|"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank
Joined: Feb. 2005
I'm quite skeptical of this report, since there are no other snakes reported to have this ability to rapidly change skin color. But then, I suppose it's not impossible, since snakes are descended from lizards, and many lizards can indeed alter their pigment cells to change color (not, as is usually thought, for camouflage, but more often for either temperature control -- darker when cold, lighter when hot -- or for sexual or territorial display).
There are of course snakes that change their colors as they get older (black rat snakes, for instance, are grey with black splotches when born), but I'm not aware of any that are known to rapidly change their skin color in response to immediate environmental factors, a la lizards. Since snakes are very secretive and are seldom seen in the open, and most of them are nocturnal, and all of them (well, nearly all of them) have atrociously bad eyesight, I'm not sure what the purpose of such a talent would be.
So I'm taking a wait-and-see attitude to this report.
Editor, Red and Black Publishers