Meet the World's Newest Snake: Matilda

Matilda's Horned Viper, to be precise
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2012 5:10 PM CST
Meet the World's Newest Snake: Matilda
In this photo released by the Wildlife Conservation Society, a Matilda's Horned Viper is seen in a forest habitat in Tanzania.   (AP Photo/Wildlife Conservation Society, Tim Davenport)

A brand-new species of snake sports yellow and black scales, two spiked horns, and a pretty cool name: Matilda's Horned Viper. Scientists discovered it in Tanzania two years ago and it got introduced last month as the world's newest snake species. It's only the third new snake discovered in Africa in three years, notes AP. About that name: It's in honor of one of the researcher's kids.

"My daughter, who was 5 at the time, became fascinated by it and used to love spending time watching it and helping us look after it," says Tim Davenport of the Wildlife Conservation Society in Tanzania. The snake can grow to 2 feet or so. "This particular animal looks fierce and probably is venomous. However, it is actually very calm animal and not at all aggressive. I have handled one on a number of occasions." (More Tanzania stories.)

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