'Double-ended' snake spotted on remote Aussie road: 'Amazing find'
These bizarre images have snake watchers scratching their heads.
Photos of a what appears to be a snake with tails at both ends has left an expert guessing what's really going on in the pictures.
"What is this double-ended snake?" a Queensland man asked a Facebook group for snake enthusiasts after stumbling upon the slippery scene north of Mareeba, near Cairns.
The image actually shows two large black snakes who are literally going head-to-head in what is likely a battle to the death. "Oh my gosh. I wonder if they fall prey to their own kind of venom?" commented a shocked snake fan. "Looks like one eating the other," a second added.
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It wasn't just casual reptile lovers who were taken aback by the picture, with the group's moderator and snake expert Geoff Blatch describing the scene as an "amazing" find. "They are both greater black whipsnakes (damansia papuensis)," Mr Blatch explained. "Capable of causing a potentially dangerously venomous bite."
As to the intentions of the snakes in question? Mr Blatch wasn't so sure. "A possible attempted predation by one on the other, they can be cannibalistic," he mused. "Although this seems unlikely due to their similar size. Possibly male-to-male combat gone wrong."
The greater black whipsnake, also known as the Papuan whipsnake, is a venomous species only found in far northern Australia. They have a light to dark brown or black colouration, a tan coloured head with small dark spots and, just like the two snakes in the photo, can easily grow to 1.5 metres or greater.
The team at Darwin Snake Catchers say that the greater black whipsnake is both "reasonably common" and "potentially dangerous", further noting that "bites should be treated as potentially dangerous". They advise unlucky Aussies to seek medical attention if bitten, and also note that the species is particularly fast moving.
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