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The fastest moving land snake is the Black Mamba, which can move up to 11.3 k.p.h. (7 m.p.h.).

A snake charmer in Bangladesh once found 3,500 poisonous cobras and their eggs hidden underneath the floors of two suburban homes.

There are no snakes in New Zealand.

The ‘caduceus’ the classical medical symbol of two serpents wrapped around a staff - comes from an ancient Greek legend in which snakes revealed the practice of medicine to human beings.

The longest fangs of a snake are found on the Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica) and can reach over 5cm (2ins) in length.

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Snake is a delicacy in China and many Asian countries.

At one time, Pumpkins were recommended for the removal of freckles and curing snake bites.

It can take up to a month for a rattlesnake to re-supply its venom.

Snakes are immune to their own poison.

The anaconda, one of the world’s largest snakes, gives birth to its young instead of laying eggs.

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The poisonous copperhead snake smells like fresh cut cucumbers.

Antarctica is the only continent without reptiles or snakes.

The venom of a female black widow spider is more potent than that of a rattlesnake.

Snake venom is ninety percent protein.

The King Cobra has enough venom in its bite that it can kill up to 13 adults. It is the largest of all venomous snakes and actually eats other snakes.

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Taipan snakes venom is 50 times more toxic than a Cobra snake.

The honeybee kills more people world-wide than all the poisonous snakes combined.

Snakes have poor eyesight and so have heat censors that can pick up vibrations. They can tell the difference between temperature changes and body heat from prey using these censors.

Night snakes contract their iris to a slit during light, due to light sensitivity.

The eye of the snake goes milky just before they shed their skin. Once the skin is shed the snakes’ skin doesn’t actually have a colour.

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Medium.

 

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There are approximately 2,500 snake species in the world. In Australia we have only 110 land and 32 sea snakes. So what is this hype about the dangers of snakes in Australia?

The 110 species of land snakes in Australia that makes up about 6% of the world’s population of snakes, however we have around 40% of the world’s population of venomous snakes. Nowhere else on the face of the planet has this many. No wonder they call this the lucky country.

Australia is the only place in the world, that has more venomous snakes than non-venomous species. But not all of the snakes that are considered poisonous have venom that is capable to kill humans or even for that matter causing severe illness.

Snakes can be found just about anywhere in Australia. Nevertheless, you will hardly ever see them.

Snakes can see, smell and hear. Most snakes have good eyesight, at least over short distances. They hear with an inner ear that picks up vibrations from the ground. But their most important sense is the sense of smell. Snakes smell by flicking their tongues in and out their mouth.

Snakes are cold-blooded. They can’t regulate their body temperature internally like mammals do. Snakes need the sun or at least warm air temperature for their body heat. The colder it is, the more inactive snakes become. That’s why snakes like basking in the sun.

Some snakes lay eggs, while others give birth to living young.

Non-venomous Australian snakes include Pythons, File Snakes (a sea snake) and Blind Snakes.

Largest of all Australian Pythons is the Scrub or Amethystine Python (Morelia Amethistina Kinghorni) found in the top-end of Australia, mostly in North Queensland’s rain forests. Snakes of between 7–8m (7.6–8.7yds) in length have been recorded; sizeable enough to consume large animals such as Adult Kangaroos.

The smallest python is the Pygmy Python (Antaresia Perthensis) found in Western Australia. Adults grow to approximately 50cm (1.6ft) and weigh approximately 210gms (7.4ozs).

The Blackheaded Python (Aspidites Melanocephalus) uses its black head like a little solar panel. They can place their head out of a crack and heat the rest of its body up in approximately 20 minutes, thus not exposing the rest of the body to its predators.

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When Australian snakes strike they have a near 100% success rate although most Australian snakes rarely envenom (inject you with venom) when biting defensively. They prefer to hit you with a warning.

Many snakes can expand the capacity of their jaws due to an elastic jaw ligament.

There are seven families of snake throughout Australia.

The most deadly snakes found in Australia include Brown Snakes, Fierce Snake, Copperheads, Death Adders, Red-Bellied Black Snakes, Taipan Snakes and Tiger Snakes.

The Australian Death Adders are the fastest strikers in the world.

The most common snake family in Australia is the Elapidae.

There are no documented fatalities in Australia from a Sea Snake bite.

Australian snakes are very shy and timid. They would rather move away from a human, not towards one.

