World’s Smallest Snake Brings Attention To Barbados – How Much Would David Shorey Want For A Snake Museum Feasibility Study?

Like everyone who blogs on this island, we are set up to receive “Google Alerts” when various words appear in news stories on the internet. Today under the alert for the word “barbados” we are being swamped with news articles about the fact that the world’s smallest snake has been discovered on Barbados.

(And no, this announcement has nothing to do with former Prime-Minister Owen Arthur. These snakes are apparently sober!)

We must have received fifty or more alerts for the world’s smallest snake story, so Barbados is receiving some excellent news coverage. (Like this, this, and this for example.) 

Hopefully this will translate into additional nature-loving visitors from the northern climates come next winter.

If the old Arthur/Mottley BLP government was still in power, we would expect to see an immediate announcement of say, fifty-million dollars to be spent on a snake museum and preserve (to be built by construction companies owned by spouses and other relatives of government members, on land purchased from friends for ten times the true value, of course).

This would no doubt be preceeded by a half a million dollar “feasibility study” by one of the friends of the government – who would write a rum-induced, slim 20-page report predicting wildly-inflated snake tourist visits if the government would only build a snake museum. After receiving half a million for the report, the government friend would kickback a couple of hundred thousand dollars to government members and the BLP political fund. I think David Shorey could probably handle the job nicely, thank you!

(Mr. Shorey… how about it. What would you charge for a feasiblity study on a “world’s smallest snake” museum and preserve? We understand that you did a number of similar studies for the past Arthur/Mottley BLP Government on various subjects that you knew nothing about prior to being commissioned, so you must be a pretty bright guy. We’re sure you’d be able to do this study!)

Barbados Has Some Excellent Natural Attractions

Fortunately, tourists to Barbados don’t have to wait for a corrupt (and now out-of-power) BLP government to build a snake museum because we already have some wonderful back-to-nature experiences on our beautiful island.

You could actually plan an entire vacation around nature-walks and some of the most breath-taking vistas anywhere. (Okay, okay… we’re laying it on a little thick with the “most breath-taking vistas anywhere” but we’re proud of our home!)

First up… take the family underground to Harrisons Cave or Animal Flower Cave (my favourite because while you’re at it you can stand on the wild northeast coast and watch the ocean smash into the cliffs) and watch the children do the wide-eyed “oooohhhh!”. Then closer to Bridgetown take in the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary – preferably on one of the days when they have entertainment and dinner outside. See a world-class nature sanctuary and the last mangrove wetland on the island – then have some grill fish dinner while talking with some friendly Bajans and fellow toursits. Don’t forget the Banks beer… Mmmmmm!

The next day head for the beach for a little snorkeling or try the Barbados Wildlife Reserve.

Check out Barbados.org for dozens of other natural attractions on our beautiful island.

Oh… you want to see the world’s smallest snake?

Give the folks at Barbados Wildlife Reserve and Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary a couple of weeks and we’ll see who has the snake on display first!!!

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223 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Nature, Politics & Corruption, Wildlife

223 responses to “World’s Smallest Snake Brings Attention To Barbados – How Much Would David Shorey Want For A Snake Museum Feasibility Study?

  1. One Who Knows

    You guys are cruel liars. Shorey wouldn’t have charged any more than $100k. Tops! 🙂

  2. Lady Anon

    The sobering fact is that it could be extinct in a matter of months given our current environment of slash and build.

    Who knows? This may be the only picture ever!

  3. Lady Anon

    And believe it or not, it actually made it to cuteoverload!

  4. Duppy Lizard

    Dear Lady Anon don’t forget that it will probably also become extinct because of Barbadians attitude to anything living – If it moves kill it!!

  5. Just Waiting

    I think a lot of country folks have come across these a couple of times. We never considered them to be snakes.
    I have seen one that resembles an eel and moves extremely fast.
    In Barbados if you are outdoors in the country often enough you will see some strange “things”.

  6. GreenBB

    That little snake had better watch out that it doesn’t get eaten by a Giant Snail!!!

  7. I was surprised and a bit taken aback to see this CNN article tonight: Scientist: World’s tiniest snake found in Barbados.

    It wasn’t lost, dude. They call it a “poison lizard” there, and the locals have known about it for years. My husband is from Barbados, and we lived there for a number of years while I was working on the Wizardry series (it was the only time I was the game development industry for an entire country). People there know about this snake.

    The scientist that “discovered” it has named his new discovery after his herpetologist wife, Carla Ann Hass. It shall henceforth be known everywhere but Barbados as “Leptotyphlops carlae”.

    There’s a degree of arrogance about it all – swooping in and claiming to have discovered something that had been discovered long, long before. Adding to that, actually renaming it without any mention of its history on the island and with locals feels pompous to me.

    There is a game to the scientific world, of course. He who scientifically names something first gets the prize. It just doesn’t feel fair, though.

  8. J

    Looks like a “silver lizard” to me

    Or a “7 days snake”

    They were common place when I was a child in the country 50 years ago.

    Concrete and pestisides have killed most of them off.

    Killed off the “small tomato” vines which grew in every backyard then too.

    Now we buy foreign “small tomatoes” and we call them “cherry tomatoes” and pay premium prices for them.

  9. Smallest snake found in Barbados -"Poison lizard?"

    To: Anonymous,

    I was the first person to mention this article, yesterdy, which I posted to “BFP says welcome to visitor No. 3.5 Mill”

    You actually stole my thunder. Now that I have seen the image magnified on this blog, I was about to make the same observation as you – that it looks like our local “poison lizard”. The only difference is that the image has a much longer tail.

    If this is indeed a Poison lizard, there is absolutely nothing new about this creature. It has been here before anyone of us was born.

    For too long 1st world people come here, take things, develop them and then acclaim them as originally theirs.

    Just wondering if we can’t market this species as our find, and probably in the process, achieve the acclaim (and probably money) that deserves to be reserved for Barbados?

  10. Lady Anon

    It is not a poison lizard. What we call the poison lizard is gun metal silver and has four extremely tiny legs. This snake is brownish in colour and there are no legs visible. The poison lizard moves very very quickly.

  11. Karl Watson

    Just got back from Paraguay where I attended a hemispheric conference on migratory species i.e. birds, turtles and got the latest updates on climate change and its impacts…quite disturbing/depressing. This article caught my eye. We often re invent the wheel, but this snake is well known to herpetologists…it is a blind burrowing snake, which is native to Barbados but is also found on Martinique. It is not that rare, you may find it while digging in your garden,but may mistake it for a worm. Just two months ago I was at the Grantley Adams Secondary School and found the dessicated body of one of these snakes, apparently crushed by some one walking by. They are found in that general area quite often. Of interest is that Barbados has another small snake recently introduced..the African Flower Pot snake.
    Regarding the designation of poison lizard. As a child growing up in Barbados, gecko lizards were given this designation and a folk myth was spread that they would leap on you and never let go, all the while releasing a deadly poison. But that’s all that story was, a harmless bit of fiction. Many of these lizards are sprayed with familiar brands of pesticides in order to kill them. However, it is far better to leave them alone and let them get on with doing what they do best…eating a wide variety of insects. That way we can control insects naturally inside our houses without the risk of spraying poisons which we and our neighbours then inhale. Many of these chemicals are linked to a variety of cancers and it is wise to avoid using them.

  12. Smallest snake found in Barbados

    Lady Anon,

    Sounds reasonable.

  13. GreenBB

    Is the poison lizard poisonous?

  14. Smallest snake found in Barbados

    GreenBB,

    That’s a good question; one that I always wanted to know but never was adventurous enough to find out.

  15. Convicted Lumper!

    During my nine yrs. living in the highlands
    I came across(stumbled?) two specimens of this tiny snake.

    In both cases…on dry concrete slab…where my first reaction was..what’s a worm doing out here? and why in the dry??

    Further close inspection revealed eyes and scales!!
    Oh RamGOAT! Dis be no worm..dis be a baby snake ..thought I!

    At the time I assumed the two examples I came across to be juveniles of the 2 ft.long Grass Snake often found in the Winston Hall Memorial Park/Forest under Hackleton’s Cliff in St.Jos.,
    but later on learned(from The A-Z of Barbadian Heritage book by Fraser,Carrington et alumni)
    that Barbados has two sp. of snakes, among them the world’s tiniest snake!

    My first edition (1990) describes (on pages 167 and 168) the mini-snake as L. bilineata,
    ‘seldom seen but is not uncommon’.
    —————————-
    This ‘new’ scientific description makes a distinction between the ‘new’ Barbados mini-snake
    and those also to be found on nearby St.Lucia and Martinique(not strange).

    One suspects some degree of speciation to have taken place in isolation(Barbados)
    and the real truth is that, in the fullness of time, our Bajan mini-snake may eventually be documented as L.bilineata barbadensis,
    as happens to several Bajan sub-species(of birds, molluscs,etc)
    that make the differentiating evolutionary step
    here on The Isolated Island, 100 miles upstream,up wind,up-current from the other Antillean islands.

    American scientists are famous for “naming new species”
    only to have them relegated to the synonymy of previously-described species.

    Yes, his DNA tests may differentiate our Bajan mini-snakes from the very similar animals found on M’que and St.Lucia
    but no doubt they would comfortably inter-breed among themselves
    and reproduce viable offspring
    which effectively would make them ONE SPECIES
    of differing island subspecies!
    In other words Big Deal.

    The battle goes on in the zoological world of taxonomy
    between the ‘Splitters’ and the ‘Lumpers’, but more on that later.

  16. Lady Anon

    Also, when I was growing up my grandmother would call the white lizard that comes out at night a poison lizard as well. We call them geckos now.

  17. Adrian Loveridge

    I must have missed something here.

    I remember the late Dr. Colin Hudson pointing out one of these snakes to me and others at least twenty years ago.
    And for at least ten years I have been pointing them out to our various walking groups.

    I notice the American biologist, S. Blair Hedges that ‘discovered’ the snake recently, has named it after his wife (Carla Ann Hass), LEPTOTYPHLOPS CARLAE, so perhaps the is no longer a chance to name it after a local personality ie: Leptotyphlops dashorey.

  18. Margaret Knight

    This is ridiculous! Are we going to allow this American biologist, Blair Hedges to walk in here and claim he has “discovered” the smallest snake in the world, when this snake has been slithering around in the undergrowth since my childhood days? His claim should be immediately dishonoured. Reminds me of when, in the 1940’s an American entertainer, Morey Amsterdam, claimed authorship of the Trinidadian calypso, “Rum and Cocoa Cola” and it became a hit when he recorded a version of it with the Andrews Sisters. The melody was previously published by Trinidadian composer Lionel Balasco, and the lyrics were written by Lord Invader. I believe the two gentlemen eventually won a law suit in the U.S. court and were paid handsomely. How dare this man come in here and name a snake after his wife?

  19. GreenBB

    This is interesting in regard to the naming, additionally the word “discovery” is a very loose approximation of the process:

    http://wildfilms.blogspot.com/2008/07/scientific-names-for-sale.html

  20. Sean Carrington

    Anyone familiar with the natural history of Barbados would be somewhat perplexed by this reported “discovery”. In fact, the 1990 edition of the “A-Z of Barbadian Heritage”shows the snake partly encircling a Barbados one cent coin (p167) . (Is it a sign of inflation that this photograph shows it astride a US quarter?)

