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New snake arrives at Schönbrunn Tiergarten

A new snake has arrived at Schönbrunn Tiergarten, the world's oldest zoo in Vienna.

On the occasion of the Chinese year of the water snake 2013 the aquarium house of the zoological garden has accepted the new resident. The tentacled snake is a snake which is characterized by two tentacles at its head.

The two tentacles on its front head help the snake to locate smaller fish. Dagmar Schratter, director of the zoological garden, explains how her latest cohabitant uses its tentacles to hunt prey: "They use their tail to grip an aquatic plant, bend their body to a bow and wait for their prey to come to them. Once a fish comes close they can move their tail rapidly towards the fish so that when it tries to flee it flees directly into the open mouth of the snake."

The tentacled snakes can be up to 70 centimetres long and feel at home in countries like Thailand, Cambodia or Vietnam. They live in seas, rice fields and small rivers, which they rarely leave. Although tentacled snakes are very poisonous, their poison is too weak to be dangerous for humans.

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