A three-eyed snake has been found by park rangers in the Australian outback.
The unusual snake, nicknamed Monty, was found by rangers on the Arnhem Highway near the Northern Territory town of Humpty Doo several weeks ago.
Leaving the rangers bewildered as to how he had survived so long with its malformity, the snake was just three months old when they picked him up on the highway.
The three-month-old snake was 40 centimetres long and had three functioning eyes when he was picked up by wildlife experts in late March.
After being found, Monty was examined via an x-ray which revealed the likely origin of the extra eye; it was thought to have developed very early during the embryonic stage of development.
Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife confirmed the discovery on their Facebook page, noting that the snake had just one skull with an additional eye socket.
Ray Chatto, from NT Parks and Wildlife, sadly confirmed the snake died last week, noting how surprising its survival in the wild was.
He told NT News:
It’s remarkable it was able to survive so long in the wild with it’s deformity and he was struggling to feed before he died last week.
The eye was believed to have developed very early and it’s ‘extremely unlikely’ it was a result of environmental factors.
It was generally agreed that the eye likely developed very early during the embryonic stage of development.
It is extremely unlikely that this is from environmental factors and is almost certainly a natural occurrence as malformed reptiles are relatively common.
NT Parks and Wildlife confirmed in their Facebook post:
The snake is peculiar as an x-ray revealed it was not two separate heads forged together, rather it appeared to be one skull with an additional eye socket and three functioning eyes.
Monty’s remains are now being kept at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Darwin.
Rest in peace, little fella.
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