Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what’s clicking on

Sea snakes have been evolving for 15 million years to adapt to changing conditions in the marine environment, including their vision underwater, a new study showed.

Research led by the University of Plymouth in the U.K. and published in Current Biology has provided evidence of where, when and how often species adapted their ability to see in color.

The findings suggested that sea snakes’ vision has been morphing genetically over millions of generations, giving them the abilty to adapt to diverse environments and still see their prey deep underwater.

“In the natural world, species obviously have to adapt as the environment around them changes. But to see such a rapid change in the sea snakes’ vision over less than 15 million years is truly astonishing,” Bruno Simões, a lecturer in animal bology at the University of Plymouth, said in a statement.


An olive sea snake (Aipysurus laevis) foraging in Western Australia.
(Bruno Simoes, University of Plymouth)


Simões said that the pace of diversification among sea snakes, compared to their relatives on land and in the sea, highlights the extreme challenges of their environment.

“Our study also shows that snake and mammal vision has evolved very differently in the transition from land to sea. Sea snakes have retained or expanded their color vision compared to their terrestrial relatives, whereas pinnipeds and cetaceans underwent a further reduction in the dimensions of their color vision,” Simões explained. “This contrast is further evidence of the remarkable evolutionary diversity of snake eyesight.”

In the study, scientists also write that despite being descended from highly visual lizards, snakes have limited (typically two-tone) color vision, attributed to the dim-light lifestyle of their early snake ancestors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Iran sees its highest number of coronavirus deaths in a day again as fatalities rise by 147 to 1,135, with infections now at 17,161 

Iran said Wednesday that the novel coronavirus has killed 147 more people, another single-day record in the virus-stricken country that raised the overall toll to 1,135. The Islamic republic is one of the worst-hit countries with the virus outside of…

Coronavirus has presented China with a historic opportunity — will it take it?

When a new decade dawned a few short months ago, many predicted that the dominant theme would be China’s continued emergence and role in a world that was changing quickly. Few suspected that the rivalry and antagonism between China and…

She’s coming home! British teenager, 19, convicted of lying about being gang-raped in Cyprus weeps as she is spared jail by judge who gives her suspended sentence and says she deserves ‘a second chance’ – leaving her free to fly back to UK TODAY 

A British teenager found guilty of lying about being gang-raped in Cyprus broke down in tears today and hugged her family as she was spared jail – paving the way for her to return home immediately. The emotional 19-year-old woman from…

The rise and fall of Syria’s first lady: Why the US is going after Asma Assad?

The U.S. government has long imposed sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has presided over more than nine years of a civil war that has claimed the lives of an estimated half a million people. But for the first time…