News FocusPHYSIOLOGICAL ECOLOGY

Salt and the Sea Serpent

Science  30 Nov 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6111, pp. 1143
DOI: 10.1126/science.338.6111.1143

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Summary

Although sea snakes seem exquisitely adapted to the marine environment, with a flattened body, paddle-shaped tail, and glands that secrete salt, salt still dictates where, how, and perhaps even if they live, researchers have found. Recent studies of the global distribution of these reptiles, for example, have revealed that salinity has limited the abundance and distribution of these species. Sea snakes may in fact spend a good bit of their lives thirsty, which they seem to withstand quite well.