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Poisonous sea serpent found at Huntington Beach!

Huntington Beach

For the second time in two months, a rare, venomous sea snake (Pelamis platura) has washed up on California beaches HUNDREDS OF MILES from its normal habitat range! The first time that the species was seen in Southern California was in San Clemente, during the El Niño year of 1972.

SacBee.com says:

The dead 27-inch-long male yellow bellied sea snake was discovered last week during a Surfrider Foundation coastal cleanup campaign in Huntington Beach.

A 2-foot-long yellow bellied sea snake was discovered in October after slithering onto Silver Strand State Beach in Ventura County. It died shortly after being taken to a local U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office.

The yellow-bellied sea snake has a bright yellow underside and a paddle-like tail with black spots. The snake is the widest-ranging snake species on earth,  and is found in warm tropical waters off the coasts of Africa, Asia, Australia, Central America, the Mexican mainland, and Baja California.

Greg Pauly, herpetological curator at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, believes the reptile in Huntington Beach may have been prompted to navigate north of its normal tropical habitat by the spread of abnormally warm ocean temperatures because of a strong El Nino this year.

“It is incredible and fascinating to have two of these aquatic, highly venomous snakes suddenly show up around here,” he said. “But this is not an invasion, and no one has ever died from the bite of this animal.”

“Their fangs are tiny and they can barely open their mouths wide enough to bite a person,” he said. “So, unless you pick one up, the biggest safety concern with going to the beach is with driving there and then driving home.”

Pauly suggests that people who come across this species keep a safe distance and take photographs and send them to the museum at nature@nhm.org.
 -Bill at

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