Three new snake species discovered in graveyards
Native to southern Ecuador, the newfound serpents belong to a little-studied group of snakes that spend their lives underground.
In November 2021, Alejandro Arteaga and his team traveled to the cloud forests of southern Ecuador on a mission to find toads that were feared lost to extinction. Unfortunately, the scientists failed to find a single one. But a chance encounter on the way home tipped the team off to a different sort of discovery.
Disappointed and hungry, Arteaga and his crew had stopped in the small town of Amaluza in search of a meal.
“This is how it usually is in rural areas of Ecuador,” says Arteaga, a research biologist at the Khamai Foundation, a new non-governmental organization that aims to protect Ecuador’s biodiversity. “There isn't really like a drive-through restaurant where you can get