|August 4th, 2008||#22|
Scientist: World's smallest snake in Barbados
By DAVID McFADDEN, Associated Press Writer
Sunday, August 3, 2008
(08-03) 16:48 PDT SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) --
A U.S. scientist said Sunday he has discovered the globe's tiniest species of snake in the easternmost Caribbean island of Barbados, with full-grown adults typically stretching less than 4 inches (10 centimeters) long.
S. Blair Hedges, an evolutionary biologist at Penn State University whose research teams also have discovered the world's tiniest lizard in the Dominican Republic and the smallest frog in Cuba, said the snake was found slithering beneath a rock near a patch of Barbadian forest.
Hedges said the tiny-title-holding snake, which is so diminutive it can curl up on a U.S. quarter, is the smallest of the roughly 3,100 known snake species. It will be introduced to the scientific world in the journal "Zootaxa" on Monday.
"New and interesting species are still being discovered on Caribbean islands, despite the very small amount of natural forests remaining," said Hedges, who christened the miniature brown snake "Leptotyphlops carlae" after his herpetologist wife, Carla Ann Hass.
The Barbadian snake apparently eats termites and insect larvae, but nothing is yet known of its ecology and behavior. Genetic tests identified the snake as a new species, according to Hedges. It is not venomous.
Zoologist Roy McDiarmid, curator of amphibians and reptiles at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, said he has seen a specimen of the diminutive creature. He saw no reason to argue with the assertion that it is the world's smallest snake.
McDiarmid said the Barbados creature is a type of thread snake, also called worm snake, which are mostly found in the tropics. "We really know very little about these things," he said in a Sunday telephone interview from his Virginia home.
Finding the globe's tiniest snake demonstrates the remarkable diversity of the ecologically delicate Caribbean. It also illustrates a fundamental ecological principle: Since Darwin's days, scientists have noticed that islands often are home to both oversized and miniaturized beasts.
Hedges said the world's smallest bird species, the bee hummingbird, can be found in Cuba. The globe's second-smallest snake lives in Martinique. At the other end of the scale, one of the largest swallowtail butterflies lives in Jamaica.
Scientists say islands often host odd-sized creatures because they're usually inhabited by a less diverse set of species than continents. So island beasts and insects often grow or shrink to fill ecological roles that otherwise would be filled by entirely different species.
Last edited by Alex Linder; August 4th, 2008 at 09:17 PM.
|August 4th, 2008||#23|
"New and interesting species are still being discovered on Caribbean islands, despite the very small amount of natural forests remaining," said Hedges, who christened the miniature brown snake "Leptotyphlops carlae" after his herpetologist wife, Carla Ann Hass.
The opportunity cost of allowing colored apes to dominate the tropical regions of the world is the disappearance of potentially valuable species as they disappear into the guts of the braindead boolies. Nigs in Africa eat everything not nailed down, usually after fucking it a few days.
|August 4th, 2008||#24|
Nice shot Troy you got him
Join Date: Jun 2006
Blog Entries: 1
|August 4th, 2008||#25|
Join Date: Jan 2007
Great photo Zenos, I'd love to know the story behind that shot.
The following snakes all live within 100 yards of my house.
Fortunately they aren't thick as thieves, but they're there. Every year I see at least one example of each.
|August 26th, 2008||#27|
Poison warning after snake in the grass bites the hand that seized it
Published Date: 27 August 2008
By Jenny Haworth
WHEN Billy MacAskill spotted a snake slithering through the heather, he thought he had the perfect photo opportunity.
Eagerly plucking the adder out of the undergrowth, the grouse beater posed for photos with members of his Highland shooting party.
Hours later, he was in hospital being told a bite he received on his thumb after losing grip of the snake could have been fatal.
Mr MacAskill said he did not realise there were any poisonous snakes in Scotland.
His scare has sparked advice to the public from Scottish Natural Heritage not to pick up or disturb adders if they are spotted in the wild.
