The sea snake is an air-breathing reptile and must come to the surface to breathe. However, it can spend from 30 minutes to two hours diving between breaths. How does it do this? It has one long cylindrical lung that extends almost the entire length of its body. This is very efficient. It is also able to carry out cutaneous respiration. Oxygen diffuses from sea water across the snake’s skin into tiny blood vessels and carbon dioxide diffuses out.
CLASS: Reptilia (reptiles)
ORDER: Squamata (amphisbaenians, lizards, and snakes)
FAMILY: Hydrophiidae (sea snakes)
GENUS/SPECIES: About 52 species
Size: From 20 in (50 cm) to 7 ft (2.1 m)
Diet: Fish, fish eggs, and eels
Habitat: Throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans; some around the coasts of Central and South America