    This “blind snake” was first reported from Barbados in the scientific literature in 1889 by a keen naturalist, Col. Henry W. Feilden, and further in the 1960’s through the efforts of the Rev. E.J. Pearce of Codrington College. It is therefore not news that this snake exists in Barbados nor, for that matter, that it is the world’s smallest snake. What is noteworthy is that Dr Hedges has studied specimens of this snake from the three islands where it is known to be found – Barbados, St. Lucia and Martinique – and concludes that these populations are sufficiently different to be reclassified as three species, each unique to a specific island, rather than one species, Leptotyphlops bilineata, spread over three islands.

    It is something of a miracle that this latest Barbadian endemic has survived our frenzied efforts to “develop” this island. The establishment of a system of terrestrial protected areas in Barbados is long overdue. Maybe this hype will speed that process along.

    This “discovery” and other plants and animals of the Caribbean were here a long time before we were. They deserve such protection.

  21. Convicted Lumper!

    Oh Margaret Margaret..you really don’t understand how these things work, do you?

  22. The Devil

    According to the “A – Z of Barbados Heritage”, there is a species of snake, Leptotyphlops bilineata, “first” reported in 1889 by a Col Henry W. Fieilden, that is the smallest snake in the world. I remember seeing a live specimen of this snake many years ago.

    I have written the BBC (on whose site I first read about the present story) enquiring about this “discovery”. I encourage others to do the same. It is strange that a claim of discovery of a new species can be made while acknowledging that specimens are already in museums in England and Martinique!

  23. Convicted Lumper!

    “It is strange that a claim of discovery of a new species can be made
    while acknowledging that specimens are already in museums in England and Martinique!”

    It is not strange.
    American scientists do this all the time, based on silly little differences, island to island.

    IF BFP WOULD FREE UP MY PIECE FROM EARLIER TODAY a lot might be made clear,I hope.

  24. unapologetic

    I’m with Loveridge on this one. Is it only the ignorant suddenly enlightened who can claim to have discovered?

    I have recently discovered America to be the natural habitat of the most preposterous and idiotic claims to fame in the world. A strange species of human being bent on making superlative claims to superiority. I am naming the species after my dog Max and publishing it in my scientific journal as Maximus Idioticus!

  25. bp

    It’s a thread snake, it lives underground and eats termites. I hear that the pest control guys want to farm them.

  26. Bimbro

    I’m simply, grateful for anything which attracts positive, attention to my wonderful, Barbados!! 🙂

  27. Convicted Lumper!

    “What is noteworthy is that Dr Hedges has studied specimens of this snake from the three islands where it is known to be found – Barbados, St. Lucia and Martinique – and concludes that these populations are sufficiently different to be reclassified as three species, each unique to a specific island, rather than one species, Leptotyphlops bilineata, spread over three islands.”

    —————

    He shoulda re-classified them as 3 SUB-sp.
    but there’s no fame to be had in that!!

    The whole shebang will eventually amount to ONE species
    with three distinct geographical sub-sp.
    with ours being ‘barbadensis’
    the M’que one being ‘martiniquensis’
    -and who knows how to Latin-ise St.Lucia
    but I’m sure someone knows better than I.

  28. Lady Anon

    Sorta like Columbus discovering the new world…when people were already there!

  29. Jerome Hinds

    I never realised that – Owen Arthur – the SNAKE was that small !

  30. ROK

    Monday, August 4, 2008
    When will Columbus Stop coming?
    It was interesting to wake up to the news that some American scientist “DISCOVERED” that Barbados is home to the smallest snake in the world. Sounds familiar?

    When I was at school I knew that Barbados had the smallest snake and it had a name too. I read it in a book which I am desparately looking for. We used to call them “thin lizzies” or “tin lizzies” and this name extended to mean very thin women, especially the very slim ladies who had a waist wine when they walked. They were and probably still are many different species of these so-called lizards also called poison lizards, ground lizards or silver lizards.

    Then they were some smaller ones that went along like an earth worm but was different from an earth worm. None of these were associated with a snake in cultural terms and it was only after finding the reference in a book that it came to mind that they really were snakes. The silver lizard is really a snake. It has no legs but slithers upon its belly at high speeds. What we called the ground lizard was so called because you could find them in sandy/rocky type soil. They also had no feet.

    Even if what Mr. hedges caught was smaller than these we know, I have a difficulty with anybody who sees a living thing and talk about “discovery” and even has the gall to name it after his wife. How much more self-centered can one get? How much more imperialist? As if it was his? As if it never lived before, when the thing was probably around with the Caribs and Arawaks. Talk about intellectual property? Have to wonder if it is really for the protection of intellectual property or to allow highway robbery and the rape of the cultures of indigenous people to continue in a more acceptable form.

    So this man will go down in history as the man who discovered the smallest snake in the world, even though this snake was known to us many moons before this man? Does the Barbados Government have any say in this? To what extent is this intellectual property? The Pirates are still sailing! How many more times must Columbus come?

    Check this source that was around long before this so-called discovery:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptotyphlops_bilineatus

  31. Convicted Lumper!

    Had a BAJAN made this “announcement”
    we would be proud as pickle, nuh!

    But…goddammit, an outsider..worse yet he’s probably a white Amerikin outsider
    came to Barbados and then published a scientific description
    (something anyone, even me or you or Magaret Knight could do in any of the several scientific publications).

    Why didn’t a Bajan do it first???

    ……………………

    Folks…scientists describe “new species” all the time.
    Some withstand the scrutiny of time,
    and maintain their legitimacy
    but most are eventually relegated to the synonymy of previously-known previously-described species!

    It is highly unlikely that a terrestrial animal known on this island for well over a hundred years will somehow turn out to be a brand new species.
    Give it twenty years and the ‘new name,after the wife’ will be toast, almost guaranteed.

    This is just another flavour of the month, but we’re glad for the publicity!
    I’m starting up ‘Snake Tours’ for tourists to journey to Turner’s Hall Woods and see these things…i.e. capitalise pun de publicity, neh?!

  32. art

    When a new species or subspecies is discovered it is documented by publication into a scientific journal. That goes fro microbes to mammals to plants. The naming of the newly observed specimen goes to the person publishing the article. It’s the same way for someone who copyrights a new invention.

    Why is it that people berate americans because the writer of the article for publication named it after his wife? Is this another case of local racism in the blogs- this time towards americans. Try substituting the word ‘blacks’ or ‘Obama supporters’ in the above posts, and you will see.

    Art starts with observation, and then places this into context.

    Maybe some have an axe to grind about the past, but there is no need to be a racist because of what one, or one’s ‘kind’, have experienced.

    It should open your minds, not close them.

    Write to the journal and the scientist and request the name to be ‘Barbadiensis’. Quit wining.

  33. Underdog

    Uhm, just off-topic for a moment – Margaret Knight: I think that the the lawsuit was actually against the Merrymen for their “De big, big Bamboo-bamboo” which was sung to the tune of “De rum and co-ca kola” …

  34. Juris

    You miss the point, Art. How could he have dicsovered something that was always there?

  35. BCNews.

    Snakes discover new Arawak hominid on the island.

    Dateline 2,856 yrs. BC.
    Local mini-snakes on a low island about 100 miles East of the other Lesser Antillean islands
    have registered their concern at an invasion of strange two-legged hominids paddling ashore
    in what appear to be hollowed-out tree logs!

    This new species of hominid is being tentatively named Homo sapiens (Man,the wise) in the hope the not-too-smart critters will live up to the name
    and not crush to death too many of the indigenous mini-snake population
    who’ve been resident on the island since Adam was a lad!

    Film at 11.

  36. Duppy Lizard

    Juris – I have another point, how can one discover something which was never there. Something has to exist to be “discovered”. And to all those bashing the American scientist, perhaps lots of people knew of this snakes existance – so we only have ourselves to blame for not having it documented before. Such a tempest in a teapot.

  37. ROK

    Sorry “Duppy Lizard” we do not have ourselves to blame for anything. We have always been a people of oral history. This act is a selfish act based on the theft of people’s resources by intellectuals who are downright dishonest.

    What do you call a man who comes in your house and discovers $1000 and goes and register it as his and the law gives him the right over your money? What is that?

    As a scientist and within the true context of science, he should have reported the snake as one know to Barbadians and by the local names, etc. He should have gone on to “discover” how long we knew about it. That is the real discovery.

    The long and short is that here we have a previously unknown scientist, suddenly plunging into the limelight worldwide on Barbados’ back. We do not get the fullness of the exposure we deserve.

    I want you to consider one thing. The west got rich off piracy, but now we have laws for money laundering. What a joke. What does that mean? If you find $20,000.00 somewhere that belongs to nobody alive and nobody claims it you still can’t have it? Who gets it?

    …and so because you come up with a fandangle way to copyright what you know is not yours, does it make it yours. What “blame” are you talking about? You stealing!

    Now to the racist. I have not the first idea of what it is to be a racist and I often wonder about those who dare to tell me I am racist. I know what the racist taught our people. Brutality! A culture of deprivation that we inflict on ourselves. Also, permanent division.

    In my estimation that is the complete opposite of racism. A people who can’t get together? A people who don’t know the first thing about honouring and respecting their own?

    If there is one thing I know about racism is that it is about closing ranks. Wow! I enjoyed writing that, because if there is one overriding principle about racism it has to be that. That ain’t black at all!

    Lawyers close ranks, Doctors close ranks, Engineers close ranks. Apparently Journalists do not. Workers in the automarts do not. NGOs do not. Apparently too, ordinary people do not. Racists do.

    So take that racism thing and allow me to speak my mind without you making me feel guilty ’cause I ain’t guilty at all… but anyone who accuses me of such I have one thing to tell them in Black Bajan tradition; “a fisherman does always talk ’bout his trade… when people talking ’bout something else”. Bet you never hear that last part yet.

    Bashing the Americans? They bash everybody. No, two wrongs don’t make a right. I play games on MSN sometimes and for those who also do, they would tell you that any player that starts to abuse you and hurry you up or even try to distract you from the game, is always an American. Never can win by skill but by trickery.

    Finally, the tradition of “Discovery” as described by Art needs to change to a more modern concept which shows respect for others. There is something fundamentally wrong with a stranger coming to Barbados finding a species and naming it after his wife. That is arrogance in the highest.

  38. ROK

    Why are my comments awaiting moderation? You got guys there accusing me of racism. Please let go the comment.

  39. ru4real

    Duppy Lizard
    August 4, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Dear Lady Anon don’t forget that it will probably also become extinct because of Barbadians attitude to anything living – If it moves kill it!!
    —————————————————–
    LOL How well you know us!

  40. ru4real

    Are you blocking my posts?

  41. ru4real

    Why all the fuss about what this little snake is called as Duppy so aptly said Barbadians usually like to kill things rather than name them. LOL

  42. ru4real

    All this excess moderation ………………

    **************************

    BFP says,

    quit your whining. the moderation is automatic. we clean it oout when we can. If we can’t get to it, you have to wait.

  43. art

    Scientists write articles in journals to “charactarise” for taxonomy. It is normal. That is how we know what there is in the world. No one in the scientific world is claiming discovery. I’m sorry, I do believe that I am quite on the point!

    I went to the links listed above re the actual scientific charactarisation of the animal fro taxonomic purposes. In no article can I see the scientist quoted as “””discovering”””.

