JUN 08, 2016 11:43 AM PDT

New Species of Silver Boa Discovered, Already Deemed Endangered

Biologists from Harvard University went on an exploration trip in the Bahamas in July of 2015, and what they’d find there was not only unexpected, but also very much a stroke of luck.
While peering into a silver palm tree, one of the biologists had noticed a silver-colored boa dangling from the tree. The color and shape of the snake was enough to alert the team that this was something unusual.

Silver boas were new species discovered as biologists explored regions of the Bahamas in 2015.

The findings are published in the journal Breviora.
To be sure, scientists took tissue samples to compare with already-known species, and unsurprisingly to the scientists, it was a new species entirely. The genetics suggest that the species branched off from ordinary boas. The team gave it the name “Silver Boa.”
During the trip, the biologists only spotted around 6 of these silver snakes. One of them had actually slithered up onto one of the biologist’s heads while they were sleeping.
On a second trip in October that same year, 14 additional sightings of the silver snake were reported, bringing the total count up to 20. They were captured, measured, and tagged for further study and research.
The low amount of sightings has researchers believing that the species is critically endangered, but the fact that we’ve managed to find the species at this point in time means that we have the potential to stop the species from going extinct.
“We found this species on its way to extinction, and now we have the opportunity to intervene on their behalf so that doesn’t happen,” said UNC Asheville Assistant Professor of Biology Graham Reynolds, and leader of the exploration team.
To prevent the species from going extinct, the team of biologists are working with local wildlife authorities to help implement conservation efforts.
Among the things that currently threaten the species are non-native feral cats, natural disasters, and poaching. These are the areas of interest that these organizations would have to work on in order to keep the species alive and well.

Source: University of North Carolina Asheville, National Geographic, Phys.org

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUN 27, 2018
Plants & Animals
JUN 27, 2018
Kansas Zoo Flamingo Escapee Spotted in Texas
Kansas Zoo lost two of its flamingos in 2005 after negligent staff allowed them to go too long between feather trimming procedures, a measure that was used...
JUL 10, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
JUL 10, 2018
The Science Behind Vertical Farming
Agriculture, the human civilization's supporting pillar, has come a long way. Compared to the traditional way of cultivating crops, which is also known...
JUL 16, 2018
Earth & The Environment
JUL 16, 2018
Do you know what your sunscreen is doing to coral reefs?
Hawaii Governor David Ige has signed into law a ban on the sale, offer, or distribution of any sunscreens containing oxybenzone or octinoxate. That means t...
AUG 02, 2018
AUG 02, 2018
As Earth Warms, Soil 'Breathes' Harder
Temperatures are on the rise, and it seems soil will become another factor in how our climate changes....
AUG 07, 2018
Health & Medicine
AUG 07, 2018
You Want Crickets With That?
Hey everyone, it’s snack time! Come on up and grab some delicious crickets, yum yum. Said no one ever. But maybe, in the future, insects might be a s...
AUG 22, 2018
Plants & Animals
AUG 22, 2018
Some Macaws Blush In Response to Affection, Others Ruffle Their Feathers
Parrots are some of the most popular pets for bird lovers, and while their intelligence is widely-recognized, that hasn’t stopped acclaimed researche...
Loading Comments...