Taipans/Deadly snakes

I’ve been to several wildlife parks recently in Australia, and the taipan is listed as the world’s most venomous land snake, and sometimes as the world’s most venomous snake. The “fierce snake” is another name for it. I’ve also seen names such as “little sided snake” and “small scaled snake” which I think are other nicknames for various types of taipan.

There are so many deadly things here, from snakes to spiders and jellyfish, that’s it’s hardly worth worrying what’s most dangerous, instead just avoiding them all!

You forgot Cane Toads, Blue-ringed Octopuses, and Dropbears. :slight_smile:

I saw a PBS program on Australian deadlies just last night:Australia’s Little Assassins by Axolotyl Films. I tried pbs.org to get a link, but it t’wasn’t availaible.

Anyhoo, it appears that the Fierce Snake is graced by the fact that it doesn’t make it’s habitat where humans do. It’s livelihood is found in desolate areas, which probably has a lot to do with it’s extreme killing measures. There are “no recorded instances of human bites, except by handlers”. I wrote this down on a handy index card while watching the show, as I have an ongoing file of poisonous critters.

Who said it wouldn’t come in handy?

? Though, what SD column does this refer to?

Could it be this one? In Australia, did a dingo really eat a baby?

Nope. The Staff Report is What’s the most poisonous creature on earth?

An earlier thread about the Staff Report is here: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=61198

I just found this site. It’s from the Australian Reptile Park, in Gosford, on the cental coast New south Wales.


Yes, but the most venomous snake is obviously either in the House or Senate.

I recorded the relevant segment of the PBS special Australia’s Little Assassins." They did a segment on taipans, then another species, and then came to the “fierce snake,” and the guy never mentioned it being called an “inland taipan.” So is the fierce snake just a taipan? Or is “inland taipan” a new name for what was previously called a “fierce snake,” because it’s been found to be closely related to the taipan? Anyway, here’s the complete transcript from the “fierce snake” segment:

John Weigel, Director, Australian Reptile Park: “… the snake with the most powerful venom in the world is the fierce snake. Not really a very appropriate name because it, uh, it isn’t particularly fierce, particularly in captivity; uh, in fact, it very rarely accounts for a human bite, if ever. This snake is found only in the most remote corners of southwest Queensland and adjacent, uh, districts, where people don’t live. So, whilst it has the venom most toxic in its effects on human beings, it doesn’t account for any human fatalities; in fact, there are no known records of any bites other than snake handlers.”

**Narrator: "In the distant, desolate regions where the fierce snake lives, summer temperatures soar to well over 120 degrees. Some speculate that these harsh conditions may help create the extraordinary potency of its venom. As it tracks its prey across the hard sun-cracked land, a single fierce snake has enough poison to kill 250,000 mice. Yet, in the deadly balance of the natural world, every hunter is also prey, and even this most lethal of snakes is also being stalked … by the parentie, a giant monitor lizard 6-1/2 feet long. Much of its prey hides from the sun, but the forked tongue picks up even the faintest traces of scent. The fierce snake hasn’t hidden deep enough. Poisonous as it is, this bashing breaks its back, and leaves it helpless. The fierce snake never even had a chance to use its deadly bite. It’s just another meal for the parentie.

“In Australia, the trail of venom leads from the sea to the land … and back out to sea again …”

chorpler: Taipan is just the name for snakes ( two species ) in the genus Oxyuranus.

Oxyuranus microlepidotus* ( “small-scaled sharp tail” ) is the Inland Taipan ( formerly called the Fierce Snake ), which is the nastier one.

Oxyuranus scuttelatus ( “small-shielded sharp tail” ) is the Coastal Taipan, still pretty toxic, but not as bad.

  • Tamerlane

Crap. Not only did I blow the coding, but I see on the thread, I’m listed as posting as “unregistered”. Weird.

  • Tamerlane