Fun Sea Snake Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Spandana Kantam
Sea snakes facts are interesting to read for everyone in the family

If you research sea snakes, you would know that these reptiles found majorly in the part of the Pacific and the Indian Ocean are also known as coral reef snakes.

Unlike the snakes found on the land, these snakes can easily live without coming on the land surface and remain under the water for a lifetime. This is possible because of their flat tail that helps them to glide as easily as the fish and other marine animals under the water.

However, sea snakes would never be found in the Atlantic Ocean because the temperature there is too cold for the snakes to survive.

As venomous as the sea snakes can get, one positive factor about them is that they have smaller fangs as compared to the snakes on the land, and these sea snakes do not bite because of their not-so-aggressive nature.

An interesting fact about them is that these snakes have a very high intake of salt as they reside in the salty water but their scales and glands make it easier for them to release the excessive salt and live under the water for as long as they can up to a span of 10 long years.

Sea Snake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a sea snake?

Although usually confused with the Eels due to the appearance, sea snake, as the name suggests, belongs to the reptile cobra family, snake animal.

What class of animal does a sea snake belong to?

Sea snakes are reptile class and are considered to be highly venomous.

How many sea snakes are there in the world?

Even though sea snakes were sighted in great numbers during 1932, in recent times, these coral reef snakes are considered to be an endangered snake species.

Where does a sea snake live?

Unlike terrestrial reptiles or snakes, the sea snakes live underwater and are usually found in the warm waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Neither of them would ever be found in the Atlantic or the Caribbean.

What is a sea snake's habitat?

Although sea snakes or coral reef snake habitat is focused in shallow or coastal water, some of the sea snake species do get onto the land surface, like the Laticauda, commonly known as yellow-lipped sea kraits, or blue-banded krait. In most cases, the sea snakes are helpless when found on the shores after typhoons or any such scenarios.

Who do sea snakes live with?

Usually, sea snakes live a solitary life, unlike a few species that hunt fish and eggs in groups.

How long does a sea snake live?

Coral reef snakes or sea snake lifespan is estimated to be around 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

All the true sea snakes like the olive sea snake, yellow-bellied sea snake, or Pelamis Platurus, and the other species are ovoviviparous and usually give live birth underwater. The females keep the eggs inside themselves and give birth to fully developed snakes.

Only one species Laticauda Colubrina, such as the sea kraits or the blue-banded sea krait snake, choose to lay their eggs on the land surface in the snake nest.

Their gestation period lasts from three to five months depending on the different species. As the coral reef snakes reside in the tropical waters, they are able to lay their eggs or give birth any time during the year.

What is their conservation status?

Though most of the sea snake species are not listed on the CITES list, few of the true sea snakes like the Aipysurus, Laticauda Crokeri, A Fuscus, A Foliosquama are considered to be endangered species of the sea snakes. Whereas, the IUCN has red-listed the Apraefrontails as critically endangered true sea snakes species.

Sea Snake Fun Facts

What do sea snakes look like?

The black and olive sea snake along with sea kraits are most commonly spotted.

All the true sea snakes show a paddle-like tail that makes it easier for them to move around underwater like the other marine life fish and creatures. Due to the flat tail, they are also confused with the eels. They have their nostrils location is dorsal on the body for easy breathing.

How cute are they?

Even though sea snakes are highly venomous, they are considered pretty creatures. Sea snake Hydrophis has a natural history of reptiles with no desire to bite unless provoked.

How do they communicate?

Unlike the terrestrial snakes, the auditory and sensory study related to sea snakes is not that advanced, yet it is believed that the coral reef snakes are able to detect vibrations in the waters to spot their prey.

How big is a sea snake?

Sea snakes have an average size ranging between 47.24-118.11 in. The minimum size recorded is 20 in long, and they can even grow to be as big as the size of marine eels or even longer than the eels.

How fast can a sea snake swim?

Even though the sea snake's body is adapted to marine life, they are not usually in any rush in the water. Still, a few records related to sea snakes suggest that they can swim around two to two and a half miles per hour in water.

How much does a sea snake weigh?

The average weight of sea snakes in the Pacific Ocean, or any warm water bodies is recorded to be between 0.8-1.3kg.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Based on gender, there are no distinct names for the male and female sea snakes. Every type of their species has a male and female called by the same name. For example, a yellow-bellied sea snake or an olive sea snake is the same name used for both males and females.

What would you call a baby sea snake?

Just like the snakes on the land, baby sea snakes can either be called neonate or a snakelet of the marine world.

What do they eat?

Most of the sea snakes eat other fish in the water as well as fish eggs. The major diet of the sea snakes involves eels, most of the female sea snakes are also found eating the eels that are big as their own size.

Are they poisonous?

Considered the most poisonous snake, all true sea snakes are known to keep their venom in check, not looking to bite with their venomous fangs without any reason or unless they think of it to be absolutely necessary.

Would they make a good pet?

Due to their strong venom quality, sea snakes are not considered to be good as pets. Although they have a water-friendly nature, keeping an ocean body of sea snakes in aquariums is not advised either.

Did you know...

Even though sea snakes are considered to be dangerous due to their strong venom, they don't intend to bite a human as they are not aggressive in nature, unless they are provoked to do otherwise.

If at all you encounter a sea snake bite, as their venom is rare the envenomation is hardly visible until a few hours, along with minimum swelling. The early symptoms can include headache, nausea, vomit, which gradually leads to paralysis.

Even though the effect is slow, sea snake venom is considered to be more lethal than the other snakes and can even kill more than 1800 people in 30 minutes.

Even though the sea snakes are surrounded by ocean water most of their lives, there is a high chance of them dying due to thirst and dehydration as they only drink fresh water.

How long can a sea snake hold its breath?

Sea snake nostrils help them specifically when under the water as these nostrils close when the sea snakes enter the water. Most of the true sea snakes can stay for as long as eight hours underwater as their skin does the job of absorbing around 33% of oxygen and releases 90% of carbon dioxide.

Unlike them, a sea krait might have to reach the surface of the water every 30 minutes to breathe fresh air.

How many species of sea snakes are there?

To date, scientists and researchers have been able to find and analyze around 60 species of sea snakes. These species are divided into two categories namely; the true sea snakes or marine snakes and sea kraits.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our sea snake coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Spandana Kantam

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Political Science and Sociology

Spandana Kantam picture

Spandana KantamBachelor of Arts specializing in Political Science and Sociology

Spandana holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Acharya Nagarjuna University. She has a passion for writing and enjoys reading crime and thriller novels while listening to RnB music in her free time.

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