Aipysurus eydouxii facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsAipysurus eydouxii
Aipysurus eydouxii, commonly known as the beaded sea snake, marbled seasnake, or spine-tailed seasnake, is a species of sea snake in the family Elapidae. This species of snake is unusual amongst sea snakes in that it feeds exclusively on fish eggs. As part of this unusual diet, this species has lost its fangs, and the venom glands are almost entirely atrophied.
Adults of A. eydouxii may attain a snout to vent length (SVL) of 1 m (3.3 ft). The head shields are regular and symmetrical. The smooth dorsal scales are arranged in 17 rows at midbody. The ventrals, which are distinct throughout the length of the body, range from 141 to 149; the subcaudals, from 27 to 30.
A. eydouxii inhabits shallow bays and estuaries.
A. eydouxii eats the eggs of fish. Relative to other sea snakes, it has several derived characteristics related to its special diet. These include strong throat musculature, consolidation of lip scales, reduction and loss of teeth, greatly reduced body size, and (due to a dinucleotide deletion in the 3FTx gene) much reduced toxicity of the venom.
Only one other species of sea snake, Emydocephalus annulatus, shares A. eydouxii’s eggs-only diet.
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- Li M, Fry BG, Kini RM (2005). "Putting the brakes on snake venom evolution: The Unique Molecular Evolutionary Patterns of Aipysurus eydouxii (Marbled Sea Snake) Phospholipase A2 Toxins". Molecular Biology and Evolution 22 (4): 934-941.
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