Tropidophis Cacuangoae

A new species of dwarf boa snake has been discovered in the Ecuadoran Amazon, and it has been named after an Indigenous activist. The snake, which is up to 20 centimeters long and has skin coloring similar to the boa constrictor, has been named Tropidophis cacuangoae in honor of early 20th century Indigenous rights activist Dolores Cacuango. This discovery brings the total number of known Tropidophis species, which are endemic to South America, to six.

Discovery and Description of the Snake:

  • The new species of dwarf boa was discovered in two locations in the Ecuadoran Amazon: the Colonso Chalupas national reserve and the private Sumak Kawsay park. It is characterized by its small size, with a maximum length of 20 centimeters, and its skin coloring, which is similar to that of the boa constrictor.
  • The snake also has a unique physical characteristic known as a "vestigial pelvis," which is typically found in primitive snakes and is thought to be evidence that snakes evolved from lizards that lost their limbs over millions of years.

Importance of the Discovery:

  • The discovery of this new species of dwarf boa is an important one, as it adds to our understanding of the diversity of life in the Ecuadoran Amazon. It is also an opportunity to learn more about the evolution of snakes, as the presence of a vestigial pelvis in this species provides insight into the origins of snakes.
  • In addition, the fact that this species has managed to survive in the Ecuadoran Amazon for millions of years highlights the importance of preserving this region and its unique biodiversity.

Naming the Snake:

  • The new species of dwarf boa has been named Tropidophis cacuangoae, with the second part of the name honoring Dolores Cacuango, an Indigenous rights activist from the early 20th century.
  • This decision to name the snake after Cacuango is a fitting tribute to her legacy, as she fought for the rights and dignity of Indigenous people in Ecuador. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of acknowledging and honoring the contributions of Indigenous people and their cultures.

The discovery of the new species of dwarf boa in the Ecuadoran Amazon is an exciting one, as it adds to our understanding of the diversity of life in this region and provides insight into the evolution of snakes. It is also a reminder of the importance of preserving the unique biodiversity of the Ecuadoran Amazon and honoring the legacy of Indigenous people and their cultures.

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