Dangerous Australian snakes


                                                             The Taipan's

Australia contains some of the deadliest snakes in the world in my part of Australia (Queensland) we have the top three most venomous land snakes in the world, the Inland Taipan or Fierce snake (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) the worlds most deadliest. The Common Brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis) worlds second and the Coastal Taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus) comes in at third.

I will deal with the three above mentioned to start with and try and explain "dangerous" classifications with any venomous animal for example the Inland Taipan has murderous venom but as for being dangerous their disposition is they are a quite species that rarely bites unless antagonized and provoked the Common or Coastal Taipan is similar but more aggressive and has been known to strike repeatedly and in some cases actually hang on.

The Eastern Brown can be quite aggressive also and are at times fairly quick tempered and have attributed to numerous deaths, also the Common Taipan.

The above mentioned i have dealt with in the past as part of my work except for the Inland Taipan as its distribution does not extend to my particular part of Queensland, I have not heard of any deaths caused by a bite from the Inland Taipan but one bloke Joe Bredell come very close and was bitten in the worse place possible as in the chest! he did survive.

I have no doubt that somewhere in the past before white settlement here in Australia in the 60 odd thousand years Aboriginal people have been living here quite a few would of died from snake bite, I have have known of dogs bitten by the Common Taipan quite robust breeds of dogs to be dead within 15 minutes, I personally would much rather cross paths with the Inland Taipan rather than the Coastal.

I suppose since I have mentioned two species of Taipan above I better not leave the other one out that being the New Guinea Taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus canni) this subspecies apparently does not live on the Australian mainland? I find that hard to believe in a way as New Guinea is not that far from the Australian mainland and takes in a massive area, I think it is a case of to much country and not enough herpetologists looking or finding? who knows.

Having spoken to a few herps on the subject of Taipans It wouldn't be right not to mention old Ram Chandra whom I have met on several occasions there are quite a few around who used to see poor old Ram as a bit of a showman as his infamous title "The Taipan man" I suppose in a way he was just that but if you have ever read his book "Traveler brown" or had met the man you couldn't help but like his abrasive persona, he has long passed on of course.

Ram may of had a PhD handed to him without going through the proper channels but he has to be recognized as a true pioneer as it was not that long back the Taipan was an unknown species here in Australia, his contribution and research into the species was invaluable, come to think of it Steve Erwin was handed a PhD also on his contribution, time effort and research into the crocodillus species and rightfully so two great men whom contributed a lot of valuable data paving the way for others.
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