Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tiny Dead Snakes

My dad called me over to one of our plots of land, as there was some work going on and the workers had apparently spotted tiny snakes. And more. The word 'snake' got me excited and in a hurry I left to the spot. There were, these three tiny snakes (killed by the nasty workers, obviously), each of about 5mm in width and 10-12cm in length. I could not identify them as they were really small, probably hatchlings!

I noticed they had a tiny orange spot on their necks. What could they indicate? Baby cobras? That is one possibility, as the neighbouring villagers recently informed that mating cobras were sometimes seen in the plot of land. Whatever it was, I was pretty sad I couldn't photograph any live snakes.

But wait. There was more. Apart from these tiny snakes, the workers had also spotted and killed three long, slimy, 'worm-like' creatures, about 15mm in width and 30+cm in length. I didn't know what they were, so I took them home, investigated their body structure and facial organs, and came to a conclusion that they were caecilians - a group of legless amphibians, widely spread around the world but rarely encountered or studied due to their burrowing nature. However, I am not gonna post any pictures of the dead caecilians as the images look rather.... ugly. Yes. Apparently the workers (who have got ZERO contextual knowledge and believe ANYTHING they hear in their childhood) instantly and brutally killed them as they were sure that these caecilians were highly venomous snakes that could kill a person within minutes. Well, I had a good laugh at their story.

P.S. Don't worry, a live caecilian is coming right up!


Vera said...

Stupid workers! How can people kill animals just because they are afraid of? Even snakes!

Thank you for adding me to your links! :)

john said...

Your dead snakes are almost undoubtedly hatchling, Sunbeam Snakes. Did you notice an iridescent sheen to their skin? Sunbeam Snakes are semi-fossorial, completely harmless, and actually make decent pets.
I have only ever seen one caecilian. It's too bad that so many people automatically kill most of the small animals that they find.

Shawn said...

Thanks Vera and John.

Vera, this is the problem with almost ALL the locals here, if they fear something might harm them, they instantly kill it! They're acting like cold-bloods!

PS You're welcome!

John, that could be a possibility! Though I've never seen Sunbeam Snakes (not even in S'pore), I kinda agree with you. However, whatever they were, too bad they were killed. :(

Anyway, just wait for my next post, its about a LIVE caecilian, which I didn't let anyone kill! :)

Anonymous said...

They're actually Sheildtails, small burrowing snakes endemic to the western ghats and sri lanka. Can't tell what species...

Shawn said...

Hey there Anonymous,

that's highly probable since I spotted a Shield Tail from this very plot!



Related Posts with Thumbnails