Texas Hill Country face book page has posted a photo of a supposedly evolved rattlesnake that appears to have adopted blue markings making it possible to blend in with the beautiful road side blue bonnet fields. Since its very common practice for people to catch photo ops wherever these fields of flowers appear, this is big news if it’s true.
1. WARNING! The Rattlesnake has evolved in the Texas Hill Country! The Bluebonnet Rattler is causing a stir, be careful out there when playing in the Bluebonnets...
2. Beware... New species of Bluebonnet Rattlesnake has evolved in the Texas State Flower
3. Is the Discovery of A New Snake Texas Blue Bonnet Rattlesnake True?
Hoax or Fact:
The photograph that supposedly shows a newly discovered species in Texas Hill Country, the Bluebonnet Rattle Snake, has been circulating widely on Facebook and other social networking sites. There were also warnings that this newly evolved creature is dangerous, and that people should be careful while playing in the Bluebonnets (plants). No, the claims are not facts.
The photograph and the warning messages originated from a Facebook post of Texas Hill Country that warned the same. Briefly mentioning about the supposedly newly-discovered snake species known as the Texas Bonnet Rattlesnake, the Facebook post links to an article of a WordPress Blogger that claims to describe and explain the incident in Bend, Texas. The article claims that local game wardens who witnessed the 'unusual creature' were unable to identify it, and the Texas Identification and Taxonomy Association (TITA) confirmed the animal was “a previously unknown species of snake,” releasing several images and also the description of the animal: Crotalus Lupinus (Texas Bonnet Rattlesnake).
The report was shared widely online, and the picture of Texas Bluebonnet Rattlesnake went viral. However, not many observed the article was published on 1 April 2014, and the said association TITA does not exist. The screenshots of the creature, as reported by a local TV, and also the scientific description of the creature are simply fabrications. In fact the story was an April fool's day prank that Texas Hill Country posted on Facebook; they added an update in their post later confirming the same.
The photograph of bright blue snake shown as a newly evolved reptile Texas Bluebonnet Rattlesnake is actually a digitally altered picture of a western diamondback rattlesnake, which can be seen on Wikipedia.org. The picture seems to have been taken back in 2006.
So the photograph claiming to show a newly discovered species Texas Bluebonnet Rattlesnake is a hoax; it's an April fool’s prank that originated from a Facebook post of Texas Hill Country. Somewhat similar claim in the recent past said to show a photograph of a deadly reptile called "Snow Snake" that thrives in cold weather, whose bite causes the victim's blood to 'freeze,' and that there is no known antidote for its venom.