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National Zoo announces rare snakes birth

Friday - 11/9/2012, 4:18am  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) - A group of tentacled snakes has been born at the National Zoo in Washington for the first time in more than a decade.

The rare birth of the eight snakes surprised animal keepers Oct. 21 because the parents had not produced viable young in recent years.

The zoo announced the rare birth Thursday. It's the first successful birth of tentacled snakes in 11 years.

These aquatic snakes from Southeast Asia are ambush hunters. They use their tails to anchor themselves underwater and wait for their prey. Their name comes from tentacles that protrude from their snouts that serve as sensors to detect vibrations from fish swimming nearby.

The snakes are developing quickly. Reptile keeper Matt Evans says within a few hours of birth, the snakes were already hunting.


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