Monday, September 28, 2009

Snake in China Gets a Leg Up on Evolution

A woman in China heard something late one night. She turned on the light to discover a snake with a foot clinging to her wall. Go ahead, I'll wait... Yes: a snake with a foot. What? Oh yes, on her wall - but that, the foot thing is...

The woman says the snake was working its way along her wall with its claw! She became so frightened, she grabbed a shoe and beat the serpent to death, but she thought to preserve it in alcohol. It is now being studied at a university in Nanchang.

The snake is pencil-thin and 16" long. The area around the foot is larger than the rest, giving it a swollen appearance; on first sight, it looks like the snake ate something which burst from its side. However, scientists say it is most likely a mutated specimen. A fairly common snake mutation - possibly related - sees specimens with two heads! These are often killed and saved as good luck charms. Experts say the heads have a tendency to attack one another!

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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