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The heir of Slytherin rejoice: New snake species invokes Harry Potter

IT'SSSSSS A GOOD NAME

By Angela Garrity, Guest Blogger

One need not be a Parselmouth to communicate with snakes. Sometimes, science just needs to be a Harry Potter fan to give a namesake of a newly discovered species. Five points to Slytherin!

Forbes reports that a recently discovered bright green viper, Trimeresurus Salazar, was discovered in the mountainous region of northeastern India by Naturalist Zeeshan Mirza and his colleagues. The venomous snake seems to be gratuitous of its common and less formidable name, Salazar’s Pit Viper.

The article states “Salazar’s pit viper is the newest addition to the genus Trimeresurus, which includes at least 48 species of pit viper (named for the sensory pits on the sides of their heads, not for any tendency to lurk in the Chamber of Secrets deep beneath wizard schools) in east and southeast Asia. It’s hard to say for sure how many snake species belong to Trimeresurus, because many of them look so much alike that it’s hard to tell them apart in the field. Researchers have to resort to genetic studies in the lab, because unfortunately, no one has invented a snake-sized Sorting Hat yet.”

The new snake species is smaller than this one too

This isn’t the first time the scientific community has given a naming convention nod to the beloved novels. However, it does appear that science has been charmed once again by the magical world created by J.K. Rowling.

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