Unique sea snake sense organs found, according to University of Adelaide News and ScienceDaily 8 June 2016 and Open Biology, DOI: 10.1098/rsob.160054 published online 8 June 2016. Snakes and some lizards have small round raised structures, named scale sensilla, on some of their head scales. These are a type of touch receptor, used to feel objects the animal comes in contact with. Scientists at Adelaide University have studied the scale sensilla of sea snakes and found there are significant differences to those of land-dwelling snakes.

One of the scientists, Jenna Crowe-Riddell described their findings: “We found that the scale sensilla of sea snakes were much more dome-shaped than the sensilla of land snakes, with the organs protruded further from the animals’ scales, potentially making them more likely to be able to sense vibrations from all directions. We also found that scale sensilla on some of the fully aquatic snakes covered a much higher proportion of the scales’ surface”. She went on to say: “We believe sea snakes use these organs to sense objects at a distance by ‘feeling’ movements in the water. This hydrodynamic sense is not an option for land animals. In water, a new way of sensing the environment becomes possible”.

The researchers admit the exact function of the sensilla is still unknown, and needs more research. They suggest they “might aid in skin shedding, swimming performance, gripping prey/mates or avoiding algae fouling”.

Kate Sanders, who led the study, commented: “If they are hydrodynamic tactile sense organs, as we suspect, then by comparing them to the scale sensilla of closely related land-snakes we can start to understand how evolution has changed these organs from direct-touch sensors to distance vibration-sensors that work underwater”.

ScienceDaily, UA News

Editorial Comment: These scientists are correct in saying the function of the sensilla requires more research. If they do more research they will probably find out which of the list of possibilities they raised is correct, or they may find a yet unknown function. If they compare the sensilla of sea snakes with land snakes they will also find out the sensilla differ in function between the two types of snakes.

What they won’t find out is how land snake sensilla could evolve into sea snake sensilla by chance random mutations. Evolutionary theory claims that reptiles, such as snakes, evolved from an amphibious vertebrate that had evolved from a fish, but some reptiles, such as sea snakes, went back into the sea, and evolved features useful for marine life. However, simply putting a land snake into water is not going to change the genetic instructions for forming sensilla so that they are changed from touch sensors to water vibration senses. And more importantly it will never change the snake’s brain so it can interpret the signals detected by the sensilla.

These unique sense organs are actually good evidence that sea snakes are well designed to be sea snakes, and always have been, i.e. they are a separate created kind, or maybe several kinds which have always been different to land snake kinds, just as Genesis says. (Ref. reptiles, serpents, sensory organs)

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 13
13 July 2016
Creation Research Australia