Scientists discover new species of “blind snake” in Brazilian river that looks remarkably like a piece of the human anatomy (and stop sniggering)
Forgive us if this puts you off your dinner because, as snakes go, this is not much of a charmer.
The unique creature, atretochoana eiselti, was found after engineers drained a hydroelectric dam which spans a river connected to the Amazon.
Biologists discovered six of the unusual-looking creatures – each about a metre long – at the bottom of the river-bed on the Madeira river in Rondonia, in Brazil.
This blind snake might look a little disgusting, but it is an exciting discovery for scientists, who believe it is closely related to salamanders and frogs
Atretochoana eiselti is blind and has been spotted near the mouth of the Amazon river, in warm and fast-flowing water
The creatures were discovered in November, however it took until today for scientists to correctly classify the snake”s genus – confirming it is a rare creature which has only been spotted sporadically since first spotted in 1968.
It is actually more closely related to salamanders and frogs, but appearance-wise looks more like a snake.
Biologist Julian Tupan, who works forSanto Antonio Energy – the company which constructed the dam – said: “Of the six we collected, one died, three were released back into the wild and another two were kept for studies.
“Despite looking like snakes, they aren’t reptiles and are more closely related to salamanders and frogs.
The creature was first discovered in South America in 1968, but was only discovered on the island of Mosquiro last year
Mr Tupan added: “We think the animal breathes through its skin, and probably feeds on small fish and worms, but there is still nothing proven.
“The Amazon is a box of surprises when it comes to reptiles and amphibians. There are still much more to be discovered”