Why do snakes and rattlesnaks live in close proximity?
The answer, scientists have discovered, is a new species of plant, the window plant shelf.
The species, discovered in South Australia, was discovered by a team of researchers from the University of New South Wales in 2013 and named the Rattlesnasaurus ophidiadactylus.
“It’s just a little bit of a mystery, to be honest,” University of Queensland zoologist Dr John Tett said.
“I’m sure there are lots of people out there that think they’ve seen a Rattlesnar, but they haven’t seen the same species.”
The team of research members identified the plant as the Rattelsnasaurus obliquus, and named it after the mythical serpent of legend.
Dr Tett says the name came from the fact that the plant has a small head and a snake-like body.
“The first thing you notice about this species is the very small head,” Dr Tell said.
The team says the rattles snakes will also use the window shelf to feed.
“So it’s a very useful tool in their survival,” Dr Tim Linton, an ecologist at the University’s Department of Biological Sciences, said.
Dr Linton says the Rattleridae family is very well-studied, with over 400 species found across Australia and around the world.
“But it’s also a little unusual, and it’s one that people haven’t been able to really understand,” Dr Lett said, adding that it was difficult to track how long the plant survived in its natural habitat.
Dr Tim Tett is one of the scientists who discovered the Rattlersnasaurus.
He has been working with the Rattlsnake and Rattlessnake Research Group to identify the new species, and he says they have already spent years studying the plant.
“We’ve spent a lot of time studying it,” Dr Taylor said.