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Australian Wildlife

  Coastal Taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus)





Coastal Taipan | Oxyuranus scutellatus photo
Coastal Taipan

Image by Denise Chan - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)



COASTAL TAIPAN FACTS

Description
The Coastal Taipan is a dangerous venomous snake that can bite repeatedly when cornered. It is light to dark brown above with paler sides. The underside is cream to yellow often with orange spots or flecks. The head is large and distinct, paler than the body, particularly on the snout. The iris is orange-brown.

Size
up to 2m long

Habitat
found in variety of habitats, including the sugar cane growing areas of Queensland, where it thrives on introduced rats and mice

Food
small mammals such as rats, mice, bandicoots

Breeding
7-20 eggs are laid by this snake in summer. Hatchlings measure 28 - 50cm

Range
The Coastal Taipan is found along the coast and nearby areas of Queensland and far north NSW. It is also found in tropical parts of the Northern Territory, including Melville and Bathurst Islands, the West Kimberley’s of Western Australia,

Notes
The Coastal Taipan is one of the deadliest species of snakes in the world. It has large fangs and highly toxic venom. The poison from the bite causes headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and dizziness. Blurred vision follows, sometimes accompanied by convulsions and, in severe cases, coma. The poison is also a myotoxin - it eats away at muscle tissue. Kidney failure is a common complication in serious snake-bites and can cause death. The snake rarely attacks humans except in self-defense.



Classification
Class:Reptilia
Order:Squamata (Serpentes)
Family:Elapidae
Genus:Oxyuranus
Species:scutellatus
Common Name:Coastal Taipan

Relatives in same Genus
  Fierce Snake (O. microlepidotus)