The world’s rarest viper: Barbour’s short-headed viper (Atheris barbouri). Found only in the sky islands of the Uzungwe and Ukinga mountains of south-central Tanzania in Africa. maximun length of 16 in (40 cm).
They are highly venomous and can be found in the rainforests of Central Africa. It is the highly keeled and bristle-like scales that give it an almost feathery appearance thus earning it the common name of Feathered tree viper. While a bite from one of these snakes would be a serious event as no known antivenin exists, because of their remote location they rarely come in contact with humans.
Discovered in SW Tanzania in 2010, the viper can grow to 65cm. “This particular animal looks fierce and probably is venomous,” said researcher Tim Davenport, a Briton who has lived in Tanzania for 12 years. “However, it is actually a very calm animal and not at all aggressive. I have handled one on a number of occasions.” The Viper was named for Davenport’s 7 tear old daughter.
Matilda’s horned viper, a new snake species, regards the camera with a steady stare.
The 2.1-foot-long (0.6-meter-long) Matilda’s Horned Viper (Atheris matildae) was discovered during 2010-2011 biodiversity surveys in a remote Tanzanian forest. The “beautiful, heavy-bodied bush viper” sports black and yellow zigzag markings and yellow, hornlike scales above its olive-colored eyes, Tim Davenport, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s country director for Tanzania, said in an email.
But few would be envious of this green-eyed creature’s rare status. Its forest habitat, already smaller than about 40 square miles (a hundred square kilometers), is declining due to human development and other factors, said Davenport, whose group made the joint discovery with the Science Museum of Trento, Italy. Considering this, Davenport suspects the snake—described December 6 in the journal Zootaxa—will be listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature…
In a remote forest fragment in Tanzania, scientists have made a remarkable discovery: a uniquely-colored horned viper extending over two feet long (643 millimeters) that evolved from its closest relative over two million years ago. Unfortunately, however, the new species—named Matilda’s horned viper (Atheris matildae)—survives in a small degraded habitat and is believed to be Critically Endangered. Given its scarcity, its discoverers are working to preempt an insidious threat to the new species. Read more:http://news.mongabay.com/2011/1215-hance_matildasviper.html#ixzz1gevyIhDi