-Neto, a graduate student at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and Butantan Institute in Brazil.

“We were immediately surprised, because it shouldn’t be there,”
said Entiauspe-Neto, the corresponding author of the paper describing the species in the European Journal of Taxonomy.


That’s amazing! :grin:


And the males have pelvis bones…

I wonder how long it will be before they end up on MM… :joy:


My thoughts as well……

They are kinda of odd looking…

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Yeah, their head looks more like something along the lines of a cat-eyed snake rather than a boa constrictor. At least to my eyes.

Super interesting, thanks for sharing!


"When threatened, this species of dwarf boa curls into a ball and bleeds out of its eyes. "

Excuse Me Wow GIF by Mashable


That’s really cool, but it’s always really rubbed me the wrong way when researchers kill animals to collect and study them.

Would it probably be way more difficult to study live animals?
Yes… But then they could study their behavior and husbandry needs.

It is the ethical thing to do in today’s world. I’m fully aware that it could be very challenging to transport live specimens, but I feel it simply must be done. If there’s a super small population, then they just removed some of its genetic diversity.


I couldn’t find anywhere in the article where killing animals was mentioned. I might be missing something. Ah, it says they compared it’s characteristics to a specimen in a natural history museum, collected some years ago. THAT one is unfortunately almost certainly in a jar, true. But we do have much better methods, ethics, technology, husbandry, climate control and faster transportation now than say, fifty years ago, so hopefully none of these new boas were killed for study. It may sometimes be necessary but genetically it’s not best for the species, true.


Right? Just gloss over that like, “NBD, just gonna go full Exorcist.”