Sea Snake Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

Sea snakes are venomous snakes that live in warm oceans. This lesson will teach you about sea snakes, where they live, what they look like, what they eat and some other neat facts about these water-loving snakes.

What Are Sea Snakes?

It's a sunny day and you're on vacation at the beach so you decide to go swimming. After putting on your mask and snorkel, you jump into the ocean. There are a lot of fish to see, but you notice something else. It looks like a snake, but has a flattened tail. You watch it glide around in the waves but decide not to get too close. This is a good idea because that is a sea snake!

Map of oceans where sea snakes live
Map of oceans where sea snakes live

Sea snakes are venomous snakes that live in the warm Indian and western Pacific Oceans and are related to cobras. Their body is flatter than a snake that lives on land and their tail is also flat, like a built-in paddle that helps push them through the water. Like other snakes, they also shed their skin.

Sea snake
Sea snake

Sea snakes are reptiles because they are cold-blooded, breathe air, and have a spine and scales.

There are more than 50 different kinds of sea snakes that come in different colors. Though most are smaller, the biggest ones can grow over 6 feet long! That's about the same as the height of a baby giraffe!

Their venom is strong, but they don't usually attack people. If you leave them alone, they will typically leave you alone, so it's best to mind your own business if you see one!

Sea Snakes and Water Adaptations

True sea snakes spend their lives in the water and don't slither around on dry land. In fact, most can't even move on land because they don't have the right kind of scales on their stomach to help push them along.

Sea snake stuck on the beach
Sea snake stuck on the beach

But they still have to breathe air. Sea snakes have lungs that are as long as their bodies and they usually breathe air through their nose. While your nose holes are at the bottom of your nose, a sea snake's nose holes are on top of its nose. This makes it easier to take a breath when they come to the surface. They can even close them when they are swimming underwater, the way you might pinch your nose so water can't get in.

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