After the bite, Mr MacAskill's hand went numb, but he did not get medical help for five hours, claiming he had been advised by gamekeepers and shooters that it was "nothing more than a scratch" and that he should finish his shift as a beater.
Mr MacAskill, a gardener, said he started feeling unwell immediately after the adder had bit him.
"By the time we got back to the bothy five hours later, I was feeling really bad and my hand had swollen up to about three times its normal size," he said.
After he finally sought medical advice, he was taken to hospital in Elgin, where he was told he should have gone for treatment earlier.
The 37-year-old, who was on his first grouse-beating shift and is now recovering at his home in Dundee, said: "I didn't think there were any poisonous snakes in the UK, let alone Scotland."
His brother, David, said: "Billy was told if it had gotten any further and reached his heart, it could have been fatal.
"They kept him in overnight and let it run its course. They gave him morphine for the pain and some antihistamines for the swelling."
Mairi Cole, the policy and advice officer for Scottish Natural Heritage, said it was important not to touch a snake spotted in the wild, or to go near it, and to get medical help immediately if bitten.
"Generally, people only get bitten if they do something to scare the snake," she said. "Picking one up is a common reason for getting bitten.
"They won't attack. They are not an aggressive species. They will only defend themselves. They will run away and they will be more scared of the person than the person is of the snake."
She said about 70 per cent of adder bites create only a very minor reaction, or no reaction at all. Bites usually have a serious impact only on people with a medical condition, or children.
Warnings have been posted about a growth in the number of adders in the Pentland Hills in recent years.
And earlier this year, more than 30 of the snakes were spotted at Galashiels Golf Club in the Borders.
It is thought a mild winter and warm May provided perfect conditions for the snakes.
Adders are protected from being killed, injured or sold under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Mr MacAskill is blaming the gamekeepers and shooters who employed him as a beater for his ordeal and believes they should have encouraged him to get medical attention straightaway.
"That was my first time grouse beating and will definitely be my last – not for £35 a day, anyway," he said.
|August 26th, 2008||#29|
Python strangles student zookeeper
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- A university student has been strangled to death by a captive 3-meter python at a park in Venezuela where the young man was working as an intern.
Park manager Javier Hernandez says the 29-year-old violated park rules when he took the snake out and held it on his own while working the night shift.
Hernandez said Monday that the biology student's body was found with a bite from the Asian python on his left wrist.
He said the intern, Erick Arrieta, was strangled to death by the python early Saturday and that the snake was found elsewhere in a hallway at the Caracas park's terrarium.
He said the young man didn't have permission to take the snake out and that it's the first time such an incident has occurred at the park.
|August 26th, 2008||#30|
Nearly 7-foot long snake shot by state trooper
by The Grand Rapids Press
Monday August 18, 2008, 3:45 PM
A Michigan state trooper holds a 6-foot-10 snake that was shot and killed in Port Sheldon Township.
WEST OLIVE -- A state trooper shot and killed a nearly 7-foot long snake, believed to be a Burmese python, after it slithered onto a Port Sheldon Township road and was acting aggressively toward passing motorists.
Trooper Bill Coon, of the Grand Haven post, used his .40-caliber handgun to shoot the snake after nearby homeowner Brian Ahlin ran it over with his pickup several times to try to kill it. Ahlin and another motorist called police after finding the snake on 156th Avenue south of Croswell Street.
Ahlin was worried it might attack children in the area or pose a danger to pets.
Police suspect the snake was set loose by someone who no longer wanted the animal or it simply escaped a home. The snake measured 6-foot, 10-inches.
Ahlin said his pickup did not seem to cause any injury to the snake, which lunged at his truck.
"I didn't do a darn thing to it. It was like going over a rubber hose," he said.
Coon said the snake also lunged at him as he approached.
Neighbors said wildlife is common in the area, but not huge snakes.
"This was very different," Ahlin said. "The only thing you see around here is deer and turkey," he said.
|August 26th, 2008||#31|
[Numbnuts are releasing pythons all over the country, too stupid to realize how big the snakes get.]
