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The Spider-tailed Horned Viper

(YouTube link)

In western Iran there lives an endangered snake that preys on birds, and carries its own lure at the end of its tail. The Spider-tailed Horned Viper (Pseudocerastes urarachnoides) has an appendage that looks just like a spider. The rest of its body is camouflage colored, particularly the thin end of its tail leading to the “spider,” as you can see in the above video.

The first specimen was collected in 1968, but the spider tail was thought to have been a defect or a tumor. Then in 2001, another was found just like it. The new species was finally described in 2006. Let’s get a closeup view, shall we?

Just one more reason to be scared of spiders and snakes, now that they’re combined into one animal. -via Yonatan Zunger


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