paradise flying snake (Chrysopelea paradisi)

Paradise flying snake (Chrysopelea paradisi)
Flying snakes exist. And now, scientists finally understand how they can fly... There are snakes that can fly and scientists now know how

Anyone scared of snakes on the ground may not want to read this story — because the reptiles are also in the sky.

The paradise snake, which is native to south and southeast Asia, has been known to scientists for some time. But they never really understood how the species — and others like it — are able to glide through the air.

Researchers at Virginia Tech conducted controlled tests with the snakes in an indoor environment.

flying snake
© J.J.S.
Body shape of the flying snake Chrysopelea paradisi. (A) Airborne snake in ventral view (photo: J.J.S.). (B) Lateral/ventral view showing the triangular dorsal surface and the two ventrally projecting lateral edges (from Miklasz et al., 2010). (C) Cross-sectional geometry used in this study (from Socha, 2011). The model was rapid prototyped from ABS plastic with a chord, c, of 25.4 mm.
They discovered that the undulating motion the snakes exhibit while gliding stabilizes them, which allows them to fly further.

Previously, researchers thought the snakes' movements in the air were the same movement they used when slithering on the ground.

Flying snakes

There are five recognized species of flying snake: Golden tree snake, Paradise tree snake, Twin-barred tree snake, Moluccan flying snake,Sri Lankan flying snake.

They are mildly venomous snakes, but their tiny, fixed rear fangs make them harmless to humans.

The smallest species reach about 2 feet (0.6 m) in length and the largest grow to 4 feet (1.2 m). They live from western India to the Indonesian archipelago.

Knowledge of their behavior in the wild is limited, but they are thought to be highly arboreal, rarely descending from the canopy. Just imagine one falling right on your head! OMG!