Talk about a conundrum: Sea snakes cannot drink seawater, even though that’s where they spend all their time. Scientists curious about how the pelagic sea snake survives have found that the creatures can go up to 6 or 7 months without drinking fresh water, Smithsonian magazine reports. Rainfall, which sometimes doesn’t occur for months, is the Hydrophis (Pelamis) platurus’ only chance at hydrating. So when it pours, the snakes must lap up the thin layer of fresh water that forms on top of the ocean before it mixes into the salt water. In a paper published online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the team suggests the snake’s high body water content—80%—may help it survive the dry periods.
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