A mysterious disease has hit American snakes

A timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) (Credit: Edwin Giesbers/naturepl.com)

 In the last decade a mystery disease has hit American snakes

By Colin Barras

Many of the snakes showed signs of a severe skin infection on their heads and bodies just before they died. It was an early sign of a deadly fungal disease that is now sweeping through the snakes of eastern North America.

Today at least 30 species are affected. “Snake fungal disease” has been documented in more than 16 US states and in parts of Canada. How worried should we be? Read more.