Posts Tagged ‘snake’

A very rare two-headed rattlesnake has been caught in the US, and is being donated to a nature centre.

The venomous snake was found this week according to American TV station KLRT and is believed to have been captured near Forrest City in Arkansas.

A Facebook post from a friend of the man who caught the snake read “It is is absolutely real! But I don’t think it’s a sign from God that the end times are near…”.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) confirmed the snake is, indeed, real.

The author of the Facebook post, Mark Young, explained that Rodney Kelso, District Two Manager at Woodruff Electric, was the one who caught the snake.

Game and Fish are trying to nurse it back to health.

“It’s not doing too well right now. Obviously two heads, two minds might have been thinking different things. With predators it’s easy to get to want to do two different things,” Keith Stephens with the Arkansas Game and Fish said.

In 2016, a two-headed snake was found in Indiana.

https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/37024043/two-headed-snake-found-in-the-us/

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Snake on a plane

Posted: November 7, 2016 in Uncategorized
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Aeromexico flight from Torreon to Mexico City made an emergency landing yesterday when a snake fell into the passenger cabin.

For the second time in two years, a captive snake in southeast Missouri has given birth without any interaction with a member of the opposite sex.

Officials at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center say a female yellow-bellied water snake reproduced on her own in 2014 and again this summer. The snake has been living in captivity, without a male companion, for nearly eight years. An intern who cares for the snake found the freshly laid membranes in July.

This year’s offspring didn’t survive, but the two born last summer are on display at the nature center, about 100 miles south of St. Louis.

Conservation Department herpetologist Jeff Briggler said virgin births are rare but can occur in some species through a process called parthenogenesis. It occurs in some insects, fish, amphibians, birds and reptiles, including some snakes, but not mammals.

Parthenogenesis is a type of asexual reproduction in which offspring develop from unfertilized eggs, meaning there is no genetic contribution by a male. It’s caused when cells known as polar bodies, which are produced with an animal’s egg and usually die, behave like sperm and fuse with the egg, triggering cell division.

The conservation department said there are no other documented cases of parthenogenesis by a yellow-bellied water snake. Like other water snakes, this species gives birth to live young rather than eggs that hatch.

Robert Powell, a biology professor and snake expert at Avila University in Kansas City, said the Brahminy blind snake — a small burrowing animal native to southeast Asia commonly known as the flowerpot snake — has long been the only known snake that routinely reproduces without a male’s contribution.

In the Missouri case, it’s possible — but unlikely — that momma snake simply stored sperm from her time in the wild. But Michelle Randecker, a naturalist at the center, said eight years is too long. Powell agreed, saying a female snake usually can’t store sperm for longer than a year, although there are accounts of successful storage as long as three years.

“Long-term storage is unusual. When you run into situations like this, you always wonder, ‘Is that a possibility?'” he said. “If nothing else, it’s an interesting phenomena. Whether this is long-term storage or parthenogenesis, it’s cool. Just another sign that nature works in mysterious ways.”

A.J. Hendershott, outreach and education regional supervisor for the conservation department, said there was some pride in having the first snake of its species reproduce through parthenogenesis.

“This is the way you make discoveries when you keep things in captivity,” Hendershott said. “You learn things about what they’re capable of.”

http://bigstory.ap.org/urn:publicid:ap.org:e854d0d586f746f68f6cb19c0ace6ab8