New Ruby-Eyed Pit Viper Discovered [NationalGeographic 2011-03-28]
Spot the Snake
Photograph by Peter Paul van Dijk
A ruby-eyed green pit viper blends in with the vibrant jungle vegetation of Vietnam in a May 2000 picture.
Life in the trees is one reason the pit viper is so efficient at digesting its meals: A full gut would be a hindrance to movement aloft.
But the new species "do occur on the ground and often forage on the ground," study co-author Malhotra added. "And they often occur near streams, so one assumes that they do eat some high proportion of frogs.
"We also know that other related species eat small mammals, and these closely related animals are likely to be quite similar ecologically."