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‘Exceedingly rare’ wolf snake captured on film in Tibet

Published May 19th, 2024 10:34AM EDT
Gammie's wolf snake, rare snake found in india and china
Image: RealityImages / Adobe

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Last year, scientist Xiaoqi Mi made a surprising discovery. While shining a flashlight across the trunks of numerous trees alongside a road in Tibet, the scientists spotted an exceedingly rare snake, a Gammie’s wolf snake, climbing up one of the trunks.

This species was first discovered in 1878 and has only been spotted and collected around ten times since its discovery. The last of these rare creatures captured in Tibet was found over 14 years ago, in 2010. The scientists and other researchers have published a new study on the findings in ZooKeys.

The Gammie’s wolf snake, or the Lycodon gammiei, as it is more scientifically known, is a long, thin snake with a yellow collar on its neck. It features alternating black and yellowish-green stripes along its body. You can see the images of the snake in The News & Observer’s report on the find.

Xiaoqi Mi was able to capture multiple photos of the snake. This rare species of snake is only found in Tibet, Bhutan, and India. It is a nonvenomous species, and the recent discovery has helped expand its known range and has allowed scientists to study its DNA for the first time, which could provide invaluable insight.

These new photographs only help to highlight just how good the snake is at blending into its surroundings, which has probably helped it remain so elusive all these years. The most recent sighting of the rare snake was in Mêdog County, which is located in southeastern Tibet and a bit outside the previously known range for the snake.

The specimen that they found is roughly three feet long, and was found last August. Being able to study its DNA should help the scientists learn more about the rare snake so that they can better understand how it survives and possibly even why it seems too rare.

Of course, this discovery isn’t as mind-blowing as the ancient snake found in amber was back in 2018. But, it still highlights just how little we know about the animal kingdom, and the creatures that call Earth home.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.