New Type Of Venomous Snake Discovered In Australia
If there's one thing that Australia really, really doesn't need, it's more venomous snakes.
Australia is already teeming with animals that want to kill you, from funnel web spiders to crocs the size of cars and, well, plenty of snakes.
Now, researchers in Oz have announced that they have discovered an entirely new breed of venomous snake. Oh joy.
This delightful little creature is a type of bandy-bandy snake, which is a much cuter name than it really deserves.
Perhaps a bitey-bitey snake might be more appropriate, but then Australians do tend to be a little more cavalier with their dangerous animals than us Brits, who are usually troubled by little more than a nasty nip off an otter.
Brydie Maro, a snake catcher from Queensland, told Daily Mail Australia that bandy-bandy bites could be fatal.
Professor Brian Fry from the University of Queensland, who was part of the team that discovered the new snake, told the Daily Mail: "Bandy-bandy is a burrowing snake, so Freek Vonk from the Naturalis Museum and I were surprised to find it on a concrete block by the sea."
Maybe they can call it Bryan the Snake in his honour, given their predilection for nice names for horrible animals.
"We later discovered that the snake had slithered over from a pile of bauxite rubble waiting to be loaded onto a ship," he added.
"On examination by my student, Chantelle Derez, the bandy-bandy turned out to be a new species, visually and genetically distinct from those found on the Australian East coast and parts of the interior."
Fry suggested that the extensive mining of the Cape York Peninsula - in Australia's very far north - was causing these snakes to move from the interior (where there are hardly any people and thus, where really we'd all be happier if they stayed) to more populated areas.
Professor Fry told the Daily Mail: "Bauxite mining is a major economic activity in the region, and it may be reshaping the environment to the detriment of native plants and animals.
"The importance of such discoveries goes beyond simply documenting what is out there, as venoms are rich sources of compounds that can be used to develop new medications.
"Every species is precious and we need to protect them all, since we can't predict where the next wonder-drug will come from.
"The discovery of this enigmatic little snake is symptomatic of the much more fundamental problem of how little we know about our biodiversity and how much may be lost before we even discover it."
Featured Image Credit: Bryan Fry/University of Queensland