    All the “”discovering”” quotations came from the actual newspapers/magazines. The scientist in no quotation has claimied to discover anyting.

    Listen up: You have a phenomenon here that is not disimilar to Darwin’s finches- one that coule wow biologists and environmentalists from east to west, north to south; and all some guys can think about is to write stupid comments about americans.

    This is an incredible categorisation that we should be proud to publicise.

    Use you heads for more than hat-racks.

  44. art

    To Juris
    a Guyanese man was charged with stealing. The prosecutor said: “Your honour, here is a man who stole equipment worth thousands. These Guyanese men are renowned for these acts.”

    The defense jumped up and said, “objection your honour, the prosecution cannot say that.”

    The judge said, “Sustained”.

    I have shown you something that is deeply embedded within Barbados. You may now ponder upon what it means.

    You may ask yourself, am I really racist deeply within, and if you come to the conclusion that it is so, you may decide to change and ponder on how.

    I was once like you, I decided that I was racist towards americans and I searched within to take it away.

    The other option is one may say that the charactarisation is incorrect and therefore to be ignored.

    In that case you will remain racist.

  45. art

    To barbados
    I have read some of the most racist comments on the BU blogs concerning people of Guyana, who by and large were solicited, brought and induced to come here to work in the construction industry.

    It hurts me to see how racist we are towards each other and to our Guyanese customers.

    Here is a society that has undergone slavery, has undergone poverty, has undergone civil rights. We have managed to somehow make Barbados a greatly developed and desired place to be.

    We brought these souls here to help us, and now because of world recession we have less use for these good people…and we find them in extreme fault. Is that right?

    Look within, look within.

  46. Sargeant

    Art

    The subject under discussion is “World’s Smallest Snake etc.” If you have a problem with the comments on BU re Guyanese immigration why don’t you address it to that medium.

  47. Jay

    As much as I’m into the immigration matter I must agree with Sargeant,although there doesn’t appear to be any outlet on BFP for said issue.

    Anyway,I’m glad that the snake was found,it says a lot that maybe there is still a lot of wildlife yet to be found on our Little England,& maybe industrialization also hasn’t caused enough damage to the remaining patches of Nature that we have.

    When I was younger I use to fish in Graeme hall,ah memories !!!

  48. The Devil

    To Duppy Lizard: The existence of this snake has been documented before, since 1889! Hedges claims that this is a new sub species. In the best tradition of peer reviewed scientific work this claim is being contested. The onus is on Hedges to validate his claim.

    To Art: After reviewing the 42 posts on this topic, I conclude that you are writing mostly nonsense and suggest you follow Sargeant’s advice.

  49. Margaret Knight

    Art: How does “race” get in the snake controversy? I, for one, have no idea what race the biologist Hedges is (he could be Native American, Afro-American or Caucasian, I don’t know), because to me, it makes absolutely no difference, so it seems you are the one with the race problem.

    Convicted Lumper (or Narcissistic Vampire), if you have a problem with me personally, as it seems, have the courage to tell me so openly. I did not hide behind a pseudonym like you do and I have no ambition to have my name published in a scientific magazine. I’m quite happy with my humble self. Did the truth hurt you that much?

  50. Duppy Lizard

    Poor little 4 inch snake – if it knew the controversy it would create I’m sure it would have slithered back under the rock from whence it came. Margaret Knight asked how race got into the debate. Race along with class permeates the very fabric of Barbadian society. No subject escapes this reality.

  51. art

    “How deep are thy ways, O Lord”
    Psalm 92

    Charles Darwin was inspired on a trip by boat to the Galapagos Archipelago, where he observed that in many islands there were finches, which were obviously a similar species, but taxonomically varying.

    In various islands the finches had different characteristics, eg long beak for nectar in one island, curved beak for seeds in another; even some carnivorous finches in one island.

    He drew the finches that he observed and documented them asdutifully for taxonomy.

    The bigger observation was his question to himself how this could have happened. He decided that isolation in the various islands lked the birds to evolve into different adaptations suited to the diets available on said islands.

    It inspired him to write a book, “The Origin of Species”.

    Today, tourists flock to the Galapagos to see what Darwin saw so long ago. The islands are being conserved as carefully as possible as a territory of Ecuador.

    If the lizards of the 3 islands, St Lucia, Barbados and Martinique were written up in the 2008/2009 Ins and Outs magazine as part of the intro to the publication it would be a very interesting read, and something new, a big draw in tourism and a parallel to Darwin’s taxonomic charactarisations which led him to publish his hsitoric book, which is now part of the curriculum in schools.

    Is tourism on the way out? Maybe because we do not have the forsight to see these opportunities?

    Caribbean biology books should also use this example in their future publications.

  52. Juris

    Art, I have just read your post. Why are you accusing me of being racist? And how can one be racist against Americans?

  53. John

    If anyone has access to a book by the Reverend Griffith Hughes written in 1751 about the natural history of Barbados maybe this snake is described.

    Unfortunately the Public Library is closed so I can’t check easily.

    I’ll take a look in Ligon, from 1649 I think, and see if it gets a mention in there.

  54. Hi, if anybody is interested in knowing more about the Galapagos Islands and its wildlife and flora and fauna, you can check the following web site:

    http://www.galapagos-islands-tourguide.com

    Zuri

  55. Kay

    Duppy Lizard
    Maybe Barbadians are a subspecies from being isolated so far out from the other islands in the chain.
    We could start a little competition to come up with a new name for us and bloggers could vote for the one they like best.

  56. BGR

    art
    If a Barbadian scientist step foot into your country, “discovered” a documented species long ago forgotten or recently appeared in nature and name it after his wife without verifying the existence of said creature, would you still be crying the same tune?

    Bajan Global Report
    http://bimchat.wordpress.com/2008/08/05/barbados-home-to-worlds-smallest-snake/

  57. Hedges

    I am the author of the scientific article describing the small snake, the Barbados Threadsnake. I encourage people to examine the article, which is free here:
    http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2008/f/zt01841p030.pdf

    I understand why some of you react to the word “discovery” when you already knew the snake was in Barbados. In science, that word is often used to credit the work done to distinguish or recognize something (for example, an astronomer discovering a planet or star, even though others may have previously seen the light). Many taxonomists “discover” new species in their laboratories, sent to them by people who had no idea what they collected. In my case I came to Barbados and collected the snake. But virtually all of the work was done in my laboratory over the last two years, carefully comparing that species with others from museums around the world.

    There were only two specimens from Barbados known to science before this work, one from 1889 and another from 1963, both in a London museum. I found two more and located a fifth (misidentified) in a museum in California collected 100 years ago. As you can see, this is not an abundant, well known species, at least in museums. Those previous specimens were confused and mis-identified as another species, L. bilineata, occurring on Martinique. My work showed that Barbados has its own, separate species (not a subspecies as one blogger commented; please read the paper). That it happens to be the smallest snake also makes it special. The size aspects are complicated, so please see the paper.

    There is no award or prize for describing a new species, or for finding the smallest or largest, and certainly no money has come to me for this. This is just my job, as an educator and researcher. I would hope that rather than focus on whether this is or not a “discovery” (doesn’t matter to me) you might focus on how to protect this special little snake that seems to be rare and also which has brought attention to Barbados. There are some good things that can come out of this “report” as some previous bloggers noted.

    By the way, it is easy to confuse this species with other, more common species (called sometimes poison lizards, grass snakes, etc.). Even as an expert on these snakes, I often must use a magnifying glass or microscope to tell different species apart. There is also a small introduced snake from Indonesia that is on Barbados in gardens, flowerpots, etc. called the Flowerpot Blindsnake, Ramphotyphlops braminus. It is usually black, and the young can coil on a coin, so it is easy to confuse with this one. On my visit to Barbados, every one who thought they saw the endemic threadsnake actually saw the introduced flowerpot snake (I examined specimens).

  58. art

    I’m a Bajan married to an american

  59. BGR

    All well and good Mr Hedges but this damage control piece still leave a few questions unanswered.
    For instance have any research went in to validated the claims by bloggers on this site that the species is already documented in local history.
    And if as you said the species were incorrectly misidentified, surely you can appreciate the fact that Barbadians are upset that this “new” species is name after your wife.

    We can play on the word “discovery”. At the end of the day, sir, you took Barbadian intellectual property, highjacked its name for fame and then try to insult Bajan intellect “on how to protect this special little snake.”

    Attention to Barbados. Your adopted name will be right up there with it!

    Money can run out. Fame is forever.

    Bajan Global Report
    http://bimchat.wordpress.com/2008/08/05/barbados-home-to-worlds-smallest-snake/

  60. BGR

    Where do ur loyaties lie /Mrs/Mr art.

  61. Hedges

    Dear BGR

    I think you are misinformed. Snakes are not intellectual property. Snakes are snakes. A taxonomist can apply any valid Latin or Latinized name to a species, and, except for specialist literature, that name is rarely used by non-scientists. Rather, it is the common name (Barbados Threadsnake), if anything, that is used in books and popular literature.

    I am not sure about your motives, but you appear to be making this into some nationalistic, political issue, when it is not. I love my country and you love yours, but snakes are apolitical. They are just looking for their next termite. But seriously, when it comes to appreciating and protecting species, it goes beyond borders of countries.

    Hey, be nice! Barbados is a great country and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. It is part of the world community, and we should be thinking about commonalities and not boundaries. It is good for everyone.

  62. ru4real

    BGR

    Do get a life who cares who discovered the little perisher the most important thing is to keep it alive.

  63. Pingback: Scientist Responds To Furoe Over Misname, Misidentified of World’ Smallest Snake « Bajan Global Report

  64. BGR

    If Barbados black belly sheep had disappeared from off the face of the earth along with its cousins and after 70+ yrs one was found wandering around in a gully and a foreign scientist discovered the species and name it with no reference to local history. Would you still be singing the same tune?

  65. Partial

    @ru4real.

    That is a most narrow minded and short-sighted opinion. Of course it matters that a snake most Barbadians are familiar with is going down in scientific history as being not only ‘discovered’, but also named after the ‘discoverer’s’ wife. I find it extremely presumptuous on his part and very offensive.

    Did this man discuss this with any scientific people in this country before giving our snake a name, or is it that we don’t have any? Did he ask permission? Did UWI or anybody know about this research?

    It seems as if Barbados has become a free- for- all. Foreigners are just coming here and doing what the hell ever they want.

    Whose country is this? Who is in charge??

  66. Lady Anon

    I read Mr Hedge’s article, as much as I could read it, as it is very scientific. But it is obvious that quite a bit of work went into differentiating this thread snake from others.

    I also understand Mr Hedge’s argument that “discovery” in scientific terms may have a different meaning to the general application of the word “discovery”.

    Be that as it may, I guess in the scientific world, Mr. Hedges can therefore name the snake as he sees fit. If I were his wife, I am not sure I would like to have a snake named after me, but that is beside the point.

    Mr. Hedges will go down in history, as brief as it may be, for scientifically discovering this snake. As a Bajan, I am somewhat disappointed that the Barbados was not mentioned anywhere in the name, but that was for Mr. Hedges to decide.

    Someone mentioned the University of the West Indies. UWI should question its research practices in that this discovery was not made by them. What research are they therefore doing to record the species in Barbados and by extention, scientifically discover new species? I would venture to say absolutely nothing. If I am wrong, please let me know.

