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Friday Eco-fact: The Myth of Australia’s Most Venomous Snakes

A species that flourishes unlike any other in Australia’s environment are reptiles.  The United States has less then one third the amount of reptiles that flourish on the Australian continent.  There are more then 800 species with 90 percent of them only found in Australia.  What is really amazing that one hectare of desert in the Outback contains more reptile species then New Zealand and the United Kingdom combined.  Even more amazing is that it is expected that the many more species of reptiles are still waiting to be discovered in the vast Outback.  Truly incredible. 

However, the most famous Australian reptiles are without a doubt the various species of poisonous snakes.  Australia has 140 species of snakes with 100 of them being venomous.  However, of those 100 only 12 of them are venomous enough to kill a person.  I have actually had my own run in with one of these poisonous snakes, however the most commonly seen venomous snake is the common Brown Snake:

It is actually not uncommon during the summer time here in Australia to see news reports of people bitten by brown snakes.  They may not be the most poisonous but quite possibly the most dangerous here in Australia. 

The most poisonous snake in Australia is the Inland Taipan:

The inland taipan can grow up to two meters long, can vary slightly in color, and are 100 times more venomous then an American rattlesnake.  However, the snake is only found deep in the Outback and is rarely seen by humans.  In fact it is so rare that no known fatalities from this snake has been recorded.  However, a few bites have happened from people handling the snakes and all have been successfully treated with anti-venom. 

In fact the belief that Australian snakes are dangerous is actually quite false.  I can count on one hand the number of snakes I have seen here in the last two years and when you see them they slither off rather quickly.  This is because snakes do not see people as a threat to them here unlike many American snakes such as the rattlesnake that does. 

I highly recommend everyone check out this site that shows the myth of Australia’s dangerous and most venomous snakes really is. 

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