sea snake

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sea snake,

name for any of the venomous marine snakessnake,
common name for an elongated, limbless reptile of the order Squamata, which also includes the xlizards. Most snakes live on the ground, but some are burrowers, arboreal, or aquatic; one group is exclusively marine. In temperate climates they hibernate.
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 of the family Hydrophidae, found in tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans. The sea snake's body is flattened laterally and its oarlike tail is used as a scull. A specialized lung and nostrils with valves enable it to remain submerged for periods of up to 8 hr. Most species are dark above and lighter below, or ringed with black and grayish green. They feed on small fish and are preyed upon by sea birds, sharks, and larger fish. Their potent venom quickly immobilizes their prey; however, they are not aggressive and rarely strike at humans when caught. Most sea snakes are completely marine and lack the enlarged ventral scales that enable land snakes to grip the ground. These snakes bear live young at sea. Most inhabit the shallow waters of the Indonesian region, but the common sea snake, Pelamis platurus, ranges from Madagascar E to Mexico and is sometimes found swarming by the thousands in open ocean. It is black or dark brown above and yellow below and grows up to 3 ft (90 cm) long. A few sea snake species leave the water to lay eggs on coral reefs. These snakes have ventral plates like those of land snakes. Sea snakes are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Squamata, family Hydrophidae.
References in periodicals archive ?
The study also revealed that two large, bulky species, the olive sea snake (Aipysurus laevis) and Stokes' sea snake (Astrotia stokesii), had a limited capacity to sustain fishing mortality.
Unfortunately, although turtles and crocodilians occur there, they have not been detailed, although four species of fossil sea snakes (see Table 2) from the locality are well known (Parmley and Case 1988; Holman and Case 1992).
I spotted this sea snake starting to go up his shorts leg, so I had to very carefully lift him up.
He retains a real delight in academic inquiry, taking a copy of his PhD thesis on sea snakes off a shelf for me to peruse, but clearly has real commercial nous.
Whether the so-called mimic octopus could impersonate Madonna or President Bush remains unclear, but researchers say the long-armed wonder does a great sea snake and lionfish.
With no fossil records available, scientists must observe snakes today, in order to discover how the sea snake evolved.
A British teenager on holiday in Majorca died yesterday fri after apparently being bitten by a fish or sea snake while snorkelling.
I combined leather, water sea snake skins/ bone/horn/nail, and metal.
Sea snakes provide an excellent model for studying the evolutionary transition between the terrestrial and marine environments, because sea snake species encompass a wide continuum in terms of the degree of their dependence on the ancestral terrestrial environment.
Equipped with only a snorkel, Steve gently swims alongside a six foot long sea snake and follows its descent to the seabed.
PERFECT PEACE: A family of elephants in Zambia are entranced by a heron standing happily near them; Picture: ANGIE SCOTT; WINNER: Costa Rican sea snake and baby; GANGING UP: Penguins mobbing a seal in south Georgia, just like humans says Stephen Shakeshaft; EYES HAVE IT: A brown bear goes fishing in Alaska and