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The Fierce Snake (Oxyuranus Microlepidotus) is also called the Inland Taipan. It is not as big as the normal Taipan as this is a snake of the Australian Outback. The Fierce Snake can be found in south west Queensland, north east of South Australia and in the north west of New South Wales.

The Taipan (Oxyuranus Scutellatus) is Australia’s most notorious snake and the longest of the venomous snakes. It can grow up to 3m (3.2yds), the average Taipan is 2.5m (2.7yds). Before the development of antivenom in the 1950’s bites from the Taipan where mostly fatal. The Taipan inhabits the coastal areas in Australia’s north and north east, from Brisbane Qld. to Darwin N.T..

The Death Adder (Acanthophis Antarcticus) is the only Australian snake that won’t budge an inch (or maybe we should make that millimetre but it don’t sound the same), even if you’re about to step on it. It lies camouflaged on sand, gravel or leaf litter so that its body is covered. It is most active at night and can be found all over Australia except Vic., Tas. and the very south east of S.A.

The Common Brown Snake or Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja Textilis) can be found in the eastern half of Australia but perhaps in the west as well. The output of venom is low because of its undersized fangs. However, brown snakes cause more deaths in Australia than any other snake. The Dugite and Gwardar belong to the same snake family. Victims of these Australian snakes respond quite well to the anti-venom.

The Copperhead (Agkistrodon Contortrix; despite sharing the name with the American Copperhead the two species are not related) is only snake to live effectively above the snow line. 3 species of Copperhead are found in Australia. The Highlands Copperhead (Agkistrodon Ramsayi) is found throughout parts of N.S.W. & Vic. The Lowlands Copperhead (Agkistrodon Superbus) is found in certain regions of N.S.W., Vic. and Tas. Thirdly, the Pygmy Copperhead (Agkistrodon Labialis) is found in S.A.

The Fierce Snake or Inland Taipan and Western Browns both possess the ability to have a seasonal colour change. In the summer months they can be a golden-corn colour, whilst during winter they can be jet-black. This is an incredible adaptation to their environment; to both dispel and retain heat more efficiently during these climatic changes.

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There are over a couple of thousand of species of snakes in the world and they all have different diet. Here is some information about the diet of different groups of Australian snakes.

What a snake eats usually depends on its size and its habitat. Rainforest snakes eat frogs and the desert snakes eat reptiles since that’s what is available in their habitat. Pythons are Australia’s largest snakes; they eat prey like Wallabies, Rabbits and small Kangaroos. There are smaller species of Pythons though that eats prey as small as Geckoes.

Colubrid Snakes are a large and diverse group of harmless snakes that eat Frogs, Lizards, Crabs, Fish, Cane Toads, birds and small mammals.

Death Adders eat small vertebrates and birds. They don’t hunt actively like most other snakes but hide under leaves with only the tip of their tail out; mimicking a moving insect or a small animal then when a bird or mammal comes to catch it, the death adder strikes more rapidly than any other snake in the world.

Copperheads eat a variety of small vertebrates such as skinks (Small Lizards) and frogs.

Whipsnakes live in dry open areas where they feed mainly on lizards.

Taipan Snakes feed exclusively on mammals, mostly smaller mammals like rats.

Black Snakes eat a variety of animals such as frogs, fish, reptiles, birds and mammals.

Brown Snakes eat different vertebrates but mainly reptiles and mammals.

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Don’t dry to catch or kill it.

When a snake crosses your path, wait and let it slither away.

Stamp your feet and make some noise, it’ll go away. This is a FALSEHOOD. Do Not Stamp Your Feet, this will provoke the snake to bite, stay perfectly still and let the snake move along.

Snakes have very poor eye sight and primarily work on taste and vibration. So if you stomp your feet in striking range the snake will feel threatened by the large vibration and will strike the large blurry object; your foot/boot.

You should make extra noise as you travel on foot though grass in snake areas as this will give the snake prewarning that something large is in its area and it will move away and try to avoid you.

When walking in grasslands always wear socks and boots.

Don’t lift large rocks and dead wood, you could wake up a snake. Don’t put your hands into hollow logs and chinks among rocks.

Don’t step over logs. Step onto them and then take a good stride of as snake often hide under logs.

Use a torch when you walk around your campsite in the dark. Shake out your sleeping bag if you had left it on the ground.

