In a true Potterhead moment, a team of researchers from India named a snake after Hogwarts muggle-bullying co-founder Salazar Slytherin upon discovering it. The snake is a new species of green pit vipers and the study, along with its findings, has been published in the April edition of the journal Zoosystematics and Evolution.
Pit vipers, genus Trimeresurus, are venomous snakes and are typically found throughout East and Southeast Asia. The research team led by Zeeshan Mirza, a biologist at India’s National Centre for Biological Sciences, suggested the new species be called as Salazar’s pit viper, like any true Harry Potter fan.
Harry Potter fans recognise Salazar Slytherin as one who co-founded the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, along with Godric Gryffindor, Rowena Ravenclaw and Helga Hufflepuff. The four houses of Hogwarts were also named after them. Salazar Slytherin was famed for his ability to talk to snakes or, for the love of jargon, being a Parselmouth. The Slytherin house also gloats the glorious basilisk snake imprinted in green and silver as the House Emblem.
The researchers describe Trimeresurus snakes as being “charismatic”. They can be difficult to tell apart, therefore, Salazar’s pit viper seems to be set apart owing to an orange-reddish stripe found on the sides of the heads of males. The species has now joined the group of other animal species named after Harry Potter characters, that is, some spiders named after Aragog, the gigantic arachnid, and others named dracorex hogwartsia, a dinosaur whose name literally translates to “Dragon King of Hogwarts.”
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