Rabu, 11 Februari 2009

Fierce Snake atau Inland Taipan (DANGEROUS SNAKE)

Scientific Name: Oxyuranus microlepidotus

The Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus, Small Scaled Snake, Fierce Snake) is native to Australia and is the most venomous land snake. It is a species of Taipan belonging to the Elapidae family. Although highly venomous, it is timid and docile, providing it is left alone.

The fierce snake or inland taipan can reach a total length of 2.5 metres, although 1.8 metres is the more usual length. The upper surface of the snake can vary from dark brown to a light straw colour. Dramatic seasonal colour changes take place, with a darker winter and lighter summer coloration. These changes are an adaptation to the harsh outback climate, the darker markings absorbing heat more efficiently in winter and the reverse in summer. The head especially may take on an almost glossy black appearance at times.

A bite from the Inland Taipan can contain enough venom to kill 100 human adults or 250,000 mice. The average venom yield is 44 mg, 110 mg being the largest recorded. Its venom is 50 times more toxic than most rattlesnakes and 200 - 400 times as toxic as a cobra. The Inland Taipan has neurotoxic venom that could potentially kill an adult human in 45 minutes. There have been no documented human fatalities; bites were treated using antivenin.

Did You Know? Although the fierce snake is the most toxic snake in the world with venom more potent than any other species by a large margin. There have never been any human fatalities caused by this species. Several bites have been recorded and successfully treated by taipan antivenom which is produced and manufactured by the Australian Reptile Park and the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories in Melbourne.

Habitat: The fierce snake inhabits the black soil plains in the region where Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory borders converge. There is little in the way of cover or vegetation, the snakes utilising the deep cracks and fissures formed in the dry soil to escape predators and the searing heat.

Diet: The diet is almost solely composed of small mammals, particularly native rats, which, at times, reach plague proportions in this region. The prey is subdued with a series of rapid accurate strikes, which injects the extremely toxic venom deep into the rodent. The venom is unequaled in toxicity amongst any snake anywhere in the world.

Reproduction: Populations of this snake are highly dependent on the availability of its favourite prey. When the rats experience a good year, the numbers of fierce snakes also rises soon after. By the same token, when a poor year follows many rats and snakes perish from lack of food. The female fierce snake lays between 12 and 20 eggs per clutch, which are laid in an abandoned animals burrow or deep soil crevice.

Fierce Snake atau Inland Taipan (DANGEROUS SNAKE) Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: Mel_anie

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