Flying Snakes?


Stephanie West, Staff Writer

Scientists have recently discovered a new species of snake that is native to, you guessed it, Australia. The interesting thing about this species of snake is that it can jump up to 300 ft. Scientists are right now looking into why they evolved to have this unique trait. Is it a possible escape? Or a method of efficient transport? Results are inconclusive. What happens is that the snake will push themselves off the branch with enough momentum to keep them moving through the air and then they flatten their bodies in midair and glide through the treetops like a flying squirrel, up to 300 feet at a time. 

Michelle Graham was the first to study this species of snakes and their interesting adaptation. She traveled to Australia and temporarily captured some of the snakes from the wild. She then coaxed them into performing their behaviors in a lab experiment, on a structure made out of PVC pipe, tree branches, and GoPro cameras. By investigating how snakes move around their environment, the scientists have revealed more insights into the diversity of animal locomotion, which has implications for how these bizarre behaviors may have evolved.