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Warming SoCal Waters Bring Increased Number of Rare, Venomous Sea Snakes, Scientist Says

A yellow-bellied sea snake is seen slithering on the coast of Costa Rica in this undated photo. 33.618883
-117.929849 A rare, venomous sea snake found slithering on the sand in Newport Beach earlier this week was one of a growing number of the serpents apparently drawn far north of their usual habitat by the spread of warm ocean temperatures, a biologist said Thursday. “Oceans are warming and the species that respond to that change will be those that are the most mobile,” Pauly said. Read the full story on (Credit: Aloaiza / Wikimedia Commons)
The yellow-bellied sea snake discovered near the 18th Street lifeguard tower on Monday was the third report of the species in Southern California since 2015 — and the fifth since 1972, said Greg Pauly, herpetological curator at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. “So the big question now is this: Are sea snakes swimming off the coast of Southern California the new normal?”
Sporting short sharp fangs capable of delivering extremely potent venom, the snake — named for its bright yellow underside and flattened yellow tail with black spots — is no joke.