Naming rights for five new snail-sucking snake species auctioned to save forests in Ecuador

phys.org | 6/14/2018 | Staff
gracey (Posted by) Level 3
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Five new species of eye-catching snakes with curious eating habits were found to dwell in forests in Ecuador. Their unusual taste for snails—a rather unusual diet among typical snakes—has even sculpted their jaws in such a way that they can suck the viscous slimy body of a snail right out of its shell.

With four out of the five already deemed at risk of extinction, the international research team decided to auction their naming rights and use the money to purchase and save a previously unprotected 72 ha (178 acre) plot of land where some of these species live.

Turn - Fundación - Jocotoco - Plot - Buenaventura

In its turn, Fundación Jocotoco is to add the purchased plot to the Buenaventura reserve, thereby expanding the only protected area where two of the new snakes are found, and prevent these endangered snake species from going extinct.

The new snail-sucking snakes are described by Alejandro Arteaga, an Ecuadorian-Venezuelan Ph.D. student at the American Museum of Natural History and scientific director of Tropical Herping and his team. Their study is published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

Species - Series - Expeditions - Rainforests - Ecuador

Three of the five species were discovered during a series of expeditions to three rainforests in Ecuador between 2013 and 2017, conducted by Alejandro and Dr. Alex Pyron, The George Washington University and National Museum of Natural History, USA.

In another habitat type, the dry forest, Ecuadorian scientists Dr. Omar Torres-Carvajal, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE), David Salazar-Valenzuela, Universidad Tecnológica Indoamérica, Diego Cisneros-Heredia, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Juan Carlos Sánchez, Universidad del Azuay, Mario Yánez-Muñoz, Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INABIO), and Peruvian scientist Pablo Venegas, CORBIDI, noted the existence of the other two new species.

Order - Snakes - Species - Team - Researchers

In order to confirm these five snakes as new species, the team of researchers, particularly Drs. Konrad Mebert, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Nicolás Peñafiel, Universidad Tecnológica Indoamérica, Gabriela Aguiar, Tropical Herping, and...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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