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[Animal Facts]    [Snake Index]    [Activities]    [Facts]    [Photos]

 

SEA SNAKES AND WATER SNAKES

Sea snakes seem pretty cool.  Although all snakes can swim, sea snakes live mostly in the water.  They do need to come up for air but can stay under water for up to an hour! Wow, try holding your breath that long!  Since they need air regularly they are usually found in shallow waters of the Indian Ocean, and warmer areas of the Pacific Ocean.  They eat fish, fish eggs and eels that they find under rocks and in reefs.

There are about 30-50 different types of sea snakes and they belong to the Cobra family.  The average Sea snake grows to about 2 meters long and has a smallish head for its body size.  Their tails are flattened to make fast swimming possible and flaps over their nostrils close when they are underwater.

Sea snakes are very poisonous.  The most poisonous one is the Beaded Sea Snake.  Just 3 drops of venom can kill about 8 people! Fortunately, these snakes have short fangs and they are unable to bite through diver’s suits very easily.  They are not likely to bite unless threatened.  Their other methods of defense include to spray a stinky, musky liquid or to poop. Eew!

Eels are sometimes mistaken for Sea Snakes. Eels are part of the fish family and have gills for breathing.  Sea snakes do not have gills but lungs instead and need to go to the surface for air.

Sea Kraits are one of the few sea snakes that go to land to lay their eggs while most others, like the Olive sea snake will give birth in the water.

Photo Source: National Geographic Photo Gallery
Photographer: Sam Abell 

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