Last year, a group of scientists were asleep on a remote island in the Bahamas when one of them was awakened by a snake: a new species of boa constrictor it turned out, one of several previously undiscovered snakes the scientists later identified.
Scientists so far have seen 20 of them on or near Conception Island in the Bahamas, tagging some to keep track of their movements, according to the Guardian. Chilabothrus argentum, which is silver in appearance, is also critically endangered.
Scientists frequently discover new species of animals and plants, but finding a new snake, at least one expert told the Guardian, was very uncommon.
The snake gets by on a diet of birds, frogs, and rats, killing them like other constrictors, by coiling their bodies around their prey and squeezing.
The scientists have known about the snakes for some time, discovering many of them last year, but they waited for any formal announcement after genetic testing was complete. The scientists found the first in a serendipitous place: slithering up a palm tree. The tree’s color? Also silver.