Fla. Scientists Hunt Predatory Pythons That Pose Threat to Everglades Food Chain
NAPLES, Fla. — The snake hunter shakes his head as he crouches over a sandy trail that pushes through Collier-Seminole State Park.
Hoping to spy subtle signs of his slithering prey, Paul Andreadis instead finds only pebble-sized pockmarks left by raindrops overnight and maybe tracks left by a deer, probably that morning.
"No, nothing here," said Andreadis, a snake researcher visiting Collier-Seminole recently from Denison University, located near Columbus, Ohio.
Andreadis stands up and, from behind the mosquito netting hanging from the brim of his wide-brimmed hat, sets his sights on the trail ahead.
He knows Burmese pythons are out there; a half-dozen of the nonnative reptiles have been spotted since 2003 at the state park along U.S. 41 East as they have spread west from a stronghold in the Everglades.
The question scientists are trying to answer is whether Collier-Seminole has a breeding population of the big, fat predators.
"If we do, we've got a fight ahead of us," park biologist Maulik "Mo" Patel said.
The fight already is on at Everglades National Park, where the first python was found dead on U.S. 41 in 1979. The first baby python was found in 1995, and rangers found the first nest of python eggs beneath an overturned wheelbarrow in 2006.
Based on the density of Burmese python populations at a national park in India, researchers estimate there could be at least 30,000 pythons crawling around the park.
The invasion is thought to have begun with the release of unwanted pet pythons into the wild. Baby pythons measure 20 inches long, but within a year reach lengths of 5 feet. Full-grown pythons come in at 20 feet or more and can weigh 200 pounds.
Their voracious appetites make them a threat to the South Florida food chain, which isn't built with a link for nonnative pythons.
They have been known to feed on everything from bobcats to birds. The discovery a couple years ago in the Everglades of a python that had burst open after swallowing an American alligator raised the concerns to a new level.
Key to fighting back against the pythons is learning more about their habits, scientists say.
They have implanted radio tracking devices in 17 pythons and rereleased them into Everglades National Park to try to discover their hangouts.
With that knowledge, scientists can lay traps to catch even more of them.
Scientists also are experimenting with chemical attractants and are using a beagle, nicknamed Python Pete, to ferret out the sneaky beasts.
The first python sighting at Collier-Seminole, near the park entrance in 2003, coincided with an upswing in the numbers of pythons taken out of Everglades National Park, according to Interior Department figures.
What started out as a dozen or so a year in the 1990s ticked above 50 in 2003 and soared to 250 in 2007, figures show.
The sightings at Collier-Seminole have been clustered along the park's western edge, where a canal, a tall berm and plenty of Brazilian pepper make for prime python habitat.
One was found as it tried to escape a prescribed burn at the park; rangers spotted two adult pythons crossing the bottom of a dried up canal but were unable to pin it down. A mower got it later, park biologist Patel said.
In April, firefighters plucked an 8-foot python out of the rafters at a hangar at Marco Island Executive Airport.
Pythons usually aren't so obvious.
"The whole lifestyle of a snake is built around being secretive," Andreadis said.
Pythons are more likely to be found during the winter, when cooler weather chases them out of their hiding places to bask in the sun.
Sightings are at their lowest in July and August, according to records from Everglades National Park, but Andreadis hoped to even the odds by driving the roads in and around the park overnight.
But if there are baby pythons to be found at Collier-Seminole, early August is a good time to find them, he said. That's because pythons hatch between late June and August from nests where mother pythons have been coiled around clutches of between 30 and 50 eggs.
Nesting sites in Collier-Seminole might be susceptible to summertime flooding, which would explain why rangers have found no signs of a breeding population, Andreadis said.
A pig frog snorts as Andreadis wades waist-deep into an overflowed canal at the state park and disappears behind a wall of tall grass.
A few minutes later, he climbs back into view over a nearby berm. No python.
