Sea Snake Dries to a Crisp Before Rehydrating
by Jennifer Viegas
Scientists have discovered a sea snake that dehydrates for several months before reconstituting itself after heavy rains, according to a new study.
The sea snake, called Hydrophis platurus or the yellow-bellied sea snake, is described in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. It lives in the salty seawater of the eastern Pacific Ocean and would seemingly become pickled, but several things can protect it from saltwater damage.
“Survival depends on a high tolerance to dehydration, slow rates of water loss in seawater, a capacity to eliminate some amount of excess salts because of salt glands these animals possess in addition to the kidney, and the skin is not permeable to sodium, so no update occurs via this route,” lead author Harvey Lillywhite told Discovery News…
(read more: Discovery News)
photo: Joseph Pfaller