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Sea snakes have an extra sense?

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scale sensilla/Jenna Crowe-Riddell

From ScienceDaily:

“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.”

Sea snakes evolved from land-living snakes, taking to life in the sea between 9 and 20 million years ago. They spend the majority of their lives at sea: hunting fish, swimming and diving using a paddle-shaped tail, and coming up to the water’s surface to breathe air. Although they can also see, little is known about the underwater sensory perception of the snakes. Paper. (public access) – Jenna M. Crowe-Riddell, Edward P. Snelling, Amy P. Watson, Anton Kyuseop Suh, Julian C. Partridge, Kate L. Sanders. The evolution of scale sensilla in the transition from land to sea in elapid snakes. Open Biology, 2016; 6 (6): 160054 DOI: 10.1098/rsob.160054 More.

What would one call such a sense?

See also: Birds know quantum mechanics? It’s all accidental. Please move on.

Its like radar in bats and birds. in fact it seems a common response to common need. Not evolved but triggered somehow in the genes at some point. Robert Byers
Most fish have a lateral line that can sense vibrations and/or electrical impulses. Cetaceans can hear under water. Humans do it all of the time. Gordon Cunningham
I'd call it hearing, because it basically senses vibrations in the environment. Now the (was it the shark?) ability to sense electrical impulses in the surrounding environment is even cooler. EDTA

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