Have you ever seen a snake within the ocean? Ever questioned how these snakes differed from those discovered on land? These superb animals have been entertaining scuba divers all through the Indo-Pacific Ocean for years, lengthy earlier than sea snakes turned the topic of considered one of our most popular viral Facebook posts. Let’s study a bit about these often-feared however really fascinating creatures with some sea snake details.
Listed here are 12 sea snake details to reply all of your questions on these curious reptiles.
1. There are 69 species of sea snakes.
Whereas divers often solely see a handful of sea snake species throughout their time underwater, there are literally 69 identified species. To maintain issues easy, scientists separate these species into two classes: true sea snakes and sea kraits. True sea snakes spend virtually all their time at sea, whereas sea kraits cut up their time between land and sea.
2. It’s all concerning the tail.
Whereas it’s impractical to research the DNA of each snake-like creature you come throughout, a simple solution to determine sea snakes (from their land-based cousins) is by their paddle-like tails. Their flat tails assist sea snakes propel themselves gracefully by way of the water, however these appendages do make them barely clumsier on land.
Professional Tip: Many individuals confuse sea snakes with eels. Probably the most dependable option to differentiate between the 2 is to search for the presence of a dorsal fin. Eels have a ridge or fin that runs the size of their our bodies, whereas sea snakes don't.
three. There are not any sea snakes within the Atlantic Ocean.
Sea snakes stay within the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. They don't seem to be discovered within the Atlantic Ocean or the Caribbean Sea. Sea snakes are additionally not present in areas of excessive salinity, such because the Red Sea.
four. Sea snakes have been round for hundreds of thousands of years.
The primary sea snakes started to evolve about six to eight million years ago in Southeast Asia’s Coral Triangle. Nevertheless, most species solely advanced one to 3 million years in the past.
5. They're the one reptiles to provide delivery within the ocean.
Most true sea snakes are ovoviviparous, which means females give reside delivery from eggs saved within the snake’s physique. It's because these snakes not often go to land, and their eggs gained’t incubate underwater. Subsequently, the females maintain the eggs and provides delivery to just about absolutely shaped snakes whereas swimming within the ocean. Nevertheless, whereas that is true for almost all of sea snakes, not all sea snakes truly give start within the ocean to stay younger. One genus of sea snake, which incorporates the generally noticed yellow-lipped sea krait, is definitely oviparous and comes onto land to put eggs.
6. Sea snakes can maintain their breath for a very very long time.
In contrast to fish, sea snakes have to breathe air. Each species should return to the floor periodically to outlive. Whereas most sea snakes floor each 30 minutes to breathe, some true sea snakes can keep underwater for up to eight hours. That’s as a result of these snakes can truly take in as much as 33% of the oxygen they want by way of their pores and skin. They will additionally eliminate 90% of their carbon dioxide in the identical method.
7. Sea snakes can die of thirst.
The well-known, turmoil-ridden phrase, ”Water, water, all over the place and never a drop to drink,” doesn’t simply apply to people. It additionally applies to sea snakes, as these reptilian seafarers nonetheless need to drink fresh water to outlive. In fact, spending all day at sea isn't conducive to consuming recent water. Some snake species head to land to seek out water, whereas others anticipate rain to deposit recent water on the floor of the ocean which they will then drink whereas swimming.
eight. They've particular glands to take away salt water.
Though sea snakes don’t drink salt water, they nonetheless eat loads of salt when searching and consuming prey. To stop extra salt consumption, the snakes have advanced special sublingual glands. These glands sit beneath the snakes’ tongues and push out salt from the bloodstream into the mouth, which means the snake can merely flick its tongue and expel the unwelcome salt.
9. They will dive deeper than scuba divers.
In reality, sea snakes can dive to depths of as much as 800 feet (250 meters) in quest of prey. Most sea snakes, nevertheless, favor to remain within the shallows, comparatively near shore.
10. Sea snakes needn't fear about inhaling water.
Most sea snakes have advanced valve-like flaps they will transfer over their nostrils when underwater. This prevents them from inhaling any salty water. (If solely scuba divers might evolve in the identical approach!)
11. Sea snakes are extremely venomous.
Chances are you'll be questioning, “Are sea snakes venomous?” The reply is, sure, sea snakes are extremely venomous. In reality, many sea snake species have extra venom than the typical cobra or rattlesnake.
Nevertheless, bites are extraordinarily uncommon. Sea snakes are surprisingly docile and often solely chew when threatened or compromised. Fishermen maintain a lot of the world’s recorded sea snake bites. These principally happen when they should take away sea snakes from their nets or by chance step on them within the water.
12. Some sea snakes are near extinction.
Whereas most sea snakes will not be endangered, some species are current on the IUCN Pink Listing. The Laticauda crockeri is listed as weak, and the Aipysurus fuscus is endangered. Of most concern, nevertheless, are the Aipysurus foliosquama (Leaf-scaled sea snake) and the Aipysurus apraefrontalis (Brief-nosed sea snake), each of that are critically endangered.
Local weather change, bycatch and low reproductive charges are the primary causes of sea snake inhabitants decline. You'll be able to assist by getting concerned with consciousness and fundraising campaigns that help international change. Contemplate signing as much as turn into a PADI Torchbearer and be a part of our motion of ocean lovers making a distinction to marine life and oceans worldwide.
Aren’t sea snakes fascinating? When you’re considering observing sea snakes throughout a scuba diving journey, you’ll have to journey to the Indian or Pacific Oceans. The Philippines, Indonesia and Australia are nice locations for diving with sea snakes. Simply keep in mind to deal with these venomous animals with respect. As with all marine life, hold your palms off, don’t contact and keep good buoyancy.