Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Another New Spitting Cobra Discovered

30.06.2003


When staff at the Reptile House in London Zoo thought they had an unidentified species of cobra on their hands, they turned to an expert in snake species identification- Dr Wolfgang Wüster of the University of Wales, Bangor’s School of Biological Sciences for assistance.



Dr Wüster, who has been involved in the identification of three other new snake species, agreed with keepers at the Zoo that this spitting cobra species was different to the red spitting cobra which it was originally thought to be, and to any species already identified, in its shape, size and markings. Having conducted DNA analysis on a small sample of scale, Dr Wüster confirmed that this was a new species.

The snakes had been given to London Zoo as part of an illegal pet trade confiscation, so it was not clear from where they originated. Detective work by Dr Wüster, in collaboration with the well-known Zimbabwean herpetologist Donald Broadley, established that they came from specific areas in Egypt, the Sudan, Chad, Niger and Eritrea. As the majority of documented specimens came from southern Egypt and the Sudan, an area once called Nubia, they have now been classified as Naja nubiae or Nubian Spitting Cobras. The snakes are still at London Zoo, and have bred since being there.


As Dr Wüster explains, “More work now needs to be done to establish a few facts about this species. We have established that they come from densely populated fertile lands in the Nile valley, so for conservation reasons, we need to establish how large the population is, over what areas they are scattered, and whether they are endangered. As they live so close to areas of human habitation, we also need to test their venom to see if it is compatible with antivenoms that are administered for other cobra species in the region. Venom can vary between different species of cobra, or even within a single species.”

Terry March, Team Leader of Reptiles at London Zoo, said: “Working very closely with the animals here in the Reptile House we noticed subtle differences when the animals arrived, and collaborating with Dr Wüster has led to a new species of cobra being identified. To then see the snakes successfully breed makes it even more significant as there is so little known about the species and much too learn”.

Dr Wüster, who lectures in Zoology at the University’s School of Biological Sciences is an expert in reptile taxonomy or species identification, and the evolution of venom in snakes.

Dr. Wolfgang Wüster | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bangor.ac.uk/news/ResearchNews.htm

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht High-Speed Locomotion Neurons Found in the Brainstem
24.10.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Antibiotic resistance: a strain of multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli is on the rise
24.10.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Single nanoparticle mapping paves the way for better nanotechnology

24.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A quantum spin liquid

24.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Antibiotic resistance: a strain of multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli is on the rise

24.10.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>