March 21, 2023
This unbelievable photo of an “Amazon snake cat” might be just that—unbelievable. A photo of the so-called “Serpens Catus”—a feline with black and neon-yellow stripes resembling a snake—went viral on Tuesday, March14, in social media posts, claiming it was the “rarest species of feline on Earth,” reports the New York Post.
“Serpens catus is the rarest species of feline on Earth. These Animals live in hard-to-reach regions of the Amazon rainforest and, therefore, they are relatively poorly studied,” a Twitter user claimed. “The first images capturing the snake cat appeared only in the [year] 2020. Weighs up the 4 stone [56 pounds].”
One now-deleted “Serpens Cattus” Reddit post caught the eye of several commenters who flagged the feline as not being fur real:
- “Obvious fake No known gene can produce natural hair or fur of those (navy and bright yellow) colors,” one commenter said.
- “Really rough attempt at a fake Latin name,” a second person chimed in. “One Google about species naming would have made this a lot less obvious.”
The Post has reached out to zoology experts to verify the authenticity of the photo.
However, the color and patterns in the photo bear a strong resemblance to the reptilian Boiga Dendrophila, which is commonly referred to as the “gold-ringed cat snake.”
According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, the snake is found in the same countries where the Amazon snake cat was rumored to be found. One viewer claimed that the species lives in Bolivia, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.
“He’s in the next ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ joked one user, referencing the Harry Potter spin-off franchise.
Research contact: @nypost