Docile but deadly
The inland taipan, or fierce snake as it often otherwise known, is the most venomous land snake in the world. Its toxin is more than 50 times as potent as an Indian cobra’s and despite carrying just 0.1 grams of venom in its poison glands, this is enough venom to kill 100 people or, more desirably for the snake, 200,000 mice.
What’s all that venom used for?
Attack. The Inland Taipan kills rodents, small mammals and birds with a single accurate bite. It then hangs back and waits for its prey to to die before returning to safely consume its meal.
Chances of being bitten?
Low. This shy rather docile snake lives in the north-east part of Australia and poses little threat to humans on a daily basis. However if you were unlucky enough to alarm one then watch out – it has long fangs over 1cm in length and they are quite capable of penetrating a leather boot.
But if I was bitten, what would happen?
You could have as little as 45 minutes before you’d be in a coffin. Like cobras and mambas, the inland taipan possesses neurotoxic venom which attacks the central nervous system. Common symptoms would rapidly escalate from headaches to dizziness to nausea to muscular convulsions to severe breathing problems, internal bleeding, (a coma if you’re lucky) and ultimately to death.
But some perspective…
If you live in Australia you’re far more likely to die from a horse riding accidents or from a bee sting than you are from being attacked by this (or any other) venomous snake.