TAMPA (CNN Newsource) – For some the sight of a snake slithering on the ground is scary enough, so how about one launching itself through the air?
Chrysopelea paradisi — the paradise tree snake — does just that, propelling itself through the air from trees in South and Southeast Asia. Little was known about how such snakes “fly” before a team of scientists from Virginia Tech published a new research paper Monday.
Experts say the snakes glide through the air and study lead.
Discovered the undulating motion the snakes exhibit while gliding stabilizes them which allows them to fly further.
Since that undulation is the same movement they use to slither on the ground, it was previously thought it was just a base motor pattern.
The next stage for researchers is to observe snakes jumping from trees — or gliding — outdoors, as well as investigating how they generate lift and how they turn in the air.
Just a couple of footnotes to calm your nerves… though these snakes are venomous, their venom is weak and like almost all snakes, they are considered harmless to humans.