Snake with a leg found in China

A woman in China woke up to some scratching sounds and discovered a snake clinging to her bedroom wall by a single clawed leg. Mrs Duan of Suining of southwest China panicked and beat the snake to death with a shoe, then preserved it in a bottle of alcohol.

The snake measures 16 inches long and the foot and claw are “clearly part of the snake” according to Dr. Long Shai, a snake expert.

"Snakes and lizards have common ancestors going back millions of years but we won't know if this is connected until we can examine the body."

The evolutionary throwback - if that's what it is - is now being studied at the Life Sciences Department at China's West Normal University in Nanchang.


Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

The fact that it was apparently using the claw is what blew me away. I didn't think surprise appendages and evolutionary throwbacks generally work that way. My tail, for instance, doesn't do much more than wear holes in my pants.

I suppose it's possible that the lady was mistaken—I have no real reason to cast doubt on her, but I feel like anyone who has reached the point of beating something to death with his or her shoe shouldn't necessarily be expected to produce accurate scientific observations of the event.

Whatever the case, it's a pretty amazing limb! I had expected it to be just a little nub, or something, before I saw the picture.

posted on Thu, 09/17/2009 - 9:45am
mdr's picture
mdr says:

I like how you hear a rattle in the "video" of the snake. The rattle must be hidden in its leg.

posted on Thu, 09/17/2009 - 12:05pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Here: The Telegraph (of course) has been kind enough to provide us with a series of pictures of animals with unusual numbers of legs, heads, etc.

posted on Thu, 09/17/2009 - 9:56am
DO's picture
DO says:

Rudy the 2 headed pig resides at "Pigs Without Partners per the Telegraph. Only in the UK!

posted on Fri, 09/18/2009 - 12:15pm
Thor's picture
Thor says:

Are you sure that's not Sigorney Weaver trying to burst out of the snake?

posted on Thu, 09/17/2009 - 2:43pm

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