Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 27th, 2008
The Yellowbelly Sea Snake or Pelagic Sea Snake (Pelamis platurus) is a species of sea snake found in tropical oceanic waters around the world.
It occurs on both sides of the Pacific and is the only sea snake to have reached the Hawaiian Islands. It is so widespread that even one dead specimen has been found in Russia, on the coast of the Sea of Japan, near Vladivostok city.
One of the world’s most poisonous snakes has now caused a stir in New Zealand, making its way to the snake-free country.
When the 90-centimetre yellow-bellied sea snake washed up at Dargaville, north of Auckland, locals rushed to the beach.
Police had to cordon off the area and stand guard.
Experts believe the snake caught a ride in currents, possibly from Tonga.
It is now recovering at an Auckland marine centre where Andrew Christie is the curator.
“We get three or four sightings a year, but usually when they come to shore they are dead or at death’s door,” he said.
Few sea snakes survive in New Zealand’s cold waters.
The yellow-bellied sea snake is part of the cobra family.
Sources: Background research and “Snake-free NZ gets yellow-bellied surprise” by Kerri Ritchie, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 24/4/08.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.