"You'd be surprised how well a 15-foot snake can hide, squirreled away in the vegetation," Andreadis said earlier.
Andreadis, who calls himself a "bona fide science geek," has been waiting 20 years to come face-to-face with an adult python in the wild.
As a graduate student at the University of Florida, Andreadis had planned to study Burmese pythons in their native habitat in India, but the trip was canceled amid political turmoil.
So the 1,200-mile drive from central Ohio to South Florida is part nostalgia, part unfinished business trip for Andreadis.
Scientists might never be able to call off the hunt for pythons in South Florida.
"The price we pay may be eternal vigilance," Andreadis said.
|August 26th, 2008||#32|
Don’t Tread on Me!
By Ron Ewart Monday, August 25, 2008
The Gadsden Flag, named after Christopher Gadsden, an American general and statesman, came to be a symbol of the thirteen original colonies and of American freedom and spirit.
Its origins are traced back to Benjamin Franklin from a hand carved replica he made of a snake cut into eight pieces that represented the 13 colonies, with the head being the New England colonies and the tail representing South Carolina. This hand carved image became one of the first political cartoons in history.
Paul Revere added the symbol as a snake, joined to fight a British Dragon, in an article in the “Massachusetts Spy”, one of the first newspapers in the new world.
In an essay published in the Pennsylvania Journal, Benjamin Franklin said:
“I recollected that her eye (speaking of the snake) excelled in brightness, that of any other animal, and that she has no eye-lids—She may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance.—She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage.”
Here are a few excerpts from the Declaration of Independence as our Founding Fathers sought redress from the oppressive hand of King George the third, of England. The parallels are uncanny, startling and downright disturbing.
# He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
# He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws;
# He has imposed Taxes on us without our Consent:
# He has taken away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
# In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.
# We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us.
How many of these statements from the Declaration are directly applicable to our current situation under an oppressive United States Government? All of them!!! It appears that after 232 years and hundreds of thousands or millions of men and women who were maimed or gave their lives to defend our freedom, we successfully became independent from a foreign power, England, only to become helplessly dependent on our own government.
A country founded on the God-given, unalienable individual rights and self-reliance, has morphed into weak individuals, dependency and a complete willingness to be dominated by an ever-more-powerful government, because that government has brought a perpetual Christmas as an all-benevolent Santa Claus, handing out “free” gifts, largess and public welfare, taken by force at the point of a gun, from the sweat, blood and tears of the American producer. Government has become the purveyor of waste, fraud, abuse and corruption and destroys America’s free spirit along with its independence, creativity, ingenuity, industriousness and generosity. Almost everything that government touches ends up in chaos, or very expensive and dire unintended consequences.
It is time to bring back the symbol of American freedom and indomitable spirit, the Gadsden Flag, with the message to everyone in Government and those that support their policies of socialism, communism and radical environmentalism, “Don’t Tread On Me”, because I am a proud American and I will dedicate my life, my fortune and my sacred honor in the defense of freedom for me, my children and my grandchildren. As long as there is breath in my body, I shall not submit to government’s unconstitutional power and I will enlist a multitude of others in this most noble of all causes, the preservation, protection and defense of freedom and liberty for all.
We call out to those whose spirit and resolve are the very core of their being and represent the epitome of liberty. We call out to all Americans who believe strongly in righting a wrong and who have the courage and the will to return this great land to the destiny, out of providence, for which it was born; the extension of liberty for all peoples of the Earth, into the infinite future. For life without liberty is not life at all, but in fact is a living Hell in slavery.
