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Tentacled Snake Births Surprise National Zoo (PHOTOS)

Nov 08, 2012 | Updated Nov 08, 2012
Brittany Steff/National Zoo

WASHINGTON -- Two snakes that had not produced viable offspring in the past four years surprised the National Zoo by giving birth to eight tentacled snake babies on Oct. 21.

The zoo, which released a series of photos of the new additions to the Reptile Discovery Center on Thursday, indicated that that the babies were already growing up fast.

"Within a few hours of being born, the snakes were already acting like adults," Matt Evans, Reptile Discovery Center keeper, said in a statement. "Instincts took over and they were hunting. We don’t know much about this cryptic species, but we're already learning so much just watching them grow."

According to an advisory from the National Zoo:

Tentacled snakes are aquatic, produce live young and are ambush hunters. They use their tails to anchor themselves and wait underwater for their prey. They get their name from the unique tentacles that protrude from their snout and function as sensory mechanisms that allow the reptiles to pick up vibrations from fish that swim by.

The new snakes, which are listed as a species of concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, will likely not stay at the National Zoo, will likely end up in other zoos when they get older.

Take a look!

Tentacled Baby Snakes At National Zoo

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