Banded Sea Krait Facts:
- There are around 50 types of Sea Krait and all belong to the Cobra family
- The average Sea Krait grows to about 2 meters long with the largest growing up to 3 meters
- They have flattened tails to swim fast and have flaps over their nostrils that close when they are underwater
- With no gills they need to surface for air, but can stay down as deep as 100 meters for up to an hour
- Sea Kraits are highly poisonous but with small heads and tiny fangs they would struggle to bite through a wetsuit or skin
- Sea Kraits go on land to lay their eggs
Banded Sea Krait – What are they?
Banded Sea Kraits are a species of sea snake that mainly live in tropical Indo-Pacific oceanic waters. They are venomous but generally not aggressive and therefore do not necessarily pose a danger to divers.
Amphibious Sea Kraits are characterised by a feature that is clearly to aid them in swimming efficiently and fast: a broad paddle-like tail. This tail is much different to snakes that purely inhabit on land and shows how Sea Kraits have evolved to live in our oceans.
Although Sea Kraits have evolved to live in underwater environments, they are ‘amphibious’ which means they are adapted for living on land as well as water. They lay their eggs on land as opposed to other true Sea Snakes which bear their young in water. These sea snakes are dubbed ‘aquatic’ as opposed to ‘amphibious’.
A Sea Krait’s heart is located mid-body to enable blood pressure to be stable throughout its length which is very important when diving deep. Sea Kraits have extra large lungs to help them stay underwater for extended periods of time which is helped by nostrils that seal shut but they still need to surface every so often to breathe.
Unlike Eels, Sea Kraits are reptiles and have scales. Sea Kraits have developed specialised ventral scales for crawling on land which allows them to come ashore every 10 – 14 days to digest food, shed their skin or lay eggs.