Friday, March 15, 2013

St. Patrick And The (Non-Existent) Snakes

It's one of the most popular Irish myths, the story of how St. Patrick drove all of the snakes out of Ireland and that's why to this day you don't see snakes in the Emerald Isle. However, scientific evidence has disproved this myth: Turns out, there were never any snakes in first place.

"At no time has there ever been any suggestion of snakes in Ireland, so [there was] nothing for St. Patrick to banish", naturalist Nigel Monaghan, keeper of natural history at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin, who has searched extensively through Irish fossil collections and records, told National Geographic News. Blog | St. Patrick And The (Non-Existent) Snakes
Sorry to disappoint, but this never happened.
In fact, the only reptile that is native to Ireland is the viviparous, or common, lizard. The viviparous lizard measures less than five inches in length, but that doesn't include its tail which is up to two times longer than its body. Blog | Viviparous Lizard

This lizard species is found farther north than any other reptile species, as far as the Arctic Circle. The viviparous lizard also gives birth to live offspring, rather than laying eggs as is normal for most other lizard species.

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