What the colonists faced with the British, we now face with our own government. It took a bloody revolution to unlock the chains of English slavery. The question is, can we unlock the chains of American slavery with just words and civil deeds, or will once again freedom have to be regained by force and bloody violence? We urge that long before violence becomes the only alternative, rise up with us so that we may regain our freedom by the application of our own law, which provides us with a legal and lawful mechanism to hold government within its constitutional limits. Let us return our laws to common sense, constitutional principles and restore the goodness that lies in the hearts of all men, to our institutions of freedom, such that freedom is perpetual instead of accidental, or born out of misery, heartache, violence and revolution. Freedom is always in our grasp but we must at all times be ready and willing to make the sacrifices that are necessary to maintain it. Now is that time.
|August 26th, 2008||#33|
Big snake spotted swallowing fish whole in Smokies
Posted: Aug 21, 2008 12:48 PM
Teresa Wood's brother had a camera nearby and took pictures of the snake as it ate.
TOWNSEND (WATE) -- A huge snake that was swallowing a fish whole startled swimmers and tubers at the Townsend Wye last weekend.
Teresa Wood tells 6 News the snake was laying on the rocks near where her family was swimming in the Little River.
Wood says "it's unbelievable" how big the the snake was and her family won't be going back.
Her brother had a camera nearby and took pictures of the snake as it ate.
|August 27th, 2008||#34|
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Virginia, CSA
I don't like snakes much, but I loathe spiders. I was bitten by a Brown Recluse a couple years ago: didn't feel it when it happened, and didn't hurt much period, but the raw wound took about 8 months to heal - even with daily application of prescription-strength antibiotic ointment.
So I waste little time in crushing the creepy fuckers whenever I see them in my house.
|November 1st, 2008||#36|
[Yet another African attacks human story]
Thu, October 30, 2008
Fear not, poisonous snake is dead, cops say
By ROSS ROMANIUK, SUN MEDIA
Stop looking under your beds and inside closets -- the deadly snake that recently bit and nearly killed a Winnipeg man is dead.
That's what city police said yesterday of the long-fanged West African gaboon viper, which authorities had long searched for following its strike on the face of its 31-year-old victim earlier this month.
"The remains of the snake have not been located. However, investigators are confident that this information is accurate," Const. Jacqueline Chaput said of the discovery the reptile was killed and its carcass "disposed of" by unspecified acquaintances of the victim shortly after the Oct. 19 bite.
Contrary to initial police suspicions that the bite incident occurred in rural Manitoba, the venomous snake was allegedly kept by the victim at his Winnipeg home -- in violation of a city bylaw restricting or prohibiting exotic creatures.
The man, who was released from hospital days ago and whom police have refused to identify, faces a charge under the bylaw and a possible fine of up to $1,000 if convicted.
It may be a small price to pay for the man, considering he was bitten on the face by one of the world's deadliest snake species. One strike can kill a human within minutes or result in severe tissue damage requiring amputation or plastic surgery.
"This could have had fatal circumstances," said Chaput. "I think a fine is something that one would welcome -- and have your life, rather than have tragic consequences."
The victim, described as a snake enthusiast, was driven by a friend to St. Boniface General Hospital following the incident. Despite his injury, the man was able to tell staff what had happened.
Antivenin flown in from Toronto is credited with saving the life of the man, who slipped into critical condition at the hospital.
Police refused to give details of the nature of the death of the snake, whose species can grow to two metres long.
The latest bite is one of only a handful of such incidents in the past two decades in Winnipeg.
Police have not speculated as to how the bite occurred, though Chaput said the specifics "will eventually come out" when the case goes to court.
Chaput pointed out police went to great lengths to ensure the snake wasn't slithering among the public.
"There was a team of detectives assigned to this," she said.
"It was a public safety issue, and we did everything we could to ensure the snake was located. I know it's not located, but we are confident that it's deceased."
|November 1st, 2008||#37|
[moron dumps tropical snake in Mass. woods]
Exotic snake found in woods off Fredonian Street
By M.E. Jones
10/31/2008 08:39:46 AM EDT
SHIRLEY -- An 8-foot snake found in the woods off Fredonian Street on Saturday, Oct. 11, was transported first to the police station and then to a New Hampshire pet store, said police Chief Paul Thibodeau.
The snake is a Brazilian boa that police believe was abandoned by its owner. A woman walking on the wooded pathways of Fredonian Park spotted the snake and called the police.
