Don’t you love it when something that is extinct turns out not to be extinct at all? Like coelacanths, which, according to Wikipedia, “were thought to have become extinct in the Late Cretaceous, around 66 million years ago, but were rediscovered in 1938 off the coast of South Africa.”
While I’m waiting for someone to prove unequivocally the existence of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, I will regale myself with Lazarus-like sea snakes in Australia.
I saw this Australian Associated Press story at the Guardian: “A species of sea snake thought to be extinct has been rediscovered off the Western Australian coast. A wildlife officer spotted two courting short-nosed sea snakes while patrolling in Ningaloo marine park on the state’s mid-north coast. …
“The Western Australian environment minister, Albert Jacob, said the discovery was especially important because they had never been seen at Ningaloo reef. …
“A Department of Parks and Wildlife officer photographed the snakes on Ningaloo Reef and James Cook university scientists identified them.”
Maybe marine creatures such as sea snakes and coelacanths are more likely to be preserved than woodpeckers — hidden away in the ocean’s unexplored depths. Still, as a movie I reviewed, Revolution, made clear, the seas are threatened, too.
More on courting sea snakes at the Guardian.
Photo: Grant Giffen/AFP/Getty Images
The discovery of the short-nosed sea snake, previously thought to have been extinct, is significant because the species had never been seen in the Ningaloo marine park in Western Australia before.