Last but not least, don’t panic when you see a snake. Remember, the snake might be as frightened as you are. Snakes usually won’t attack anything that is too big to swallow unless provoked.

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From what I can find out there have been only 41 snakebite deaths since 1980 in Australia, the King Brown or Brown Snake is believed to have been involved in 24 of those deaths; the Tiger Snake is responsible for another 8 with the Death Adder, Rough Scaled Snake and Taipan being responsible for the rest.

Therefore there is a pretty good chance that you will never be bitten but if you do most snakebite victims do survive because the anti-venom’s work very well. Still it is a good idea to know what to do if the rare case of Snakebite happens in your travel group. First of all, Don’t Panic & Stay Calm.

Try to reassure the victim.

DON’T cut or wash the wound, Do Not Even Touch It. The remaining venom helps to identify the snake.

DON’T apply a tourniquet.

DON’T put ice or any lotion on the wound.

DON’T be a fool and try to catch and kill the snake. You might suffer from a bite next.

For a bite on a limb apply a Pressure Immobilisation Bandage also Applying Firm Pressure Over The Bite Site and Immobilise The Limb. This helps in slowing down the movement of the venom in the body. Don’t make it too firm as it shouldn’t stop the blood flow. The bandage should be firm enough to compress the lymph vessels. Keep it in place until a doctor takes care of the victim.

For bites on the Head or Trunk DO NOT USE the ‘Pressure Immobilisation Bandage’ technique but Keep the Patient Still and Get Medical Aid A.S.A.P.

Monitor the Airways, Breathing and Circulation of the patient. Be ready to give Expired Air Resuscitation (mouth to mouth) or C.P.R. (heart massage)

Start transport to the nearest medical centre or call and meet an ambulance.

If you Positively Know the Type of Snake that did the biting Inform The Doctor Immediately.



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The most venomous snake species depends on the measure used. The average or the maximum venom yield from milking could be an option but this could also be criticised as not reflecting the impact of a real bite. The measure generally recognized as best reflecting how dangerous a snake’s venom is that of LD50 (i.e. mg/kg in saline by subcutaneous [under the skin] injection in mice). The lower the number, the less venom required to cause death. By that measure, the most venomous snake in the world is Australia’s Fierce Snake or Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus Microlepidotus) the recorded maximum yield (for one bite) is 110mg. That would probably be enough to kill over 100 people or 250,000 mice. The table below gives in order the top 25 species, their LD50 (i.e. their poison level; the smaller the the more poisonous.) and their Country.

NOTE: Australia has 20 in this list including the top 11, Asia 2, the American Continent 2 and New Guinea 1.

N°. Snake Species. LD50 Country.
01. Fierce Snake or Inland Taipan. 0.025 Australia.
02. Eastern Brown Snake. 0.053 Australia.
03. Coastal Taipan. 0.099 Australia.
04. Tiger Snake. 0.118 Australia.
05. Black Tiger Snake. 0.131 Australia.
06. Beaked Sea Snake. 0.164 Australia.
07. Black Tiger Snake. Tasmania.
(Chappell Island species.)
0.194
0.338
Australia.
08. Death Adder. 0.400 Australia.
09. Gwardar. 0.473 Australia.
10. Spotted Brown Snake. 0.360 Australia.
11. Australian Copperhead. 0.560 Australia.
12. Cobra. 0.565 Asia.
13. Dugite. 0.660 Australia.
14. Papuan Black Snake. 1.09 New Guinea.
15. Stephens’ Banded Snake. 1.36 Australia.
16. Rough Scaled Snake. 1.36 Australia.
17. King Cobra 1.80 Asia.
18. Blue-Bellied Black Snake 2.13 Australia.
19. Collett’s Snake. 2.38 Australia.
20. Mulga Snake. 2.38 Australia.
21. Red-Bellied Black Snake. 2.52 Australia.
22. Small Eyed Snake. 2.67 Australia.
23. Eastern Diamond-Backed Rattlesnake. 11.4 Nth America.
24. Black Whipsnake. 14.2 Australia.
25. Fer-De-Lance. 27.8 Sth America.
Information:
Australian Venom Research Unit.
Broad, Sutherland & Coulter. (1979)


 Only Size.


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 Year Of The Snake.


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 Found in Christian.


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 Found in People/Fakirs.


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 Found in People/Work/Vets.


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