    I know this may sound as though I am changing my stance, but give Mr. Hedges his due…he has done the work, he has therefore been given the opportunity to name the species and he named it after his wife…

    What we should do, and what UWI should do is to ensure that no one else could take away our opportunities.

  67. Hedges

    To BGR and Partial:

    You assume that I dropped in unannounced and had no contact with UWI or the Barbados government. That is not true. The Environment Division of the Ministry Energy and the Environment very graciously gave me permission to research these animals, and faculty members of UWI kindly helped me during my stay on Barbados. I also visited UWI and identified specimens for them. All of these people know the value of having new, scientific information about the fauna of Barbados, regardless of the nationality of the investigator.

    To Lady Anon:

    Please don’t criticize UWI and your wonderful biologists on the island. No one can be an expert on everything. There are only a few other people in the world who study these small burrowing snakes, so what is the chance that one of them lives in Barbados? If they did, the species would have been described many years ago. Today, you know that this small, apparently rare snake is found only on Barbados. That was not known before, either in local history, modern history, or in the scientific literature. This new knowledge assists the government of Barbados in managing and protecting this snake and other fauna.

  68. Partial

    @Hedges

    Thank you for taking the time and being courteous to explain.

  69. HedgesGoofed

    Regardless of the rules, Hedges shows a tiresome myopia typical of many University and NGO-based professionals who are doing little more than documenting extinctions from afar. This is a classic case of an overseas scientist who has failed (again) to coordinate his work in a cooperative and respectful manner with local hard-working government and university scientists to foster in-situ conservation relationships.

    The least he could have done was engage, if only to show respect for Barbados and its sovereignty.

    Hedges and others of of his ilk will continue to hide behind the technical rules if they are not challenged.

    Perhaps this could be an opportunity for Hedges him to contact the government of Barbados and discuss how he might be able to help generate financial and technical support for in-situ herp conservation programmes, or at the least, cooperative research programmes with the University of the West Indies. Or, maybe he’d just like to offer a voluntary name change that would respect Barbados, for starters.

  70. TO: HEDGES GOOFED

    TO: Hedges Goofed,

    Please behave yourself. The man has been gratiously couteous.

    Eddie

  71. HedgesGoofed

    Actually, Dr. Hedges has been gratuitously courteous. Please do not let my bad manners dissuade you from the point.

  72. BGR

    We appreciate Mr Hedges taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to us bloggers.
    However after reading his last post I am convince more than ever the government i.e the “Environment Division of the Ministry Energy and the Environment” and the UWI biologists needs to clear the air on this most scandalous of affairs.

  73. J. Payne

    You know… You all just made me think of something… Barbados still hasn’t fully exploited the unique species of Vervet ‘Green’ Monkeys that inhabit the island…. The Monkey’s in Saint Kitts and Nevis have evolved into drunks…


    Quest for ‘alcohol gene’ sets monkeys on binge – By David Harrison, Environment Correspondent
    Last Updated: 12:38AM GMT 03 Mar 2002

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/centralamericaandthecaribbean/saintkittsandnevis/1386625/Quest-for-'alcohol-gene'-sets-monkeys-on-binge.html

  74. John

    Had a look in Ligon just now and found in 1649 he is writing about snakes, ….. but not small ones!!

    Here is what he saw back them. I tried to make the old English make sense.

    Interestingly he says there were no frogs or toads.

    “Having done with beasts and birds, we will enquire what other lesser animals or insects there are upon the island, of which, snakes are the chief, because the largest; and I have seen some of those a yard and a half long.

    The only harm they do is to our pigeon houses and milk pans so that if we leave any hole in the bottom of the house where they can come in they will get to the nests and devour the young pigeons if they not be over big.

    And yet it is strange to see what great morsels they will swallow; slide they will up a wall if it be but perpendicular; but if it be declining outward, they cannot get up but will fall back ten foot high if they be hindered by any stooping of the wall; for which reason we make jetties near the top of such rooms as we will (want to) keep them out.

    They have climbed six foot high upon the outside of a wall, come in at a window, down on the inside, skim our milk pans and away again. Until we took (caught) one of them there, we knew not by what means our pans were thus skimmed.

    They never sting anybody nor is there any venomous beast in the island.

    The next to these are scorpions of which some are as big as rats, smooth and coloured like a snake, somewhat bluer, their bellies inclining to yellow, very nimble and quick to avoid their pursuers.

    Yet the snakes will now and then take them, between who there is a great conflict before the quarrel be decided. For the scorpions that are large are very strong and will maintain the fight sometimes half an hour. I have seen them wrestle together a good part of that time. These scorpions were never known to hurt man or beast.

    Toads or frogs we have none.

    Lizards we have in great plenty but the cats kill them so fast in the houses as they are much lessened in number. This little animal loves to be where men are and are delighted to stand and gaze in their faces and hearken to their discourse. These with us are different from those of Europe. The bodies of ours are about four inches long, the tail near as much, headed not much unlike a snake.

    Their colour when thy are pleased, a pure grass green on the back, bluish towards the side and yellowish on the belly, four legs and those very nimble. When they see at distance some of their own kind that they are angry with they swell a little bigger and change from green to russet or hair colour, which abates much of their beauty, for their green is very pleasant and beautiful.

    Cold they are as frogs……… etc.”

  75. Pingback: Snake Expert Dr. S. Blair Hedges Contacts Barbados Free Press - David Shorey Still In Hiding! « Barbados Free Press

  76. Bajanboy

    Mr. Hedges:

    Congratulations on your discovery. Please ignore some of the idiots who inhabit this blog. Their xenophobia and racism clouds their judgment.

    It is not true to state that most Barbadians would have been aware of this snake. Its small size would make it quite difficult to spot and I congratulate your perseverance for having to turn over hundreds of rocks to find just a few examples. Many people have seen a small black creature scurrying through the grass, but this is a tiny lizard of some kind.

    I hope that the population of your discovery can be determined and appropriate resources be put in place to protect the species.

  77. 'Island Pride' ...whateverrr.

    “I am not sure about your motives, but you appear to be making this into some nationalistic, political issue, when it is not.
    I love my country and you love yours,
    but snakes are apolitical.”

    Mr.Hedges, you have to understand the small-island mentality.

    They’re so over-nationalistically proud
    (of a snake 97% of them were completely unaware of
    right here on the island they so profess to love).

    That’s why the area down Spring Garden looks like an eco-catastrophe after Kadooment(Thurs. p.m.)
    – because we’re so “proud of our country” we throw our styrofoam garbage all over the place,
    for some other ‘proud’ Bajan to pick up after us like badly-trained little children.

    Bajans are a funny lot!
    They do take themselves far too seriously! LOL!

  78. Lady Anon

    Nation News picking up on the story…here

    When size matters
    Published on: 8/8/08.

    by BRYAN WALKER

    A CREATURE less than four inches (ten centimetres) long has given Barbados a whole lot of global mileage over the past week.

    But while American scientist and herpetologist Professor S. Blair Hedges announced to the world on Monday he had “discovered” earth’s tiniest snake – as thin as a spaghetti noodle – in the eastern part of the island, Barbadians were saying it was no discovery at all.

    Hedges’ revelation, first published in the journal Zootaxa on Monday and then picked up by numerous media networks and websites worldwide, stated the reptile, which lives in forested areas and feeds primarily on the larvae of ants and termites, was the only one of its kind, out of more than 3 000 snake species.

    He has named the “discovered” species Leptotyphlops carlae – after his herpetologist wife Carla Ann Hass.

    Hedges, who has been credited with discovering the world’s smallest frog and co-discovery of the smallest lizard on an island off the coast of the Dominican Republic in 2001, said he made the find in June 2006 on a four-day visit.

    “Because of the area of research, I kind of know how to look for these things,” he told the WEEKEND NATION in a telephone interview from his office at Penn State University in Pennsylvania.

    He added that accompanied by his wife, he drove to St Joseph and St John and after some searching, found one snake “under a rock”.

    “We drove around the island but found no more. Then on the last day we found one [more].”

    The scientist said he returned home with the preserved specimens, after getting all the relevant permits from the then Ministry of Energy and the Environment.

    This was confirmed by officials in that ministry on Wednesday.

    Hedges added it took two years, including DNA testing and comparison with snakes from other islands, before his work could be published.

    The professor said the snake was so rare, there were only five specimens collected in museums around the world.

    However, Damon Corrie, the man who led the hunt two years ago for a number of large, non-poisonous snakes thought to be loose on the island, said this was no “discovery” at all.

    Corrie, founder/president of the Caribbean Herpetological Society, told the WEEKEND NATION: “For him to claim that he ‘discovered’ this is like Columbus all over again. He might be the first person to scientifically examine and describe it, but he is certainly not the first person to discover it.

    “I remember seeing in an old copy of the Guinness Book Of World Records that the smallest snake in the world was found in Barbados. So the fact that we had the smallest snake is not a ‘new discovery’ at all.”

    Corrie, who has been a herpetologist for more than two decades, added that “at best, perhaps he has examined a specimen of a previously unknown to science species; but one that has been known to local Barbadians long before I was born.”

    In fact, shortly after the announcement, Corrie said he sent a response to the Associated Press in which he stated, among other things: “Myself and other Barbadians have been finding it . . . for decades.

    “S. Blair Hedges and his wife paid me once to show them where to find leptotyphlops bilineata in Barbados; I turned over a stone in the parish of St Joseph and showed it to him.”

    Historian Dr Karl Watson said while he could understand Hedges’ scientific analysis, “perhaps he wasn’t aware of the frequency with which it has been sighted on the island”.

    Protests on blogs

    Also on the blogs, Barbadians have been voicing concern about the matter.

    One woman wrote: “This is ridiculous! Are we going to allow this American biologist, Blair Hedges, to walk in here and claim he has ‘discovered’ the smallest snake in the world, when this snake has been slithering around in the undergrowth since my childhood days? . . . How dare this man come in here and name a snake after his wife?”

    A check of the 1990 edition of A-Z Of Barbadian Heritage by Henry Fraser, Sean Carrington, Addinton Forde and John Gilmore shows a picture on Page 167 of the snake partly encircling a Barbados cent.

    The authors stated: “The ‘blind snake’, leptotyphlops bilineata, is seldom seen but is not uncommon. It was first reported from Barbados in 1963 by a keen naturalist, the late Rev E.J. Pearce, in lead litter at Codrington College.

    “This snake belongs to a family of wormlike, secretive, burrowing snakes and is the smallest snake in the world, being known only from Barbados, St Lucia and Martinique . . . . The snake grows to 9 cm in length and is brown with two yellow stripes.”

    Back in 1995, well-known Barbadian historian Warren Alleyne wrote in his It So Happened column in the NATION: “A new variety was reportedly discovered in 1963. Brown, wormlike, and also non-venomous, this is said not to exceed 3 1/2 inches in length, and is thus believed to be the world’s smallest snake.”

    However Hedges, who said he had been in herpetology for 30 years, said while the criticisms might be legitimate, “and the animal was known to be from Barbados before I named it, it was confused with another species from Martinique called leptotyphlops bilineata”. His finding was that there was enough DNA evidence to differentiate it from the others.

    The scientist said he was not looking for glory, and there was no financial reward in it for him on making his “discovery”.

