'Lost' snake species found in Mexico has been lost for almost eight decades. Now, the 'lost' snake species is lost no more and it has been re-discovered on a remote Mexican island, according to the Associated Press.
China Daily USA reports that according to a study published in the PLOS ONE scientific journal, the 'lost' snake species is called the Clarion nightsnake. It was found once again on one of the Revillagigedo Islands, more than 650 kilometers off Mexico's Pacific coast.
The original discovery of the 'lost' snake species was reportedly made by American naturalist William Beebe in a 1936 visit to Clarion in one of the four Revillagigedo Islands. Beebe returned from his expedition with one snake preserved in a glass jar.
Further visits to the island has produced no more of the snake species, hence the Clarion nightsnake has been called a 'lost' snake species. No subsequent sightings have also been reported over the years from the island. According to CTV News, the island has been inhabited only by a small detachment of Mexican marines. The existing dead sample of the 'lost' snake species has been assumed a labeling error and the snake was largely struck from taxonomic registries.
However, that did not stop Researcher Daniel Mulcahy for the National Museum of Natural History in Washington to suspect that the 'lost' snake species might not be lost after all. Together with Martinez Gomez of Mexico's Ecology, Mulcahy set out to find the Clarion nightsnake.
Martinez Gomez is reportedly an expert on the Revillagigedo Islands. He noted that the islands where the 'lost' snake species was initially found changes a lot from season to season. Because of this, the two experts timed their search last May in order to replicate Beebe's steps as they looked for the snake. During this time, the 'lost' snake species reportedly blends in with the island's rock formations and is largely active at night. The two experts used Beebe's original field notes as guide.
Gomez said, "Basically, following those directions, we essentially put ourselves in his place." Juan Alberto Cervantes is one of Gomez's graduate students. Cervantes was reportedly the first to spot one of the 'lost' snake species for the first time since its discovery in 1936.
After spotting the Clarion nightsnake, the researchers still had to perform DNA analysis in order to establish that the long, dark spotted snake is indeed the 'lost' snake species. They had to see where it came from. The tests reportedly showed that the snake is the most closely related to snakes from Mexico's Sonora-Sinaloa coast more than 500 miles (800 kilometers) away.
'Lost' snake species ancestors may have made the trip from the mainland on a tree trunk felled by a storm and washed out to sea, said Gomez.
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