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New Snake Found: Can Change Colour Like Chameleon

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posted on Jun, 27 2006 @ 02:30 PM
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A new species of snake has been discovered in Borneo that can change its skin colour like a chameleon does. The 1.6ft long venomous snake was found by a group of researchers for the WWF group. The snake has been dubbed the Kapuas Mud Snake, its name is taken from the Kapuas River drainage system of Borneo where it was found.
 



news.yahoo.com
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Researchers scouring swamps in the heart of Borneo island have discovered a venomous species of snake that can change its skin color, the conservation group WWF announced Tuesday.

The ability to change skin color is known in some reptiles, such as the chameleon, but scientists have seen it rarely with snakes and have not yet understood this phenomenon, the group said in a statement.

"I put the reddish-brown snake in a dark bucket," said Mark Auliya, a reptile expert and a consultant for the group. "When I retrieved it a few minutes later, it was almost entirely white."


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Wow! The picture of this snake that accompanies this article is amazing. It is blue with copper bands over it.

Yet another species in the long line of new species coming from the deep jungles of Borneo. 361 new species of plants and animals have been discovered since 1996 in Borneo alone. The logging of this area is a travesty when the toll it could potentially be wreacking on species as yet undiscovered. A plant or animal with medicinal properties perhaps? A cure for cancer? Who knows? If its lost due to logging its not worth thinking about.

[edit on 27/6/06 by subz]




posted on Jun, 29 2006 @ 07:05 AM
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I must be the only one that found this fascinating


A chameleon is cool but a venomous snake that can blend in with its background? I can think of no superior predator in the natural world than this snake.



posted on Jun, 29 2006 @ 07:08 AM
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I wonder how they manage to change colour?



posted on Jun, 29 2006 @ 07:17 AM
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I'm not sure how they change colour, but this is how chameleons change their's:


Chameleons have specialized cells, collectively called chromatophores, that lie in layers under their transparent outer skin. The cells in the upper layer, called xanthophores and erythrophores, contain yellow and red pigments respectively. Below these is another layer of cells called iridophores (or guanophores), and they contain the colorless crystalline substance guanine. These reflect amongst others the blue part of incident light. If the upper layer of chromatophores appear mainly yellow, the reflected light becomes green (blue plus yellow). A layer of dark melanin containing melanophores is situated even deeper under the reflective iridophores. The melanophores influence the 'lightness' of the reflected light. All these different pigment cells can rapidly relocate their pigments, thereby influencing the color of the chameleon.


WikiPedia

Anyway, back on topic, I'm terrified of snakes. I can't even go near a snake in the pet shop, when it's in a cage, without feeling really, really uncomfortable. The pet shop in town used to have a python, it must have been atleast fifteen feet in length, man, I've never been so scared in my life!


I wonder if this snake changes colour to blend into it's surroundings, or, like the chameleon, the change in colour is an expression of their physical and physiological condition.

Still pretty cool, though.



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