Deadliest Snakes in Australia
It seems like every animal on every Australian habitat, from the outback to the sea, is just trying to kill us, with crushing bites and venomous bites or stings. Australia is home to around 270 snake species, from those around 140 are venomous, among them are some of the most venomous snakes in the world!
Several snake species found in Australia are among the world's most venomous, but they aren't the most dangerous to humans around the world. The sheer number of snakebites and deaths caused by some other snake species.
Among them, some of the most dangerous snakes in Africa or the infamous "big four" snakes of India and Pakistan, are overwhelming to the 2 or 3 deaths from snake bites in Australia.
In fact every year more people die in Australia from horse riding accidents. Even more surprising is the number of fatalities from stings of the deadliest venomous animal found in Australia, the humble honeybee.
Read on to find interesting and amazing facts about some of Australia's most venomous and deadliest snakes!
Snakes belonging to the Acanthophis genus are called death adders, the several species are found throughout Australia, New guinea, and Indonesia.
They are regarded by some studies as the 5th most venomous snake in the world. The death adder is also considered the snake with the fastest strike in the world, a mere 0,15 seconds to deliver a deadly bite.
Contrary to other snakes, with more complex venoms, their venom is only neurotoxic causing death by paralysis and respiratory failure in as little as 6 hours. Before antivenom serum for this type of snakes was available 1 out of every 2 people bitten died.
In Australia deaths from death adder bites are very rare in nowadays, but these snakes still pose a major threat to humans in the other countries in their range. When Australia was colonized by the Europeans, they called it "deaf adder", because of their habit to stay put if approached, leading to the belief they were deaf.
With 2 of the 3 taipan species known occupying the 1st and 3rd place in the top of most venomous snakes in the world, these certainly are some very dangerous snakes.
But the reality is that the inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) considered the most venomous snake, is a secretive snake that inhabits extremely remote areas, so it's rarely encountered by humans.
Which is a good thing since its venom is up to 50 times more toxic than that of the Indian Cobra. In a single bite, there is enough to kill some 250,000 mice or over 100 people.
On the other hand, the coastal taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus), like its name indicates lives in coastal areas of Australia, where the clashes with humans are almost inevitable. With a somewhat less potent venom than the inland taipan is considered the 3rd most venomous snake in the world.
In 2007 a new taipan species was described, the central ranges taipan (Oxyuranus temporalis), but information about its venom is scarce. It also lives in very remote areas and encounters with humans rare.
These highly venomous and dangerous snakes cause the most human fatalities in Australia.
As its name indicates the Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis) in found eastern Australia, ranging from desert areas to the coast.
It's considered the 2nd most venomous snake in the world, and its venom contains both neurotoxins and procoagulants, which causes paralysis and stops the blood from clotting.
Since its favorite preys are mice and rats, they are drawn into areas like farms and buildings where close contact with humans is more likely to happen. That's why they are responsible for more than half of the fatalities from snakebites in Australia.
But despite its highly potent venom and supposed bad temper, it causes only 1 or 2 deaths a year. The Western Brown Snake or Gwardar (Pseudechis nuchalis) is found in most of Australia, except in the extreme southwest and southeast areas. It inhabits forests, grasslands, plains, and deserts.
It's usually considered less aggressive than the Eastern Brown Snake, but still very dangerous. Although the Western Brown's venom isn't as potent as that of the eastern brown, they inject much more, up to 3 times more.
Did You Know?
A recently discovered fossil snake was 49 feet long, longer than a school bus! Meet the Titanoboa.