Flying snake
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Secrets of flying snakes revealed

30 January 2014 Last updated at 00:17 GMT

The mystery of how flying snakes stay aloft may have been solved by scientists.

These unusual reptiles, which are found in rainforests in Southeast Asia, are able to fling themselves from trees and elegantly glide through the air.

Scientists say that snakes radically alter their body shape to generate the aerodynamic forces needed to perform this feat.

The findings are published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Here, Professor Jake Socha, from Virginia Tech in the US, describes how they transform their shape.

Footage courtesy of Jake Socha