Photos taken at Scripps Institute of Oceanography
Weight : 90-100g
Total length: 642mm
Tail length: 75mm
Adult male, head covered in algae.
In situ photo Credit: “Sean Carey, Lifeguard Captain, City of Coronado”
Observation and photo by Anna Iker, sent to NHM via Instagram, #natureinla.
Spotted floating about 10 to 30 feet offshore on the beach at Playa Ocotal in 1-3 feet of water. The snake was floating with its tail at the surface and the head and body were hanging nearly vertical, with slight movements. It seemed to be sick and did not move as I expected. I recorded a video with an underwater camera.
An hour later it was washing ashore, and I tried to pick it up with a stick. It did move its head, but was not capable of swimming. A dog approached and started to lunge at it, so I distracted the dog, and the snake was gone a few minutes later when I returned.
The next day, we spotted a dead yellow-bellied sea snake a few hundred yards east on the beach tangled and rotting in washed up roots. This was a smaller snake and had been dead several days.
Brought in by a surfer who found it on Silver Strand beach in Oxnard, CA.
dead on the beach
Pelamis platurus Cacaluta, Huatulco Oax.
Pelamis platura, commonly known as the yellow-bellied sea snake, yellowbelly sea snake, or pelagic sea snake, is a species of sea snake found in tropical oceanic waters around the world. It is the only member of the genus Pelamis.