NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - A rare yellow-bellied snake washed up on Newport Beach, for only the fifth time in California history.
According to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the snake was found in Newport Beach and reported to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center of Laguna Beach.
The museum says that the warm water snake is a rare sighting this far north of its typical range.
The snake is joining the museum's permanent collection and it will be preserved so its migration patterns can be studied.
"For the fourth time in just over two years, we have documented sea-snakes in Southern California," said Greg Pauly, Associate Curator of Herpetology at NHMLA. "It's uncommon for these snakes to be seen this far north, as they favor the warmer waters off the coast of southern Baja California, Mexico, and we are thrilled to add this specimen to our permanent collection."
The Natural History Museum plans to put the new yellow-bellied snake on public view within the week in its Nature Lab.