Surname: Sea Serpent
Other names: /
Latin name: Hydrophiinae
size: 1 - 3 m
Appearance: depending on the species
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: preferably fish eater (piscivor)
food: Fish, crayfish, octopus
distribution: Indian Ocean and Pacific
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: day and night active (depending on the species)
habitat: Near the coast, shallow water
natural enemies: White-tailed eagle, tiger shark, whale
sexual maturity: ?
mating season: possible all year round
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting about the sea serpent
- The sea snakes or Hydrophiinae describe an aquatic family within the adder and viper type, comprising a total of 56 species described.
- Sea snakes only colonize the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, as they only thrive in water temperatures of at least eleven to eighteen degrees Celsius. They live on sandy surfaces or in coral reefs.
- Depending on the species, the sea snake reaches a body length of one to two and a half meters, with the males being significantly smaller and shorter than the females.
- The individual species differ greatly in body shape and appearance. Some sea snakes are generally plump, others are slender and have a narrow head.
- Common to all sea snakes is the oar-shaped tail flattened on the sides. It allows a fast and manoeuvrable movement in the water.
- Sea snakes spend nearly ninety percent of their life in the water, but need to go to the water surface to breathe. Therefore, they have flaps that close the nostrils on descent and a salt gland under the tongue, can be excreted by the excess salt.
- With its enlarged lungs, the sea snake can stay in the water for two hours, diving nearly two hundred meters.
- The body of the sea serpent is covered by scales that do not overlap and are therefore flexible in their movement.
- Within the family, a distinction is made between the flat-tailed sea-snakes and the row-tailed sea-snakes. The Tailfish Sea Snakes also move on land extremely fast and agile and lay their eggs on sandy beaches, while the row-tailed sea snakes give birth in the water. Their juveniles must swim immediately after birth for breathing on the water surface.
- Sea snakes feed on fish, cuttlefish or crustaceans, fish eggs and larvae. Many species specialize in a fish family or animal species and can swallow prey twice their own size.
- Sea snakes live solitary and only meet each other during mating season. It has often been observed that mass accumulation occurs and science has yet to explain this phenomenon clearly.
- Sea snakes are highly poisonous, but rarely bite. Accidents are also rare because their fangs are located in the back of the throat and targeted bites are therefore hardly possible.
- With the exception of humans, the highly venomous snakes have few predators. Occasionally, a bird of prey, a tiger shark, or a mongoose can capture a sea serpent.
- In Japan and the Philippines, sea snakes are a delicacy that can be prepared in different ways.