    ‘No money’

    “There is no prize or money in it. In fact, it’s a lot of trouble because everyone is calling me saying they think they have a smaller snake [than mine]. However, it is nice to discover a new specimen; I just hope that it is protected. It is only on Barbados and if it disappears, we really would have lost that species.”

    Hedges said Barbados was already gaining significant mileage from the announcement.

    “In the last few days, everybody has heard about Barbados on the web – with about 800 new stories.

    “In addition, from a conservation perspective, it is good knowing that you have a rare animal. There are 3 100 species of snakes in the world, and this is the smallest. I hope it gets Bajans to realise that they have a species that is only known on that island.”

  79. Underdog

    Regarding the silver lizard, I did hear once that Barbados and Antigua were the only places that this could be found. Does anyone know whether there any truth to this?

  80. Give Jack his Jacket

    The paper published by Dr. Hedges is as good as it gets! We are fortunate indeed to have this species properly described and noticed by the scientific community. As a small country we should not feel ashamed that it took a specialist with access to extensive museum collections to come here and make this important discovery. I notice a lot of sour grapes on this chat, from people claiming they knew it was there, but where did you all publish your sightings? Curious.

  81. Funny that you ask about where folks published their sightings. Not more than a few days before news of the alleged “smallest snake in the world” hit the wires I did just that, with a cousin of the “discovered” snake here on the island of Bonaire, a few hundred miles west of Barbados. Click the link to the article.

  82. The link is under my name, incidentally.

    And my snake is smaller than his snake, although I’m not sure I want to be bragging about that, I guess 😉

  83. Richard Afimbe

    I live in Barbados all my life but I never see this small thing – I think the man should name it whatever he care to it makes no difference to me.

    I remember when no tourists would come here and we were much better off I think. Yes, we had less money but we were happier.

  84. Nicky

    I am from Grenada and I’ve seen the stupid little snake there, in Trinidad and Barbadoes. This scientist needs to travel more…

  85. GoUSA

    The ignorance displayed on what a “discovery” means when something attains a proper scientific name is astounding.

    I guess not many people enter formal education in Barbados eh? Here is a hint. More read the bookys less talky talkys.

  86. GoUSA

    “He said most newly “discovered” species are already well known to locals, and the term refers to the work done in a laboratory to establish a genetic profile. In the study, he reported that two specimens he analyzed were found in 1889 and 1963.”

    Now my village dwelling friends seems the issue is settled?

    USA NAMING YOUR ANIMALS HAHAHA

  87. Visit http://www.newsweek.com/id/150669/output/comments and see what these “First World” elites think of us for simply stating the truth.

  88. Esteban from Tijuana

    No, thats the problem with scientists, “snakes are apolitical” the man says, ITS A BIG LIE!

    Everything is political, because we all humans are political.

    Science is heavily influenced by politics, economy and fame, its not “pure” as this man claims.

    Quick example: the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing, the real tragic terrifying effects of the radiation on humans were hidden so it would not cloud the victory of the allies and not hurt the people who decided to use the bomb in the US goverment.

    So saying snakes are apolitical in this context is really a lie.

    Naming the snake after something local would have been very respectful and accurate; coming in and claiming to “discover” something and naming it after your wife is just wrong.

    Saying that the preservation of this snake is important is correct, using that to try and disuade the criticism over the naming shows that there are no better arguments to defend this disrespectful naming.

  89. Esteban from Tijuana

    “Anonymous” who posted in “August 4, 2008 at 2:38 pm “. I agree with your opinion wholeheartedly.

    In a world where we want to promote a culture of tolerance, democracy and RESPECT to other cultures we can not walk in and pretend to “discover” what was already there.

  90. J

    “Here is a hint. More read the bookys less talky talkys.” quote from GoUSA August 9th at 4:30 p.m.

    Dear GoUSA:

    You are a complete idiot.

    If you are trying to imitate Caribbean spoken (or written) English, you have got it absolutely wrong.

    Go read the: Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage / edited Richard Allsopp with a French and Spanish supplement edited by Jeanette Allsopp. Oxford University Press, 1996

    Available at a bookstore near you. Or on Amazon.com

    Do not come back to this blog until you have done your reading.

    And one does not “discover” snakes by reading books.

    It appears that one “discovers” snakes by having Barbados resident Damon Corrie lift a rock in the parishof St. Joseph to show the well know snake to the American “discoverer”. And he did not have to pay Damon, I could have shown him the d*** thing for free.

    Anybody who is over 50 years old and who has lived in rural Barbados is very familiar with the little critter.

    It is certainly as familiar to me as Chefette.

    No doubt some American is going to “discover” Chefette soon.

    Seems to me that the “scientist” is on a roll to be know as the “discoverer” of the smallest things.

    Stupseeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  91. Mathilde

    Its getting a little embarrassing how hot headed some commentors are on this site. And the stupid comments some people are spouting arent helping either. The world is watching, couldnt we TRY to keep our heads cool about this please?
    and If all of wunna knew about the snake then how come none of wunna did anything about it?? does it even have a local name??

  92. Mathilde

    p.s. If the snake has a LOCAL name already then it would be better to use that, HOWEVER if it doesnt… I can only imagine the uproar will continue. In any case I expect it to go extinct by next year thanks to all the attention poured on it and our already wonderful record with endangered species…

  93. sfcwgr

    Might I suggest, after all the fuss, that journalists, not scientists, least of all taxonomists, are responsible for the inappropriate use of the term “Discovered”? In the circumstances at issue, they use it because it catches readers, not because anyone is claiming, or entitled to credit for, a true discovery. Frequently, the event that is reported as the “Discovery” of a “New” species is actually the “Description” of a years old laboratory specimen. In western scientific tradition, the author of the first “Description” gets naming rights. Blame inaccurate reporting, not the scientific exercise.

  94. J

    Dear Mathilde August 9th at 7:11 p.m

    Of course the thing has a local name. Do you think that local people pointed at it and described it as “the thing”.

    There is ALWAYS a local name.

    And sometimes MANY local names

    In the northern Barbados rural community in which I was born more than 50 years ago we always called it “the seven days snake” I think that because it was so small it was felt that it only lived for 7 days.

    I doubt tht it is in any danger of extinction, BECAUSE as more of Barbados’ sugar lands are “abandoned” more lands are becoming “idle” and Barbados is probably more ecologically diverse now that it was when I was a child. As wild life tends to thrive on “idle” lands. That is lands not used for housing, agriculture or commercial activity.

    There are some Barbadians, raised in the city and the suburbs who will tell you that there are not wild hares in Barbados and yet I have seen some at Sion Hill and at Gibbes right up to the 1990’s The only reason that I have not seen any lately is that I no longer go walking on country paths at dawn. But I have no doubt that the local hares are still there waiting to be “discovered”

    It is not possible to “discover” wildlife sitting indoors playing with electronic gizmos.

  95. Sargeant

    Why all the wringing of hands and the gnashing of teeth over the “discovery” and naming of the snake? Look at it this way although the snakes existed long before Mr. Hedges wrote his article it didn’t do us much good did it? OK they may have eaten some termites and insects, but this has brought us more publicity than all the ads that the Tourist Board can buy. At least if you ask a North American or European “what do you call natives of Barbados? They may give a response other than “Jamaicans”.

    Some Bajans also think that the world’s largest snakes are also in Barbados, now that would be news

  96. Allan Leavell

    I believe the discovery is valid. Sure, when other species are discovered I’m sure hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people already know about the animal(s). But do not, I repeat, DO NOT give any grief to S. Blair Hedges for scientifically naming and categorizing this snake or his other recent discoveries. If anybody in Barbados was really worried about the name of ‘their’ snake, someone in Barbados should have taken the necessary steps and gotten the correct degrees that allowed them to do so. Nobody is stepping on anybody’s pride here, it is a scientific discovery period. You should be proud to have such a snake live on your lands and bring attention to Barbados. If anyone is to get, for a lack of a better term, butt-hurt about a PROFESSIONAL SCIENTIST (an evolutionary biologist at that!!) naming a species that hasn’t been described ANYWHERE SCIENTIFICALLY then you really need to get a life.

  97. GoUSA

    The whole “naming of the animal” is still confusing these villagers. Scientific naming exists for a reason. The “local names” for animals tend to be used in a zillion other instances. Hence for a formal naming specifically to describe something. Nobody is claiming to have physically discovered the snake.

    Did you snivelers even bother to read the article? Where the scientists specifically explains how it works?

  98. Sargeant

    Now, now LMAO, no need to be crude, if someone insults you, you can always insult them back. In this case you should have said “At least our villagers didn’t elect our idiot to be our leader”.

  99. The Devil

    Further to my concerns regarding the “discovery” this snake: I have now read Mr Hedges publication detailing his research. It is noted that the word “discovery” or any associated words are NOT used. Mr Hedges is actually claiming that what was thought to be a single species (L bilineata) inhabiting 3 islands is actually three seperate species. He has not only named the variety indigenous to Barbados but also the one indigenous to St Lucia (L breuli). Any serious challenge to Mr Hedges work will have to come from his peers in the biology community but until such time he appears to be on solid academic/scientific ground even if irritating local sensibilities in his choice of names. I must agree with the comments made by sfcwgr.

    The condescending insults by GoUSA are uncalled for.

  100. GoUSA

    I dont think barbarians are allowed to “elect” anything. They battle with bone clubs to see whose the leader.

  101. Sargeant

    @ GoUSA

    Is that the best that you can come up with? Sure you use more sophisticated means to decide your election, I hope you count all the votes this time.

  102. J

    Dear GoUSA:

    This villager is happy to correct your grammar. You wrote:

    “They battle with bone clubs to see whose the leader.

    You should have written:

    who is NOT whose.

    Bit difference GoUSA.

    Go learn your English grammar.

  103. 2cents

    i know i late fuh dis response an ting but i wud have to say dat really in truly de man hedges did his research an all but at i got to agree wid many a BFPer dat he still name a known species afta he own wife

    as far as i concer dah dey in right… cuz as many also say he tiefin de fame outta de bajans who BY RIGHTS discovered de snake… not nuh foreigner who hear bout it an feel he got de right to rain pon we parade

    hedges respect to you fuh de hard work you do… but u ain plantin no flag no where… flag plant every long time since

  104. GoUSA

    Yes, i should have wrote “They battle with bone clubs to see who the leader”. Another point for the villagers!

  105. Kay

    3 cents
    Good one.
    Only one little boy picked up on the fact that Canada has provinces and not states, and no one pointed out that Ottawa is the capital not Toronto.
    Now look who is suggesting that we are stupid.
    The pot like it calling the kettle black.

  106. art

    A national park the length and breadth of the east coast of Barbados is a marvellous idea. Environmental conditions may be just enough for this species to survive.

    Environ-mental conditions may not ensure that the other larger species survive.. unless current trends change?

    People/things come and people/things go. You’re/we’re not that smart. So it goes vis a vis Darwin, cousin of snake many times removed.

    art

  107. GoUSA

    Poor Barbados doesnt even have any Olympic athletes! Dont worry Barbados one day you will grow up to be a REAL nation! With education and everything! But for now just sit back and relax the big kids are naming your animals.

  108. Pat

    GoUSA
    August 10, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    “Poor Barbados doesnt even have any Olympic athletes! Dont worry Barbados one day you will grow up to be a REAL nation! With education and everything! But for now just sit back and relax the big kids are naming your animals.”

