Keepers at the National Zoo were surprised by the recent arrivals of eight baby tentacled snakes to parents that they said had not produced viable young in the past four years.
The snakes, named for the tentacles on their snouts, were born on Oct. 21 at the zoo. They are aquatic snakes that are ambush hunters and produce live young.
"Within a few hours of being born, the snakes were already acting like adults," Matt Evans, Reptile Discovery Center keeper, said in a news release. "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."
The zoo currently has four adult tentacled snakes or display in its Reptile Discovery Center, and hopes to add the eight new once they get older.