The police officer who responded tried to contact the animal control officer, who was unavailable, Thibodeau said. Fortunately, the snake was slow-moving on a cold day and the officer was able to capture it with the help of a neighbor. It was taken to the station in a box.
Sgt. Violette knew of a specialty pet store in Manchester, N.H., and "they came to pick it up," Thibodeau said.
The snake is a constrictor, capable of devouring small animals and pets. It could also be dangerous to a small child, Thibodeau said.
The person believed to be the owner is a man named Dave who had posted a flier in the Village Pizza Shop, offering to sell or
give away his pet snake, tanks and accessories. The snake pictured on the flier was a dead ringer for the one found in the woods.
Police have charged the man, who formerly lived in Shirley, with cruelty to animals. However, he has apparently left the area and has not been located, Thibodeau said.
|November 1st, 2008||#38|
[2 girl 1 cup? dat noting. try 2 snake 1 spida.
goofy chink story - 3 inch story yet with illustration? odd]
All die when snake pair gang up on large spider
The bodies of two snakes and a spider were found entwined together on the lawn of a housing estate in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province, on Oct 20.
The two snakes, including a green and yellow-and-black species, were coiled together with a 10-cm-long spider lying on top.
Local residents believe all were poisonous and died after a fierce fight the previous night.
[Gotta love that "fierce." Whatsamatter, Wan-Hung, you look tired? Ah, the goddam snakes and spider were going at it again last night. Couldn't sleep a wink.]
A brief ruckus ensued as locals battled to secure the remains for two-snake-one-spider soup, a regional specialty.
(Dongfang Jinbao News)
|November 1st, 2008||#39|
[Syndactily lace, a dingy face, really make, a dooga's world go round!]
[You know, it's one thing to have these boscoes entertaining us from the subcontinent; it's another thing when i have to walk around them playing pickup cricket on the quad of the local college (true story)]
India Express Buzz
Saturday, November 01, 2008 5:22 PM IST
Family ties deformity to snake curse
The fingers of a girl that resemble a snake/P JUSTINE.
First Published : 31 Oct 2008 02:48:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 31 Oct 2008 08:45:05 AM IST
TIRUNELVELI: A family reels under the curse of a snake that was killed by an ancestor 300 years ago. Almost every member of the family has some sort of defect that the family says is due to the curse of the snake.
It might be hard to believe such stories in the 21st century, where computer astrology and Bluetooth connectivity is the sign of times.
A family in Tirunelveli district believes that a snake that was mistakenly killed by an elder in their family three centuries ago is settling its score generation after generation by giving some sort of genetic disfiguration to the family members.
The affected family says that their ancestors used to live at Prancheri near Gangaikondan in Tirunelveli district. Once a grandmother in the family, while collecting grains to cook, accidentally picked a snake and put it for cooking into a pot.
After the rice was cooked, the entire family assembled to have their lunch.
While serving rice the members noticed the cooked reptile. The family disposed of the entire rice little knowing that they had earned a curse on their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
The reason for the family to believe that the snake is taking its revenge is that many members in the family have digits on the hand that resemble a snake.
The fingers are either twisted or webbed resembling a snake.
When contacted, Dr Rajendra Rathnam of Tirunelveli Medical College said that the webbing or connecting of digits was a congenital deformity.
It is termed as Syndactyly, in which there is partial or total webbing of two or more digits or toes. People usually attribute such things to some unbelievable story”.
|November 1st, 2008||#40|
[Darwin Award quarter finalist]
Woman Asphyxiated by Pet Snake
Virginia: 25-year-old Amanda Ruth Black has been asphyxiated by her pet snake apparently while trying to medicate it. Her body was found by her husband and the agitated snake was found in a bedroom and taken by animal control.
Experts warn that even though pythons are not venomous they require careful handling. They can quickly become dangerous if they are startled or fed incorrectly. Reticulated pythons can grow to 30 feet, rivaling anacondas for length.