Most intimidating animals in the world
The reason for this misconception was that unlike other snakes, which tend to slither away when a human approaches, the death adder doesn’t.
This is because they are ambush hunters which lay in wait for their prey and so are less inclined to move.
Often living in populated areas these snakes are fast and described as excitable and unpredictable when encountered.
Worthy of particular mention amongst this group are the common lancehead ( Unlike the previous two snakes which possess a neurotoxic venom, the lancehead’s venom is hemotoxic.
Yes, admittedly it does only deliver sufficient venom to kill over 200,000 mice with a single bite – the inland taipan could theoretically kill over a million.
But there are two important factors that I feel make the coastal taipan more dangerous; firstly it occurs in less remote regions than the rarely seen inland taipan and secondly the coastal taipan has a reputation as being somewhat aggressive.
This is testament to the life-saving antivenom serum developed by the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories in the 1950s.
There is no messing around with ‘dry bites’, in over 80% of cases a large dose of venom is delivered, often in repeated strikes.Now, this doesn’t even feature here, in fact it didn’t even make it on to our list of Australia’s most dangerous animals. Well, firstly no one ever seems to be killed by these snakes.They live in remote areas, are highly timid and really don’t go looking for trouble.The venom also prevents the blood from clotting which causes internal bleeding and there is also a component which breaks down muscle tissue.If this were “Top Trumps” then the coastal taipan would probably be the star card and head up our list of deadliest snakes. There are snakes out there that kill tens of thousands of people every year yet the taipan rarely kills anyone in Australia and only a handful in Papua New Guinea.
Whilst the strength of the snake’s venom is obviously an important factor in how dangerous it is, there are other equally important things to consider.