THE WORLDS MOST DEADLIEST SNAKE
The worlds most deadliest snake is known as the Inland Taipan ( Oxyuranus Microlepidotus ) formerly known as The Fierce Snake and it is found in the most arid an hot parts of Australia.
In Australia there are about one hundred and forty species of snake including Death Adders, Tiger Snakes, Copperheads, Brown Bush Snakes and Red Bellied snakes, all of which are highly venomous, but none more than the Inland Taipan.
The Inland Taipan's oral glands hold the venom like the tube of a syringe and its fangs are like the needle. When the snake attacks its victim the jaw muscles pump the venom through its hollow fangs exactly like an injection from a syringe into the victim.
The Inland Taipan's neuro-toxin (nervous system attack) & hemo-toxin (tissue attack) venom of about 0.01mg is more powerful than ten very venomous Mojave desert Rattlesnakes and over seven hundred times more powerful than that of the common Cobra.
The snake can produce enough venom at one time to kill thousands and thousands of mice or eighty to a hundred people The venom attacks tissue first rather than go into the bloodstream but this is no life saver as the venom starts to destroy tissues immediately, the bloodstream is slowly effected and the nervous system is gradually attacked too.
Death is not instant however depending on the amount of venom injected, its a long drawn out process. The victim will become nauseous, start vomiting with sever stomach pains that if untreated with ante venom will develop into severe agonizing pains, convulsions, frothing at the mouth, respiratory failure, paralysis, coma then death.
The venom is also an anti coagulate in that it stops blood from clotting, so cutting the snake bite area in an attempt to bleed out the venom is just as fatal as you could bleed to death. Its all very unpleasant stuff.
The image below shows an adventurer who is attempting to commit suicide or at least he might as well be, as one bite from the Inland Taipan that he's holding could kill him. It may move faster than he can predict, with snakes there are only two opponents...the quick and the dead!
Although this snake is the deadliest in the world there are no records of a human dying as a result from an attack off this snake and overall snake bite deaths are rare. This is mainly due to the fact that the Inland Taipan is a very shy snake, it never gives its hiding place away and can remain still for hours on end.
They prefer to hunt at night when its cooler and hide under rocks and in caves in the day. The snake is not aggressive and will not attack humans, if its encountered it should be left alone as they are rather docile but this does not mean that they wont strike and they can strike faster than you can move, if it bites you...you're in serious trouble.
This snake should not be confused with its closest relative, known as the Coastal Taipan ( Oxyuranus scutellatus ) which has earned a reputation as being one of Australia's most feared and indeed respected snakes because of its long 12mm highly venomous fangs and very aggressive nature.
Below is an image of a Coastal Taipan and to be honest there is not a lot of difference between this and the Inland Taipan except its color is more uniform right up to its head and of course it has a more aggressive tendency.
The Inland Taipan can grow to ten feet long, they have a grey to greyish brown or dark reddish brown skin. It has a round nosed head and neck that are usually distinctive from the rest of the snake as they are normally of a darker color like black and very dark brown.
The Inland Taipan's eyes are usually brown also. It is interesting to note that the Inland Taipan changes into different shades of color depending on the season. This color change is done so it can blend in more with its environment, similar to the way a chameleon changes color.
A powerful anti venom for its bite is produced in Australia at the Commonwealth Serum Labs in Melbourne and if administered soon enough within an hour the patient should recover although there is never any guarantee.
Its main diet are rats, mice and lizards, regardless of their size too as the venom will kill anything that walks on the planet.
But as mentioned earlier, the Inland Taipan is a shy snake, it will try to get away from you or it will try to hide if you were to disturb it. It appears that this snake will only strike as a very last resort.
So if you do live in Australia and plan to go back packing into the bush, you shouldn't have to worry too much if you accidentally come across one. In all probability it would see or sense you first and either hide or make good its escape.
*Snakes sense by smelling the air with their tongues and they feel vibrations through the ground via sensitive muscles and nerves in their bodies. Also, Pythons have heat receptors that run along their bottom jaw, these receptors detect the heat given off by warm blooded prey and the snake can wait to ambush the prey as it gets closer.
A FINAL RECAP
The snakes super senses have developed and been honed in to perfection over millions of years of evolution. So if you're trekking in the outback and come across a dangerous snake, rest assured that it has already sensed you before you have seen it. So just leave it, giving it a wide birth and it should leave you alone. They generally only attack when they are annoyed, frightened or boxed in, so take care at all times.
Page created July 22nd 2007. Updated December 19th 2012