    You have to be one dense person. Not only do we have Olympic athletes, we also have won medals!
    Dont worry about us. Go back to drinking your beer, eating your hamburgers and navel gazing. You illiterate obese cow!

  109. GoUSA

    Is Barbados considered its own nation or is it just a large village?

  110. Straight talk

    Hey Go USA:

    I think you are living in a 1984 style prison camp.

    Chill out on our beaches for recuperation, or go and fight to defend your new friends,,,,, the Georgians, no not those from Atlanta, the real ones who believed your pathetic promises, and were annihilated as your proxies.

    Feel proud now, big boy.

    Go USA indeed. far from the guns of war.

    Kill some more Iraqi innocents in your pathetic search for non-existent WMD, or plan 2 ,impose Diebold machines on the world to manufacture the result your “democracy” requires.

    We may look upon you as a big neighbour, but increasingly we see a big bully, and one who is shortly going to get his ass kicked, good style.

    I predict your dope-filled athletes will medal second in Beijing, probably fourth when the tests come through, but the greatest meddler will be pea-brained GWB taking the world to the brink of holocaust without a blink of his paid for, vacuous eyes.

    Greetings from the islands.

  111. No olympic athletes

    Go USA,
    Reason we can’t win medals at the Olympics is because our athletes are not on “designer” drugs like the “biggies”. Perhaps then, we will grow up to be a REAL natin.
    Eddie

  112. The scout

    I’m sick and tired of you people coming down to the third world and behaving like a modern day Columbus. Just like you, he didn’t discover anything, he found people living here; you found the snake livingf here and most bajans knew about the species for years. What else you want to come here an “discover”?

  113. The scout

    Go USA
    USA= Big country, small thinkers
    Barbados = Small country, big thinkers
    You deal with that.

  114. Lady Anon

    I cannot believe that you guys are letting someone line GoUSA rile you up. We know what people like that give and they thrive on animosity.

    Ignore him/her and he/she will go away.

    We know better, therefore we should do better.

    Compared to the “mighty” USA, we are but a large village…just 270,000 people, 166+ square miles. But we have accomplished much.

    Leave him/her and the obvious ignorance alone.

  115. art

    suppose goUSA was not from the usa,,,,what would usay? suppose it was from down our way? Would that make ””them”’ go away?

    We’re not as smart as we think….snakes slithering, bull-cows bellowing, mankind extincting. How smart are we.

    art

  116. GoUSA

    Ya, Barbados is filled with deep thinkers! Thats why they contribute so much to the world. Except the environmental destruction of their pissant little nation. You contribute NOTHING to the world. You just exist at the leisure of your betters (USA).

    Now stop talking back before i rename your island and possibly your children.

  117. HedgesGoofed

    Seems that Leavall and others are missing the greater point. While they are entirely correct in regard to the taxonomic process under the rules, the bigger issue is that there is an endemic culture in the academic community that is self-aggrandizing.

    At a time when our pristine habitats are disappearing, and extinction rates are at an all time high, one might think these oft-tenured professionals would be more activist, and actually act together to save the very areas they are studying.

    One of the first steps in doing such grand work is to enroll national resources in-situ. Like any diplomatic effort, this requires leaving egos at the door, and changing the current paradigm of “well, he discovered it, and under the rules he gets to name it after his wife.” Why not use this “discovery” (or whatever you want to call it) to leverage in-situ conservation efforts? Hedges should be an icon here and go beyond the arguments presented by Terborgh. Scientists and researchers need to become more activist, otherwise they are simply archivists doing nothing more than documenting potential or likely extinctions.

    Hedges could, as a matter of personal ethic, set the tone by asking those who have the power to protect Barbados’ natural legacy what the name of the snake should be, and help enable real in-situ conservation measures.

    It’s about giving respect and encouragement to those who need it most, where it matters most.

  118. jah

    The scientific question: “What’s the easiest way to discover a new species?”

    The scientific theory: “If I travel around the world and ask locals what is the smallest _____ (fill in the reptile amphibian of your choice), then I can easily collect many samples, take them home and have my graduate students figure out which species are previously undocumented. Then I take the credit for the discovery.”

    The theory was tested, and it was proved correct. Perhaps this new method of collecting samples and classifying species should also be named after the guy? Maybe it already is.

    Remember that this scientist is only revered among his snake scientist buddies, which is a very small subsect of the population. No one else is going to know the pretend name he invented or care.

    People are motivated by different things. He probably doesn’t get paid a lot of money for his work, and maybe this is a good reward for his efforts? A boon from the scientific community to encourage him to keep doing a good job.

    While it would have been really nice, thoughtful, and appropriate for him to give the snake a name which reflected the people who no doubt pointed it out to him, or maybe even the graduate students who worked on the project, he did not.

    I think he’s a selfish person. But most people are! Sorry Barbados. I feel for you.

    Here’s a good analogy: A doctor discovers a man who has a special technique to hold his breath under water for 1 hour. A technique which anyone can do. The man, who can hold his breath, didn’t know that his technique was anything special. But the doctor does. The doctor takes the technique and names it after himself rather than the man who invented it.

    The story of Bill Gates is a similar thing. Or when the original colonists traded the Native Americans cheap trinkets for their gold, which the Native Americans did not know had any value. Or the antique dealer who buys a million dollar painting for 50 cents from an old woman at a garage sale.

  119. Pat

    Jah,

    You are so right. George Washington Carver invented peanut butter and many other things in his lab. But you know what, up comes the white American and patents them, with no benefit to Carver or other blacks at Tuskegie.

  120. GoUSA

    Thats sure a good analogy….

  121. 126

    well im not even from Barbados and this claim of discovery is pissing me off.these americans think they can just walk into any country and “discover things that we islanders have already known (just by different names) and the amazing thing is he chooses to name a SNAKE after his WIFE now thats something

  122. GoUSA

    I guess you heathens should graduate from the 5th grade and understand science huh? You dont get to complain if you are not willing to do the work. Lazy mongrels

  123. Kay

    Why are you letting GOUSA bother you?
    Americans cannot even spell honour correctly.

  124. J

    ok, ok, ok.

    The best way protect this snake is to leave them alone.

    However they can exist quite hapily with human beings even with children.

    Many lived in our yard when I was a child.

    However here is how to protect them.

    Ease up on the concrete.

    Ease up on the sculpted lawns

    Ease up on the Deildrin, Gramoxone and other pesticides.

    If we plan to protect thise snakes, by creating a park and bringing in the billdozers, and pesticides and concrete we will surely kill them.

    We need to leave much more of Barbados in a bushy, wild, uncultivated state.

    We should not aspire to have all of Barbados looking like an upper class American suburb. Upper class American (and Barbados) suburbs are pretty sterile places and are mostly not good places for wildlife.

    We should not aspire to have a car in every garage.

    But don’t get me started on rational, efficient public transporation again.

  125. J

    And Convicted Lumper:

    Please no snake tours to Turner’s Hal Woods so that tourists can see the snake.

    The thing is small and fragile and having tourists and guides tramping through the place is one sure way to kill off the thing.

    Do we realy need to make money on everything. Can’t anything be valued for its own sake and not for how much it will put in our bank accounts?

  126. GOUSA

    Your rampant destruction of natural habitats is another reason you require your betters (AMERICANS) to guide your actions and name your creatures.

  127. J

    Dear GoUSA:

    Buy and read the following :

    “Anyone familiar with the natural history of Barbados would be somewhat perplexed by this reported “discovery”. In fact, the 1990 edition of the “A-Z of Barbadian Heritage”shows the snake partly encircling a Barbados one cent coin (p167) . (Is it a sign of inflation that this photograph shows it astride a US quarter?) This “blind snake” was first reported from Barbados in the scientific literature in 1889 by a keen naturalist, Col. Henry W. Feilden

    “Wild Plants of Barbados” by Sean Carrington. MacMillan Caribbean, 1993.

    You can return to this blog only after you have done your homework

  128. Leave GOUSA

    Must admit, GO USA really has us hitting the ceiling. How do you know it’s not someone from Barbados antagonising the Bajan Bloggers?

    Don’t think GUA is making any contribution worth answering.

    I agree with Kay above.
    Eddie

  129. Pooch

    Why is anyone surprised that Hedges would name this snake after his wife? After all, she’s had the dubious distinction of studying one of the world’s smallest snakes up close and personal ever since they got married.

  130. GOUSA

    Even after having it explained repeatedly and in detail these mongrels still don’t understand what a proper scientific name means?!?! Hint hint mongrels its not physical discovery. I’m sure you wont understand this either but oh well. Someone has to try to educate you filthy peasants.

    When you get confused just read the following quote. Let it sink in. You are making barbados look REALLY ignorant.

    “He said most newly “discovered” species are already well known to locals, and the term refers to the work done in a laboratory to establish a genetic profile. In the study, he reported that two specimens he analyzed were found in 1889 and 1963.”

    READ IT SLOWLY. I understand you dont understand it. But just try….

  131. Thistle

    BFP: How much longer are you going to allow this ignorant American thing to insult us? (No one has so far allowed it to know that our education system is FAR SUPERIOR to the American one). It would not surprise me if he is a member of the Ku Klux Klan, in which case he has no right on here.

  132. GOUSA

    So because i correct your ignorant rantings i am a racis? Another brilliant deduction by the scholars of Barbados!

  133. Thistle

    The brilliant deduction is that you’re so uneducated and ignorant that you don’t even know how to spell ‘racist’.

  134. GOUSA

    Awwww look Thistle has nothing to contribute and no refutation to offer. Poor little guy…..

    I should probably be used to the ignorance of Barbados and the inability of its people to think. But really if you have nothing of value to offer mayhap you just sit and watch the grownups talk?

    No need to thank me for repeatedly informing your ignorant population of the ways of science.

  135. Maverick

    Pretty silly how even after having what the “discovery” means 75% of these replies still dont understand it.

  136. J

    Do you think that maybe GoUSA has no friends in the USA and is on this blog looking for friends.

    Go home GoUSA.

    Nobody wants to talk to you.

  137. GOUSA

    Don’t be mad that you i have to correct your ignorance. You should be thanking me for taking the time. Rejoice my ignorant friend i bring knowledge to your village!

  138. Kay

    Thistle
    I don’t think it is fair to describe GOUSA as racist.
    He cannot even spell the word. Probably cannot spell colour either.

  139. Baja

    Reading this thread makes me ashamed to be from Barbados. I don’t even want to be associated with my fellow countrymen. How embarrassing for us all.

  140. J

    Dear Baja:

    Exactly why are you ashamed to be from Barbados?

    And exactly how long have you been afflicted with this shame?

  141. Baja

    I am just saddened by the degree of ignorance expressed in this thread. I am ashamed to be associated with you all. Your behavior is revolting.

  142. Kay

    I don’t think that anyone fails to understand the reasoning behind the so called discovery being claimed by this scientist. The fact that he deemed to name it after his wife when there were so many “deserving” Bajans that it could have been named after, e.g. politicians, lawyers or real estate people here in Bim, was also his choice to make.
    But leave the blogs alone, we have as much of a right to our feelings as anyone else.
    GOUSA has come onto this blog with some irresponsible comments designed to rile people up and some of us have responded in kind.
    Remember that at the end of the day this is a blog, and so long as people do not incite violence or promote criminal actions they have a right to their views.

