Fun Fact Friday: Snakes in New Zealand

Yellow bellied sea snake (© Aloaiza/Wikimedia Commons)

Did you know that there are no snakes, either native or introduced, in New Zealand? It’s true!

It should be said, more specifically, that there are no land snakes in New Zealand. Due to New Zealand being an island, the commonly held explanation is that there was no way for land snakes to get there. However, the country is visited by two varieties of sea snake, the yellow-bellied sea snake, Pelamis platurus and the banded sea krait, Laticauda colubrina.

While there are no snakes, they do have another interesting reptile, called a skink. Skinks are a very close relative to the gecko, and the country is home to 16 species of geckos and 28 species of skinks. New Zealand skinks are unique from many other skinks in that they give birth to live young rather than laying eggs. Now that’s an interesting fact!

An additional fun fact: New Zealand also has more varieties of penguin than any other country!

Want to learn more about the fascinating wildlife of New Zealand? Check out “Unique Species on New Zealand” on DE streaming!


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