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(Jayne Yack)

Wild Things: Great Whites, Tree Snakes, Drongos and More

These animals redefine life as we know it

Observed

paradise tree snake
(Jake Socha)

Name: The paradise tree snake (Chrysopelea paradisi), native to Asia.
Airborne: This snake can launch from
a branch and travel as far as 330 feet.
Gliding? In a new study, not one of the four test snakes achieved true gliding equilibrium, which involves moving
at constant velocity at a constant angle to the horizon. Still, the researchers say their test flights may have been too short.
Flying? Maybe. By flattening and undulating their bodies, the snakes could at times briefly rise in altitude. “Quite an impressive feat for a snake,” says lead author John Socha of Virginia Tech.

Learn more about the paradise tree snake at the Encyclopedia of Life.

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