Scientists at the University of Kansas Institute for Biodiversity have been lucky enough to discover not only a new species of snake, but also a completely new genus or genus. This discovery is not only a great surprise to science, but also speaks volumes about the importance of preserving biodiversity collections in research institutes and universities.
Jeff Wynnell, a researcher at the University of Kansas Institute for Biodiversity, has found three specimens of a new species and genus of snakes kept at the institute. The samples were collected during fieldwork between 2006 and 2012 and are now known to have not been identified.
This new species of snake belongs to the genus of newly discovered snakes called “Levitonius” (Levitonius), which is officially named “Levitonius mirus”.
These snakes, also known as “dwarf burrowers”, are native to the islands of Samar and Lita in the Philippines. This area of the world is famous for its exceptional biodiversity, which includes about 112 species of land snakes.
The new species was identified through a combination of Diana analysis and skeletal CT scan, and the results were recently published in the prestigious journal Copeia.
This new species of snake is one of the smallest snakes in the world and has a relatively long and narrow skull due to its size. This type of snake also has a rainbow color and its diet seems to be more dependent on feeding on earthworms.
Vinel was working on a group of snakes called the Pseudorabdion, who were surprised to find that some of them did not appear to belong to the collection.
“I sequenced Diana from a sample group of that group and found that the sample of suspected snakes was different from other snakes,” he said in an interview with Cyan.
He added: “When I got the Diana results, at first I thought it was just a mistake on my part or due to the contamination of the specimens, but eventually it turned out that I had discovered a new species of snake.
Analysis of the CT scan results of the skeletons of these snakes proved that “Vinel” has found a new species of snakes.
The Levitonius miros is about 6.7 inches (17 cm) long, which is about the size of a pencil and about three or four times smaller than its peers. This has led to this species being described as “miniature” or “miniature”.
“It has a lot of consequences, and like reducing the number of bones, it’s a kind of simplification,” says Vinel. Shrinkage or miniature is not uncommon, at least in snakes, and is not common, but it seems to be very severe for Levitonius miros compared to other members of the larger snake family.
Levitonius miros is believed to be non-toxic.
Although the news of the discovery of this new species of snake is good news for biologists around the world, the next step is to try to find new species of snake in the wild, which, as a burrowing animal, will probably be a difficult task.
These three newly identified specimens are the only known specimens so far, and so far no live photographs have been taken of them.
“They live underground, so it’s hard to find them unless you have the great conditions and tools to get them off the ground,” Vinel explained.
This new discovery is actually very exciting, and at the same time helps to strengthen the importance of biodiversity conservation in research institutes and universities. Only by maintaining good collections of existing specimens in this field can we hope to rediscover new species in the future.