  143. art

    I don’t hate Prof. Hedges for analysing the appearances of the snakes, the DNA of the region’s snakes… to determine that it actually is a separate species.
    I don’t hate UWI for giving Prof Hedges the lead role. Why would a true scientist care, so long as the work was done? The art of science.
    I love our new found iota of interest, that defining point that only Barbados possesses.
    Thank you, Prof. Hedges

    art

  144. TO: BAJA

    Baja,

    Are you pretending to be what you are not.

    What is this “revolting behaviour” you are talking about?

    When I go on USA blog sites, these people speak in the most foul language imaginable.

    So how is it that you are ashamed of your contrymen?
    Eddie

  145. TO: BAJA

    Baja,

    I think the Bajan bloggers are very repressed in their language.

    If they allow Go USA to antagonise them, well..that’s their problem. But I don’t understand why this should “make you ashamed…”

    I think you are a pretensive person, living different personna, that is, being a Jeckle and Hyde…or in short… hyprocritical.
    Eddie

  146. Baja

    Im ashamed of the ignorance of the scientific process. Even after having it explained you still think its “unfair” that he named it after his wife? The man did the work! Why does someone in Barbados “deserve” to have it named after them?

    The person who does the work is entitled to name it. Im ashamed of the lack of knowledge,logic and critical thinking. The horrible grammar and sentence structure is pretty disgusting as well.

    Eddie: please learn English before you attempt to be a douche.

    Kay: So in the same post you say “everyone is free to say what they want” and then “leave the blogs alone”. That makes perfect sense.

    Upgrade your grey matter because some day it may matter.

  147. TO: BAJA

    Baja,

    It may be that due to your years of living “over in away”, you now have “graduated in critical thinking” beyond your former countrymen. This is a typical attitude of some.

    You talk about horrible grammar? I don’t think you are being fair or realistic.
    If one critiques the average blogger, you can sense the writer writes quickly and scarcely gives him/herself the trouble to look over the passages to correct small grammatical mistakes. This pertains not only to Bajan blog sites, but international as well. It will serve you well to visit other sites other than Bajan.

    You are putting yourself on a pedestal when you try to correct Bajans (or anyone else) on grammatical mistakes when blogging.
    Eddie

  148. Kay

    BAJA
    Do you write for a newspaper?
    You seem to take comments out of context.
    Eddie
    A douche?
    LOL

  149. art

    art is monkey. you all make monkey of selves, but already are monkey.

    monkeyxmonkey = square monkey

    You toobe monkey, and/or many be square monkey:

  150. Baja

    Eddie: Let me count the ways. Ill just select this specific example of incomprehensible english.

    “I think you are a pretensive person, living different personna, that is, being a Jeckle and Hyde…or in short… hyprocritical.

    pretensive….is not a word. Lets assume you meant “pretentious” it still wouldn’t make sense because pretension has no relation to “living a different persona”. They are in no way even vaguely related.

    Now Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde would be an example of two persona personae in one person. But it still has no relation to pretension. And none of the above has any relation to hypocrisy. You just randomly equated 4 completely different concepts together for some incomprehensible reason.

    Its not just your spelling and grammar. Its that ideas your trying to express are utterly incoherent.

  151. TO: BAJA

    Baja,

    It can’t be incomprehensive when you understand exactly what I mean.

    I however, appreciate your English lecture. I have to go back to school.

    But I still think you are wraped up in self-adulation.
    Eddie

    Kay: “A douche” – Shower; to pour cold water on something.
    I believe this is what Baja mean’t with my references to her comment

  152. Kay

    Eddie
    Dowse/douse:- throw water over somthing
    A douche:- jet of water applied externally or internally.
    I wondered which one Baja meant.

  153. Con

    Baja:I must say,I see many a grammatical error in your own type,but I’ll leave it at that,shall I?Also,the use of douche,the way you used it,is nonsensical,also,before you begin on me,I know English Language very well,also,sonsensical is a word and is used in the right context,don’t test me!

    Anyhow,you’re straying off subject.I don’t see how rusty grammar and incorrect spelling MISTAKES (not the emphasis,please)has anything pertaining to Dr. Hedges “discovery”.

    I appreciate that Dr. Hedges did much hard work documenting the elusive Barbados Thread Snake,it’s former Latin name was LEPTOTYPHLOPS BILINEATA.However,why was the name changed?Was there some minute but highly important difference between the Barbados and Martiniquan species?Bajans knew about the snake species long before there was even a right and wrong way to spell.Ironic how that’s used,eh?
    If these questions were to be answered,then I’m sure much will be settled and a mutual understanding will be maintained.

  154. Con

    correction:sonsensical”
    nonsensical
    Just to keep Baja happy

  155. Con

    Also,GOUSA,I think you’re a pompous fool,I apologize,but that needed to be said.

  156. TO: Kay

    Baja is a guru in speaking and explaining the English language who is ashamed to be associated with lesser Bajan mortals.
    How dear you impute frailty to this critical thinker?
    Eddie

  157. J

    Dear Baja:

    On August 16 at 1:38 p.m. you wrote “pretensive….is not a word. ”

    But pretensive IS a word as you will find out when you check:

    The dictionary of Caribbean English Usage / edited by Richard Allsopp, with a French and Spanish supplement edited by Jeanette Allsopp. Oxford University Press, 1996, p. 453, left column, 4th entry down

    There you wil find that pretensive is defined as “lacking in confidence, of unsteady character, snobbish although poor, putting on airs etc.”

    Dear Baja: Methinks that you are indeed pretensive.

    But there is no need to be ashamed of being a Bajan.

    However you ought to be ashamed to admit that you are a Bajan and yet you are unfamiliar with Bajan English use.

    If you did not learn to use and love your own language (and people) during your early years in Barbados what is it then that you learned? To be asjmed of yourself and yur people?

    The English language is not dead, it is not static, it is a living, growing, beautifully, organic language.

    English is not owned by the United Kindom, nor the United States, nor Barbados nor Jamaica, nor India, nor Canada, nor Nigeria. All of the varieties of English spoken in all these places are valid, all are beautiful, all are contributing to the growth and development of what is likely to be the most powerful language in all of human history.

    But just as there are varieties of snakes specific to Barbados, so there is a variety of English specific to Barbados.

    Learn it.

    Actually methinks that I am pretensive too.

    Ah gone!!

  158. GOUSA

    Even your own people think you are uneducated scum. Says alot about you now doesn’t it?

    Dont even know what a douche is hahahahaha.

    Poor wittle villagers.

  159. GOUSA

    Con: Learn how to use a comma before slapping them after every other word. Also,LEPTOTYPHLOPS BILINEATA is NOT the snake he named moron. Jesus, even when you take the time to look something up you cant get it right.

    Id be ashamed to be associated with you mouth breathers also.

  160. TO: GO USA

    GO USA,

    Missed You. Where were you?

    Have you now got of from your 2nd job on the night shift?
    Eddie

  161. Kay

    GOUSA & BAJA
    A recent article in the local papers had a magistrate commenting on child abuse in the island. That is something to make you ashamed to be a Bajan.
    One article this week addressed dog fighting still taking place here. That is something to bring shame.
    All too often we hear that part of the problem at the QEH is because people dump their old family members at that institution. Shame.
    We see garbage and old fridges, stoves, t.v’s etc. dumped at the side of the road and in gullies. Are you not ashamed of that in this environmentally conscious world?
    But if you are ashamed to be a Bajan because comments made by locals regarding the scientific “discovery” of our local grass snake then I suggest that your priorities are misplaced.
    P.S. I don’t know what nationality you would be proud to be as these shameful acts are universal!

  162. art

    pretensive prehensile, abusive square monkey.

    Can one be an evolutionist and a religionist simultaneously? This is a debate among biologists and laypeople.

    In my own mind the answer is yes, since the ways of the Lord are deep, and the ways of the Lord include the fossil record, the DNA evidence and the taxonomic similarities that led Darwin to make his original postulation. Just as Gallileo was suppressed, derided and imprisoned, then released for his theories, so too will the theory of evolution be upheld as a glory in the church.

    I cannot understand these things and be any different. The aetheist will say I am foolish, maybe a religionist too. I don’t know, maybe I am foolish, but there’s plenty of company around here.

    Why evolution?
    1) The fossil record.
    If one examines the limestone rocks in the higher regiuons of Barbados one sees shells and corals and plants fossilised within. These were living/dead shells a great many hundreds of thousands of years ago. Dating methods are not totally, but quite reasonably, accurate. If one goes into these types layers in the countries of the world one finds dinosaurs, etc, the oldest layer is usually the deepest down, more recent higher up, etc. The layers of strata were given time names- mezozoic, paleozoic, etc. The fossil evidence of evolution starts deepest in the strata with plants and as it rises we ‘discover’ the so-called ‘higher’ forms (like the blogger).

    Please bear in mind that this has nothing to do with the ‘discovery’ of our snake. Nor does it have to do with Bajan dating methods.

    2) Taxonomy
    Darwin’s finches, or mini snakes of Barbados and the Caribbean. Observation of taxonomy and the slight species differences leads one to ask why it is so. After asking why, one asks how? Taxonomy is a great way to observe the Lord’s ways around us.

    Why not suppress the fact that the little snakes exist? It is unpatriotic to destroy ourselves by letting the tourist visitor read this. They will find it disgusting- I agree. Better not to publicise their existence at all- leads to too much controversy. We can’t handle it- overstimulation. Better still, only allow locals to read the blogs..

    3) DNA analysis
    Comparing DNA of animals and annealing methods can lead scientists to see what % of DNA is the same in various animals. It can show whether there are differences. DNA sequencing machines can now give us the whole base codes on every chromosome of ‘Homo Sapiens’, a species of hominid, quite close to the chimps, our friendly cousins.

    Chimps are cannibalistic, and can be quite violent, plus many other traits observed. Eat a blogger for dinner, square monkey.

    I don’t hate Prof Hedges for analysing the appearances of the snakes, the DNA of the region’s snakes… to have determined that it actually is a separate species. I don’t hate UWI for giving Prof Blair the lead role. Why would a true scientist care, so long as the work was done? Applause and a round of thank yous from the monkey, art.

    I continue to think about our new found asset of interest, that defining point that only Barbados possesses.

    We are monkies, and so we make monkies of ourselves. That’s a natural borne fact.

    Psalm 91 (reprise)

  163. Artsmokescrack

    He does really.

  164. art

    This is probably hard for you so you are forgiven. Rev Hatch went on ‘Brass Tacks’ several years ago and supported the theory of evolution. Being the former Pastor of St. James Church you may wonder whether Rev Hatch smokes crack?

    Don’t let’s have to prove that you have 2 tails now.

  165. DilemmaDave

    Umm… Gousa, Con is right,the former name was LEPTOTYPHLOPS BILINEATA, and surely an overuse of commas is no suggestion that Con is a moron. I believe the Americans or whatever are misunderstood. Barbadians are not upset that Hedges documented and renamed/reclassified the snake, they’re angry at the use of the word “discovered”.Reclassify or rename is more appropriate.

  166. So Easy

    DilemmaDave,

    You’re perfectly correct.

    I don’t understand why self-appointed Sultans find this hard to understand.

