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 New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations
16.01.2018 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht Unexpected environmental source of methane discovered
16.01.2018 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

White graphene makes ceramics multifunctional

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Breaking bad metals with neutrons

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

ISFH-CalTeC is “designated test centre” for the confirmation of solar cell world records

16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>