JUN 08, 2016 11:43 AM PDT

New Species of Silver Boa Discovered, Already Deemed Endangered

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

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
AUG 05, 2020
Plants & Animals
Satellite Images Reveal New Emperor Penguin Colonies
AUG 05, 2020
Satellite Images Reveal New Emperor Penguin Colonies
The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and the European Space Agency (ESA) recently shared excellent news about emperor peng ...
AUG 17, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Therapy Found in The Shell of Cashews
AUG 17, 2020
Therapy Found in The Shell of Cashews
A compound found in the shell of cashews can help in neurodegeneration. "We see this as an exciting finding, sugges ...
AUG 28, 2020
Plants & Animals
Will Traps Solve the Invasive Lionfish Problem?
AUG 28, 2020
Will Traps Solve the Invasive Lionfish Problem?
Extravagant and spiny lionfish were once highly sought after by home aquarium hobbyists. These venomous fish are native ...
SEP 01, 2020
Plants & Animals
Revealing a Mummy's Secrets With High-Resolution Scans
SEP 01, 2020
Revealing a Mummy's Secrets With High-Resolution Scans
Researchers have used a technique called micro–computer tomography (micro-CT) scanning to analyze mummified animal ...
SEP 24, 2020
Plants & Animals
Cuvier's Beaked Whale Sets New Diving Record
SEP 24, 2020
Cuvier's Beaked Whale Sets New Diving Record
Marine mammals are uniquely adapted to dive to incredible depths. New research from Duke University Marine Laboratory do ...
OCT 08, 2020
Technology
Computational Tools Reveal Differences Between C3 and C4 Plants
OCT 08, 2020
Computational Tools Reveal Differences Between C3 and C4 Plants
The COVID-19 pandemic has made life hard for a lot of researchers. For one, they could not be physically in the lab and ...
Loading Comments...