A yellow bellied sea snake washed ashore in December
(Mirror Daily, United States) – It’s hard to say exactly to what extent the warm temperatures brought on by El Nino have actually affected the Pacific waterfront. A warmer winter season is just one of the effects, as fauna in the area also seems to behave differently. For example, one of the rarest snakes found in California, the third yellow bellied sea snake in four months found on beach.
Usually not a common visitor in the area, the specimen was the third of its species found washed up on California beached in six months.
This one was found by a beachgoer on Tuesday, on the Coronado Dog Beach near San Diego. The man alerted the nearby lifeguards at about 2:30 p.m. local time, as he encountered the 20 inch long poisonous snake slowly slithering on the beach.
Attempting to save the snake’s life, the lifeguards on the scene put the animal in a bucket of water; however it just shared the same fate of the other snakes found washed up on shore, dying shortly after being found.
The other two snakes encountered before it were found by beachgoers in December and October of last year. This makes it even weirder, as before the October specimen was found, the last snake of its kind found in California was in 1972.
Of course, herpetologists have taken an interest in the cases, as after a 43 year absence from the county, not one, but three actual yellow bellied sea snakes were encountered.
Additionally, the fact that all three specimens died shortly after being found speaks volumes to the herpetologists about the animals’ behavior.
Just like with the two snakes before it, this one most likely washed ashore after it decided to come closer to the California shore in search of prey due to the warmer waters caused by El Nino.
Generally, the animals live in and around the tropical [arts of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, around Africa, Japan, Hawaii, and Central America.
Getting closer to the Californian shore was initially most likely caused by the warmer waters, but snake probably reached the shore because it got dragged in by stronger currents than those to which it was used.
Since the snakes usually tend to avoid land, as they don’t really move so well there, according to the herpetologists they were most likely not very well when they washed ashore.
Also, the experts want to stress that despite the animals not being very dangerous to humans due to their small mouths built for eating fish, they still advise being careful if encountering one, and then announcing the authorities.
Image source: Wikimedia