Snake species develops new ‘lasso’ tree-climbing technique – New York Post

It’s a hissstoric evolutionary adaptation.

A species of snakes has developed a never-before-seen climbing technique — looping themselves into lassos to slither up trees and poles, according to new research.

In a recent experiment in Guam, brown tree snakes were seen climbing wide slick metal cylinders that protected bird nesting boxes by looping their bodies into lassos and hitching themselves up like a slow elevator to overcome the barriers, according to an article published Monday in the scientific journal Current Biology.

Snakes usually climb trees by tensing up their belly muscles to grip two pieces of bark before slithering up to the highest point and shifting their hold to climb higher — similar to how a human would climb a rope.

The new adaptation allows brown tree snakes to scale wider and smoother trees, enabling them to feast on prey that would otherwise be out of reach, scientists told the magazine.

The discovery rattled researchers.

“This lasso locomotion is just from outer space, compared to all of the other variations” in snake movement, said Bruce Jayne, a biologist at the University of Cincinnati who co-authored the article, according to Scientific American.