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Stokes Sea Snake Washes Up on Beach in Sydney, Australia

November 4, 2015



First a yellow-bellied sea snake washes up on a beach in Southern California, far from its typical range, and now a similar occurrence has happened across the Pacific Ocean in Australia. A Stokes sea snake (Astrotia stokesii), a highly venomous snake that has fangs long enough to pierce a wetsuit, has washed up in Manly Cove in Sydney Australia, more than 3,000 kilometers from its native habitat.  The sea snake was first seen by Sydney resident Carole Douglas, who snapped photos of the reptile and posted it to her Instagram page.

Stokes sea snake

Carole Douglas/instagram

The Stokes sea snake was encrusted in barnacles and was barely alive.

Douglas then called the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary, which sent experts to the beach to remove it. When the sanctuary took in the snake, now named in Stokie, he was encrusted in barnacles and was not doing too well. Stokie is apparently on the mend, having sloughed off most of the barnacles that were attached to his body and his coloration has returned. Stokie has not yet eaten though, according to the sanctuary. 

Stoke sea snake

carole douglas/instagram

Most of the barnacles have fallen off the snake, though he has not yet eaten.

Stokes sea snakes can grow up to five feet in length and can stay underwater anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. They are considered the heaviest sea snake with the longest fangs of any sea snake. Their range includes the tropical waters of Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the West Philippine Sea and into the Strait of Taiwan. 

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