#114 Short-nosed Sea Snake

Critically Endangered

These snakes are ovovivipary which I think is a cool word...no going back to coral please! What it means is that they are sort of halfway between births like humans where the baby develops in the uterus, and egg laying animals. They have babies in eggs, but they essentially hatch in the mother and are then born live.


Much of what I have learned about these is fairly general sea snake knowledge because these do not seem to have been studied well. They shed their skin more often than land snakes, every 2-6 weeks. They absorb oxygen through their skin and shedding it more often helps with that and with harmful microorganisms they might collect. Although they absorb oxygen that way, they do have to breathe just like land snakes. They have one very big lung that takes up most of their body, and when they close their nostril they can stay underwater for up to 2 hours. I thought about doing a full body painting because they do have a cool looking tail. It is like an oar, perfect to help them swim. You should look up sea snakes, they look very graceful when swimming.


They tend to be less aggressive than land snakes, and generally don't bite unless manhandled. Most bites are fishermen who accidentally caught them. Even then, they still often do a dry bite. I could not find anything about how venomous these are in comparison to other sea snakes. I'm not sure that has even been studied. I am making an assumption that they are about as venomous as the other sea snakes. It is said that you may not even notice if they bite you, and only find out when the venom begins to cause symptoms, in half an hour or less. In the 1990's these went from being numerous to quickly vanishing along with about 9 other species. They were thought to be extinct by 2001. Extensive searches and studies did not find any, until 2 were finally seen in 2015.


Whew, obviously I find these fascinating because I couldn't bring myself to whittle down all the information I had to share. I love snakes, but wouldn't have one as a pet because I can't handle feeding them something cute and fuzzy. Venomous pets of any sort are a no for me though too. I have very few memories from before I was 10. One, I was probably about 5 or 6 and a missionary came to the church my parents went to. He had a massive snake that he brought to share with the kids. The room had to be at least 10 feet long, and he had 3 adult men help hold his python which went from end to end of the room, plus some. I really wanted to give the snake a hug, and was very sad we were only allowed to see it, not give it love. I didn't think it was at all fair that the adults got to hold the snake and we didn't.

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