FAMOUS AS LIZARDS THAT SWIM IN THE OCEANS, marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) are found in only one place: the Galapagos Archipelago in the eastern Pacific off Ecuador. Galapagos iguanas also include three species of non-swimming land iguanas. Some land iguanas found in the West Indies – like green iguanas (Iguana iguana) and rock iguanas (nine species in the genus Cyclura) – are also known to swim when called for, but not with the marine lifestyle of A.Read more
Snakes on the Reef! They Won’t Bother You. Probably.
IF THE IDEA OF MEETING UP WITH SEA SNAKES ON A DIVE UNSETTLES YOU, here are two important facts about sea snakes and sea kraits: 1) They’re armed with highly deadly venom, and 2) They’re remarkably unaggressive. That being said, here’s another important thing about these two groups of sea snakes: Don’t mess with them. All sea snakes are venomous snake-like reptiles, but in anatomy and lifestyle, there are two different kinds. So, what’s theRead more
Australian Sea Snakes Really Go Down Under
AS OCEAN-DWELLING, AIR-BREATHING REPTILES, SEA SNAKES NEED TO RETURN TO THE SURFACE periodically to take in air, a factor that makes them largely shallow-water animals common to reefs and river estuaries in the Indo-Pacific basin. So it was a reptilian phenomenon when two sea snakes were spotted at depths of some 800 feet/240 meters off the coast of northern Australia, as reported recently in the journal Austral Ecology. That places them in the mesopelagic zone,Read more
Sea Snakes: Pacific 70, Atlantic 0
WHILE THERE ARE NEARLY 70 SPECIES OF SEA SNAKES in the Pacific and Indian Ocean basins, there are exactly none in the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic. Even though sea snakes almost certainly could prosper in the warm Caribbean tropics, their absence is a factor of timing, geography and ocean currents. “WHY ARE THERE NO SEA SNAKES IN THE ATLANTIC? That was the question explored in an article in the journal Bioscience. Also, the article’s title. Unfortunately,Read more