New species: Bizarre Amazonian ‘penis snake’, gallery of pictures

The Examiner

27/8/12

A bizarre creature dubbed the “penis snake” was discovered in the Amazon river of Brazil by workers preparing for a dam to be constructed. As it happens the “snake” isn’t a snake at all, but is rather a very rare member of the amphibian family. The discovery was made in November 2011, but only has recently been confirmed as a new species.

This particular discovery was confirmed by Julian Tupan, a biologist, who claimed the species to be called “Atretochoana eiselti.”. As this was a new discovery, relatively sparse information is available regarding the species. Many experts speculate that the amphibian breathes through its skin. It is, however, a predator that eats typically anything smaller than itself including worms, and small aquatic life.

View slideshow: The Amazonian Penis Snake
The Penis Snake
The Penis Snake
Photo credit:
matt roper

It is believed the “penis snake” is a type of caecilian, which is a species of amphibian that may not have limbs. Other larger variations of the species were previously discovered over 1,000 miles away in a different part of the Amazon river.