News Advisor Battle of venom: sea snake vs stonefish
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Battle of venom: sea snake vs stonefish

Rick Trippe
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A Darwin man has stumbled upon two venomous sea creatures locked in each other’s jaws.

On 27 August, spear fisherman Rick Trippe discovered a sea snake and a stonefish while diving in Darwin Harbour. Both were biting each other.

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Rick Trippe
The diver said the snake prevailed. Photo: Rick Trippe

He scooped the feuding pair into his boat with his bare hands for a closer look. Naturally.

“I knew this was dangerous,” Mr Trippe told the BBC. To prevent injury, he grabbed the snake under its mouth.

“I knew if I grabbed it I wouldn’t get the bitten.”

It seems the snake won the battle, though it might have been a pyrrhic victory, as stonefish are one of the most venomous fish in the world.

The fish secrete a powerful neurotoxin from their dorsal fin spines. In one of Mr Trippe’s photos, the fish’s spines can be seen near the snake’s body.

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