Stories

Urban sea snakes shed stripes — and pollutants

Claire Goran / University of New Caledonia

Scientists report a normally-banded species of sea snake is evolving darker skin to get rid of manmade pollutants. Some insects, like the peppered moth, evolved "urban melanism" for better camouflage in polluted environments, but this is the first time something similar has been seen in a marine animal. It also suggests at least one species of sea snake may be adapting to pollution, though just how well it's working remains to be seen.