Have you checked out a snake in the ocean? ever wondered just how these line differed native the ones found on land? this amazing animals have been entertaining scuba divers throughout the Indo-Pacific ocean for years, long prior to sea snakes came to be the topic of among our most famous viral facebook posts. Let’s find out a little about this often-feared yet truly fascinating creatures v some sea snake facts.

You are watching: How long can snakes hold their breath


Here room 12 sea snake facts to answer all your questions about these curious reptiles.

1. There room 69 types of sea snakes.

While divers usually only see a grasp of sea snake varieties during your time underwater, there are actually 69 established species. To keep things simple, scientists separate these species into two categories: true sea snakes and also sea kraits. True sea line spend practically all their time in ~ sea, when sea kraits split their time in between land and sea.

2. That all about the tail.

While that impractical to analyze the DNA the every snake-like creature you come across, one easy means to determine sea snakes (from your land-based cousins) is by your paddle-like tails. Their level tails aid sea snake propel themselves gracefully with the water, but these appendages do make them slightly clumsier ~ above land.

Pro Tip: Many people confuse sea snakes v eels. The most reliable method to differentiate in between the two is to look because that the presence of a dorsal fin. Eels have actually a ridge or fin that runs the size of your bodies, if sea snakes perform not.

3. There space no sea snakes in the Atlantic Ocean.

Sea snakes live in the tropical and also subtropical waters the the Indian and also Pacific Oceans. They room not uncovered in the Atlantic s or the Caribbean Sea. Sea snake are additionally not found in locations of high salinity, such together the Red Sea.

4. Sea snakes have been approximately for numerous years.

The very first sea snakes started to evolve around six come eight million years ago in south-east Asia’s Coral Triangle. However, most varieties only developed one to three million year ago.


*

5. They are the only reptiles to offer birth in the ocean.

Most true sea snakes space ovoviviparous, definition females offer live birth from eggs stored in the snake’s body. This is due to the fact that these snakes seldom visit land, and their egg won’t incubate underwater. Therefore, the females store the eggs and also give bear to nearly fully formed snake while swimming in the ocean. However, if this is true because that the majority of sea snakes, no all sea line actually provide birth in the ocean to live young. One genus that sea snake, which has the frequently observed yellow-lipped sea krait, is actually oviparous and comes ~ above land come lay eggs.

6. Sea snakes can hold their breath because that a really long time.

Unlike fish, sea snakes should breathe air. Every types must go back to the surface periodically to survive. While many sea snakes surface ar every 30 minutes to breathe, some true sea snakes deserve to stay underwater for approximately eight hours. That’s because these snakes have the right to actually absorb as much as 33% of the oxygen they need through their skin. Lock can likewise get rid of 90% of their carbon dioxide in the exact same manner.


7. Sea snakes deserve to die that thirst.

The well-known, turmoil-ridden phrase, ”Water, water, everywhere and not a drop come drink,” no just use to humans. It additionally applies come sea snakes, as these reptilian seafarers still need to drink new water come survive. The course, spending every day in ~ sea is not conducive to consuming new water. Some snake species head to land to discover water, while others wait for rain come deposit fresh water ~ above the surface ar of the s which they have the right to then drink while swimming.

8. They have special glands to eliminate salt water.

Although sea snakes don’t drink salt water, they tho consume a most salt once hunting and also consuming prey. To stop excess salt intake, the line have advanced special sublingual glands. This glands sit under the snakes’ tongues and push the end salt native the bloodstream right into the mouth, an interpretation the snake have the right to simply flick the tongue and also expel the unwelcome salt.



9. They deserve to dive deeper than scuba divers.

In fact, sea snakes deserve to dive to depth of as much as 800 feet (250 meters) trying to find prey. Many sea snakes, however, choose to remain in the shallows, reasonably close to shore.

10. Sea snakes need not worry about breathing in water.

Most sea line have progressed valve-like flaps they deserve to move over their nostrils once underwater. This avoids them from breathing in any type of salty water. (If just scuba divers could evolve in the exact same way!)

11. Sea snakes are very venomous.

You may be wondering, “Are sea line venomous?” The prize is, yes, sea snakes are highly venomous. In fact, many sea snake varieties have more venom than the median cobra or rattlesnake.

However, bites are exceptionally rare. Sea snakes room surprisingly docile and usually just bite once threatened or compromised. Anglers sustain most of the world’s tape-recorded sea snake bites. This mostly happen when they have to remove sea line from your nets or accidentally action on them in the water.

12. Some sea snakes are close come extinction.

While most sea snakes room not endangered, some types are current on the IUCN Red List. The Laticauda crockeri is detailed as vulnerable, and also the Aipysurus fuscus is endangered. Of many concern, however, space the Aipysurus foliosquama (Leaf-scaled sea snake) and also the Aipysurus apraefrontalis (Short-nosed sea snake), both the which space critically endangered.

Climate change, bycatch and low reproductive rates are the main reasons of sea snake population decline. Girlfriend can assist by getting affiliated with awareness and also fundraising projects that support worldwide change. Take into consideration signing up to become a gimpppa.org Torchbearer and also join our motion of s lovers making a difference to naval life and also oceans worldwide.


*

Aren’t sea snakes fascinating? If you interested in observing sea snakes throughout a scuba diving trip, you’ll have to travel to the Indian or Pacific Oceans. The Philippines, Indonesia and also Australia are great destinations for diving v sea snakes. Simply remember to treat this venomous animals with respect. Similar to all maritime life, save your hand off, nothing touch and also maintain good buoyancy.

See more: Solved! What Does Green Porch Light Mean, Green Porch Light Meaning

If you space not however a gimpppa.org Diver, learn around getting scuba certified, or publication your next vacation to dive through sea snakes.