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The incredibly impressive trajectory of the flying snake

Posted in Animals, Nature, Oddities, Wildlife on Wednesday, 29 February 2012

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This edited article about snakes originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 655 published on 3 August 1974.

gliding creatures, picture, image, illustration

The flying snake (top left) is one of several gliding creatures

Many snakes can climb trees on occasions but this “tall” story was disbelieved at one time believe it or not. However, in Indonesia and Malaya, there are some snakes which spend most of their lives high up in the branches, feeding on young birds, lizards and insects.

One kind is known as the “flying” snake and although it is not quite correct to say that this species can really “fly”, they can glide long distances from tree to tree.

The snake launches itself from one of the topmost branches of a lofty tree, at the same time spreading out its ribs so that its body is nearly flat like a ribbon and can take advantage of the air currents.

It then glides to a lower branch on another tree, perhaps as much as twenty feet away.

Observers have maintained that by twisting its body, the aeronautical snake is capable of changing direction in flight.

Luckily, we in Britain are not plagued with snakes, apart from the adder.

Of late, there have been sightings of various “unidentified flying objects” but so far, nothing in the nature of a “flying snake.”

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