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Marine Reptiles

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Yellow Bellied Sea Snake (Pelamis platurus)
Photo © Smithsonian Institution

Yellow Bellied Sea Snake
(Pelamis platurus)

Sea snakes can be found inhabiting most coral reefs of the world. They differ from terrestrial snakes in that their tails are flattened to form a paddle. This helps to propel them through the water. Even though sea snakes are extremely poisonous, they are not aggressive and rarely bite humans. There are over fifty species of sea snakes, which can be found throughout the tropical regions of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Marine Iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus)
Photo © Corel Corporation

Marine Iguana
(Amblyrhynchus cristatus)

Although not a true marine reptile, the marine iguana spends a considerable amount of time in the water. These reptiles represent a unique evolutionary turn. They live exclusively in the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. Several evolutionary adaptations have enabled these lizards to dive and spend time underwater. They do this to feed on the abundant algae that grow on the underwater rocks.

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