In some of the most remote regions of Costa Rica researchers have discovered a new species of venomous snake. The green and black pattern on the Talamancan Palm Pit-Viper’s body give it excellent camouflage while nestled in trees and allowed to slender viper to go unnoticed for hundreds of years.
Its closest relative, the Black Speckled Palm Pit-Viper shares the green and black color pattern. The two snakes actually look so similar that the Talamancan Palm has likely been seen before and just assumed to be a Black Speckled Palm. One has to get a closer look at the genetics of the snakes to truly see the difference.
“It shows some of the complexities we deal with when cataloging biodiversity and underscores the importance of maintaining natural-history collections”, said team leader and professor of The University of Central Florida, Christopher Parkinson.
Costa Rica is slightly over 52% jungle, much of which is still unexplored. The Government has committed to cataloging the species, but there are still constantly new types of flora and fauna being discovered.
Snakes especially can offer amazing benefits to the world. The study of venom is a huge ongoing process in the medical field. Oddly enough, the deadly chemicals in venom that humans are so warey of, are the same ones that can provide cures and treatments to other diseases. Snake venom is already used as a painkiller and potential treatment for diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Research teams who venture into the frontier looking for new species may one day find a type of venom that contains hemo and neurotoxins that can cure other diseases which may currently have no treatment.