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Title: Venom glands and some associated muscles in sea snakes
Authors: Gopalakrishnakone, P. 
Kochva, E.
Issue Date: 1990
Citation: Gopalakrishnakone, P., Kochva, E. (1990). Venom glands and some associated muscles in sea snakes. Journal of Morphology 205 (1) : 85-96. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The venom glands and related muscles of sea snakes conform in their general structure to those of the terrestrial elapids. The venom gland, however, is smaller in size and the accessory gland is considerably reduced. A similar pattern is found in the Australian elapid Notechis. The musculus compressor glandulae is well developed in the sea snakes and in some species its posterior-medial portion runs uninterruptedly from the origin to the insertion of the muscle. This might be considered as a primitive condition suggesting an early divergence of the sea snakes from an ancestral elapid stock. Three species of sea snakes, Aipysurus eydouxi, Emydocephalus annulatus, and E. ijimae, feed on fish eggs and have very small, but still functioning, venom glands. The reduced accessory gland of the sea snakes is apparently connected with their aquatic environment, as a similar condition is found also in the elapine Boulengerina annulata which lives in large lakes of Central Africa. The similarity in structure of the venom gland between sea snakes and Notechis scutatus may point to a possible phylogenetic relationship between this group of Australian elapids and hydrophiine snakes.
Source Title: Journal of Morphology
ISSN: 03622525
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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