Life, in general, has the wonderful and mysterious capability of adapting itself to the environment in various ways. This phenomenon had been occurring since the dawn of time, triggering the curiosity of many scientists, philosophers, religious people, and so on.
A new study is confirming the adaptability of life once again, and this time it’s not about us humans. Nonetheless, the discovery already amazed the scientists involved.
Sea snakes are the stars of the show
A new research led by the University of Plymouth in the U.K. has provided evidence that the evolution of sea snakes carried along their adaptability for the marine environment. This includes that over the 15 million years of evolution the creatures began to improve their vision while underwater so that they could see their prey better.
Bruno Simões from the University of Plymouth confirmed what many were suspecting:
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
Sea snakes belong to the Reptilia class and to the Squamata order. These creatures are also known as coral reef snakes. They are a subfamily of venomous elapid snakes, known as the Hydrophiinae. Sea snakes are not called that way for no reason. Most of these creatures are fully adapted to the aquatic life and are unable to move on the land. There are some exceptions, though, like those from the genus Laticauda, which can move on the land for a limited time.
Bruno Simões also added:
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,
The new study was published in Current Biology.