A70_680_a.jpg Sea Snake. Collection of Puke Ariki (A70.680).
Keen for a swim over the long hot summer? One of these slippery critters might be next to you in the surf! This yellow-bellied sea snake (pelamis platurus), which is preserved in formalin, is thought to be one of five which washed up in Taranaki during the summer of 1933. The snakes generally appear in New Zealand waters from January to May and are often near death as they struggle to survive in colder waters. In the past few years a handful of Taranaki sightings have been reported. While they are highly venomous they are not aggressive and are weak swimmers. But anyone who sees one should still give it a wide berth and contact the Department of Conservation. 

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