Scientists discover new, frightening-looking creature in Florida, of course

phys.org | 12/13/2018 | Staff
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It's as long as a snake, is spotted like a leopard, has two small arms with gills sticking out of its body and it lives in the swamps of Florida's panhandle. What is it?

It's a new creature that was discovered by scientists, who announced their findings last week. They say it's a type of legless salamander called a siren—and this new species is being officially called Siren reticulata, or the Reticulated Siren. Others have referred to it as a leopard eel, even though it's not really an eel.

Scientists - Reticulated - Siren - Species - United

Scientists say the Reticulated Siren is among the largest species discovered in the United States in the last century.

"In this study we use morphological and genetic evidence to describe a previously unrecognized species from southern Alabama and the Florida panhandle," the scientists wrote in their paper, published in the journal Plos.

Reticulated - Siren - Siren - Reticulata - Studies

"We name this species the Reticulated Siren, Siren reticulata. Future studies will enable more precise phylogenetic information about S. reticulata and will almost surely reveal additional undescribed species within the family."

NationalGeographic.com, which interviewed one of the authors of the scientific paper, said stories about this strange swamp creature have been passed around the Florida and Alabama area for years.

Beast - David - A - Steen - Georgia

"It was basically this mythical beast," said David A. Steen, who works at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.

"What immediately jumps out about the reticulated siren that makes it so different from currently-recognized species is its dark and reticulated (or net-like) pattern," Steen told National Geographic. "It also seems as...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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