  167. DilemmaDave

    Gousa & Baja, ok,they don’t know what a douche is,but the fact that the Americans use the matter of female personal hygein as an insult,also believing it funny and not to mention out of context, at least proves they’re not sick-minded. Lo and behold the real scum!
    The “wittle villagers” seem more sophisticated ,huh?

  168. DilemmaDave

    Also,don’t think that you are superior,every man is born equal and for your information,Barbados has done much for the world.Solar Power is one,before YOU guys stole it,and the poor scientist(don`t remember his name) killed himself.Also Concorde,best airline before Americans obliterated that too,because of one crash ‘the very first one,after so many years.Americans are sickening,and don’t critisize them because of how they speak,illiteracy rates are not something to be proud of in the USA either,also unemployment.Now stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

  169. Science

    LEPTOTYPHLOPS BILINEATA is the name the snake was falsely considered to be before hodges discovered it was an entirely new species. Hence why he got to name it. The term discover was never a term Hodges used himself or in his work. As has been explained in this very thread 10+ times.

    The man himself wasted his personal time to try to explain it to the moronic masses himself.Ignorance is bliss when your from Barbados apparently. I wont even comment on the other rampant stupidity in this thread.

  170. DilemmaDave

    I said former,not correct…

  171. DilemmaDave

    This is the problem on either side,Barbadian or otherwise,you all comment without thought.Or,better explanation,you all assume this,that and the next,but you don’t take time to think it through.

  172. Science

    Actually, dave my opinion is based on reading the responses in this blog. I’m not assuming anything.

  173. DilemmaDave

    However,most others are assumptions.Also as many times as the term “discover” is explained,it won`t change how they feel.”Discover” pertains to previously unknown species.I’m not upset at Dr. Hedges findings,and he may not have used it in the documentation of his findings,but their own newspaper printed it,several times.I think that’s why they’re most hurt,knowing not many share the view.I’m propably wrong,but this time,I admit,this is an assumption.

  174. ru4real

    Art

    thank you for the link – truly a beautiful story

  175. Eddie

    Dilemma Dave,
    Your comments seem fair and balanced, but it is obvious you are dialoguing with person(s)(Go USA/Science) who has(have) never travelled outside of the USA and believe that the whole world is the USA.

    People of this ilk are usually undereducated and tunneled visioned in outlook.

  176. Eddie

    Dilemma Dave,
    Your comments seem fair and balanced, but it is obvious you are dialoguing with person(s)(Go USA/Science) who has(have) never travelled outside of the USA and believe that the whole world is the USA.

    People of this ilk are usually undereducated and tunneled visioned in outlook. They really should be pitied for their shallow outlook on life

  177. art

    Hi Ru
    Yes, of course you’re most welcome at all times. Thanks for saying so.

  178. DilemmaDave

    Science:In all fairness,the rampant stupidity is not by the Barbadians.I understand the plight,but seriously,you too would be uneasy and quite upset if a similar occurence happened to your country.

  179. DilemmaDave

    And the Barbadians are not ignorant,Harrison College ring any bells?

  180. J

    Dear Science:

    Re your comment on August 19th at 12:14 a.m. “Ignorance is bliss when your from Barbados apparently”

    CORRECTION: you are or you’re NOT your.

    Dear Science: It seems that ignorance (and maybe stupidity) is bliss in your neck of the woods too.

  181. DilemmaDave

    J:You are absolutely correct
    I’m not throwing accusations that anyone is racist,but these guys don’t take too kindly to Barbadians.It is,however,beside the point.If it is true that the Barbadian mentality is “If it moves,kill it!” is on the mark,then Hedges is most certainly correct,Bajans need to protect this unique and almost defenceless species.They do no harm to us,they possess no venom,don’t harm crops or animals and don’t tend to stray into urban developements,so they’re not a pest,they’re more like ladybugs,they eat pests themselves.I think it brilliant that the pest control thinks to farm them,for they are not plentiful,so I understand.Therefore,through that the population can be maintained and increased (but not by too much!)I’ve only seen them twice before in my many years.

  182. Eddie

    I think the discussion has moved beyond Dr. Hedges’ discovery to how 3rd world people are viewed by some.

  183. DilemmaDave

    To a certain extent.I’ve been trying to refocus it.

  184. art

    Hi J
    a play on words above. Please laugh=

    CORRECTION: you are or you’re NOT your
    pseudonym?
    country’s worst enemy?
    self today?
    own worst enemy?
    livestock’s keeper?
    vision of a model citizen?
    your own spellcheck?
    Aaaarghh- there’s no spellcheck or grammarcheck here!

    Science
    Calling people morons is like farting. Smelt it, dealt it. The Bajan blogs are being spoilt by this unsavoury trend IMO. Blogmasters should stop people from abusing others on their blogs.

    What has become of common decency in Barbados?

  185. J

    Dear art:

    ?

    J.

  186. J

    Dear Eddie:

    I am not a third world person (whatever that is)

    I am a Bajan.

  187. Eddie

    Dear J,

    I know, and I agree, but that’s how we are viewed by 1st Worlders.

    By the way, what is Art talking about?
    Eddie

  188. BarB

    So happy I immigrated to the US. Ignorance seems even more widespread since i left.

  189. Jimmy

    Its disappointing that the level of ignorance is so high in 3rd world nations. I partly blame the US for not establishing proper schools to educate these poor misfortunate people.

  190. Jimmy/BAR B

    Please teach and educate us O WISE ONES!

  191. DilemmaDave

    The education system is better than the U.S so I’ve heard,but I hope Barbadians don’t follow the U.S’s lead on education as well.You say they’re ignorant,but if you live in Barbados you would think otherwise.But if per chance that statement is true,then it’s because Barbadians followed U.S’s lead.Many regrettable Barbadian characteristics now have been brought on by the Americans (like baggy pants that show more underwear than one needs to see i.e ANY!)So Jimmy/BarB,you are correct in the sence of,the Americans are in fault.

  192. J

    Dear Eddie:

    Even though I am a highly evolved Bajan. I have no idea what art is talking about. Hence

    ?

  193. J

    Dear BarbB:

    You got the correct papers?

    Hope you are not among the millions of illegal immigrants.

  194. J

    Dear BarbB:

    We Bajans are happy that you emigrated from Barbados.

    So 2 sets of happy.

    You happy.

    We happy.

    Happy, happy.

  195. J

    Dear Jimmy:

    Misfortunate is NOT a word.

    Where did you go to school?

    Did you go to school?

    I am really happy that I had my teachers of English, instead of the ones which you had.

  196. art

    Hi J
    Please forgive. I took your own correction of another blogger and made sentences with it by adding on to the end, each word o each line is a different ending to the correction sentence.

    Too cryptic, artic.

  197. J

    Dear art:

    Whew!!!!!!!!!!

    For a while there I thought that I was losing it.

  198. Eddie

    BarB/Jimmy,

    I posted this question on another post in error (Amican Baptist…….Gospel). My apologies.

    However, could you please expand on what makes Barbadians ignorant? That’s a very strong statement.

  199. Eddie

    For anyone to even remotely suggest that Barbados has an inferior educational system, that person would have to be totally misinformed and misguided.
    (That person would definitely have to be speaking from viewpoint of ignorance in its correct sense).

    I suspect that this is why our scholars excel when they study in industrialised countries.

  200. Jimmy

    Misfortunate is a word you ignorant peasants. This is the third time I have seen you correct someone while being incorrect.

  201. Eddie

    Dear J,

    Take him down.

  202. J

    No Jimmy.

    You can write misfortune.

    You can write unfortunate.

    But misfortunate. No, no, no.

  203. Juris

    No J, you are wrong. “Misfortunate” means deserving or inciting pity!

  204. Jimmy

    4th time correcting someone while being repulsively ignorant. Gotta be a record J!

  205. Eddie

    Still waiting on your answer. Why are Barbadians ignorant?

  206. J

    Dear Juris:

    Would you care to give me your source so that I can verify?

  207. Equity

    J, Juris is right. Check Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary for one.

  208. Jimmy

    Eddie: Why are they ignorant? No idea, i merely observe how you represent yourselves here. Post after post of ignorance even after people are nice enough to explain your errors.

    I guess the question you should be asking is “Why am i so ignorant” and take steps to change yourself.

  209. Eddie

    Jummy,
    You obviously haven’t been on your local (USA) blogs.

  210. Jimmy

    What a childish perspective. Not really surprising me after i have read some of your comments to be honest. Even your fellow countrymen are ashamed of you.

  211. DilemmaDave

    I can’t say I’m ashamed of fellow Barbadians,though I’m ashamed of many of the things that they do,if you don’t know what I mean,read Kay’s last comment.However,as Kay stated correctly,these things are not refined to Barbados.However,you seem intent on shifting conversation to the way third world countries are viewed.Labeling us as ignorant is silly,for you have only seen very few of many Barbadians views on the topic.Also,Jimmy,have you seen GOUSA’s childish perspective that Americans are far superior?If not,I suggest you read back.Now tell me,are Bajans really the ONLY persons who post “ignorance” here?One last thing,how do you come to the conclusion that we are ashamed of Eddie?

  212. Jimmy

    Dilemmadave: Because there are multiple posts by your countrymen saying they are.

    Eddie,J and a couple extremely stupid people are making your entire nation appear extremely dim.

    Several people from barbados have posted just speak of their shame at seeing these idiots make barbados look bad.

  213. Kay

    Jimmy
    In fact it could be one person posting under different names, and that person could be from any country that can access the www.
    That is the great thing about the internet and that is the worst thing about the internet!

  214. Eddie

    I suspect that GO USA and Jimmy are one person. From the time GO USA “left us” here comes the evolution of “Jimmy”
    Jimmy is obviously an undereducated bigot(predudiced in his views of others), who builds straw men and then knocks them down. That is, purporting to build up false premises and then showing their weaknesses.

    Truth is, I think “Jimmy” is a sick person in need of serious psychological help.
    How can one explain his brilliant conclusions? That:
    Barbadians are ignorant /peasants.
    Barbadians are misfortunate.

    Clearly hatched from the mind of a mad man.

  215. Jimmy

    Yes, me and the dozen or so other people calling you people out on your nonsense are all one person.

    You are obviously very mentally balanced to have such paranoid disillusions. You have provide the proof of your ignorance throughout this thread over dozens of posts. Its not a matter up for debate anyone with eyes can read the blog and the unending streams of ignorance that are then corrected by dozens of individuals.

    Stop blaming the world for your stupidity. Its just pathetic now.

  216. DilemmaDave

    I don’t think that multiple posts are from the same person,GOUSA was much more pompous,also,he made many a suggestion that the U.S was superior,Jimmy just thinks we’re dimwits.

  217. Sir V

    Speaking of snakes …U think Bajans would Elect a WHITE PrImisnister as they seem to be over joyed with The Obama story …He only half black though!

  218. Wow,great story for me.The bigger observation was his question to how this could have happened today.
    Best regard from Jeni Miler

  219. HI, I was thinking that we are having the tiniest snake in the world which is just 4/5 inches long and very poisonous and have no antidot available locally,In India people fear it,and for me my home has become a maternity home for this reptiles every year seeing the siblings in the monsoon is a natural phenomenon.This snakes have immense speed and I have recorded a footage of the speed through my mobile..and want to sell it if possible because in need of money…any one needs photo and the video can contact me..