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…
(read more: National Geo)
(photos: Michele Menegon, Science Museum of Trento/WCS )