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Turtle-Headed Sea Snake Video Stock Footage
Named for its short, blunt head, this medium-sized snake has a slender build and varies in color. A single snake may exhibit only one color or may have banded patterns of white or yellow with dark rings. The scales on top of the head are large, regular, and entire. The rostral scale on the tip of the snout is conical in shape, and the second of three supralabial scales is the largest. The body has 15–17 rows of smooth, overlapping scales. It has 125–145 ventral scales, a single anal scale, and 20–33 single subcaudal scales. It may grow to 103 cm (41 in) in length. An individual snake's color affects the amount of algal fouling that accumulates on its body. A snake of a darker, more monotonous color has a higher level of algae build-up than one of a paler, patterned variety. The added weight of algae affects an individual's speed, reducing it by up to 20%. Those whose locomotive skills were affected had a tendency to be more inactive and choose to hide among the coral, while those with little to no algal fouling were found actively foraging. The inactivity, however, did not affect their survival rates lighter-colored snakes were not more likely to survive than their darker-colored counterparts.
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