Name: Oceanic Sand Snake (Heterodon Oceanum)
Typical Height: 1’1” (33.02 cm)
Typical Length: 4 ft. (1.16 m)
Typical Weight: 53.32 lbs. (24.19 kg)
Physical Description: With scales as rough as sandpaper, teeth as sharp as ocean rocks, and a nose perfectly shaped for digging through the sands of the dunes and slipping through the water, the Oceanic Sand Snake is a strange creature indeed. Unlike most snakes one may find, this creature has scales covering it which have the same properties as sandpaper. Coarse, rough, and irritating, the scales of the Oceanic Sand Snake are capable of peeling the flesh off of any predator that attempts to rub against it, grab it, or bite it. Almost as interesting, the snake has a set of gills on the sides of its neck, allowing it to fit into the amphibian classification of animals.
Diet: Although the Sand Snake is not venomous, it is still an incredibly dangerous creature while hungry. Feeding mostly on small rodents, birds, and fish. Most prominently in its diet, however, are toads and frogs. It is even known to feed upon poisonous puffer fish, toads, and other possibly deadly creatures. Scholars agree that this snake is almost entirely immune to all poisons and venoms, allowing it to never choke on its meals.
Behavior: The Oceanic Sand Snake’s entire life is dependent on a single concept: Stealth. By silently slipping through the sand and sea, the Sand Snake can devour its prey without ever being revealed. However, if the creature is ever caught by a hostile creature or dangerous predator, the snake assumes a possum-like stance, laying upside-down and sticking its tongue outwards. The cunning creature even goes so far as to secrete a rotting odor from its gills and scales, urging would-be feeders to retreat.
Ecology: Only the most cunning and perceptive of predators are capable of catching a Sand Snake, and even fewer are able to digest their incredibly rough scales. However, interestingly, their bones are much softer than those belonging to other amphibious creatures, and much more edible than their scales. The prey of the Oceanic Sand Snake, due to its resistance to poisons, rarely attempt to defend themselves, not knowing of the Sand Snake’s resilience to their main defense mechanisms.
Lifecycle: Living to approximately 30 years, the Oceanic Sand Snake enjoys a decent lifespan for a creature of its status within the Dune’s food chain. After mating, the Sand Snake usually lays its eggs in a small nest that they make underwater. These nests are usually made of broken bits of coral, hardened sand, and clay. Freshly hatched Sand Snakes are fiercely defended by their parents, who usually swim circles around their nests, not unlike sharks, until they are ready to swim and hunt on their own.
Human Relations: Thankfully for humans, Oceanic Sand Snakes are not hostile towards them; humans are much too big for these creatures to devour. However, they have been known to attack in self defense, delivering bites, tail slaps, and constrictions. Beach goers are warned to look out for Sand Snake eggs in deeper waters, as they are usually well protected, and the shells share the same sandpaper-like distinction as their scales. Fresh Sand Snake sheddings are sought after by humans, who enjoy using it as a sandpaper substitute where they can.