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It's in the NAME!

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posted on Sep, 10 2005 @ 08:54 AM
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Death Adder

Snake number two in my snakes of the week, keeping with AUSTRALIA's snakes then moving west. Australia has some of the most deadly animals of the world and with a name like death adder it can only mean on thing.

Death adders are the most distinguishable snakes in Australia. They have the habit of burying themselves in sand or leaf litter, with just their head and tail exposed whilst they lie in wait for potential prey. When a small bird, lizard or small mammal approaches, they twitch their tail rapidly like a grub to attract their prey. If the prey approaches close enough, the rapid strike rarely misses its mark.

Prior to antivenom being available, death adders accounted for a 50% mortality rate in bite victims.


 


www.calm.wa.gov.au..." target='_blank' class='tabOff'/>

Death adders are found throughout most of Australia, . Three major species have been identified; A. praelongus, the northern death adder (north of the Tropic of Capricorn), A, pyrrhus, inhabiting desert regions of central and Western Australia, and A. antarcticus, covering the rest of Australia, except Victoria and Tasmania. They are ambush predators, concealing themselves in leaves, sand or gravel and twitching the ends of their tails to attract prey. Prey consists of frogs, birds, lizards, mice and rats. It is mainly active at night. Unlike most snakes, the death adder will not necessarily retreat from humans and may therefore be more easily trodden upon or disturbed by the unwary. They are said to be less likely to strike unless actually touched than other venomous snakes, but great caution is still advised.

Death adders are readily identified by their short squat appearance. The head is broad and triangular, like that of a viper, the body short and thick and the tail thinner and distinct from the body. Coloration is variable from region to region, and most death adders are banded to some degree. The pupil is elliptical. Average length is approximately 0.65m, and the maximum recorded length is 1.1m. The fangs are of death adder are quite long (6-8mm) and are more mobile than those of other Australian venomous snakes, again resembling those of the vipers.
Average venom output is around 85mg, and the maximum recorded venom output 235mg. Its venom contains a post-synaptic neurotoxin, with negligible coagulant or myolytic activity. Effective bites result in paralysis, and prior tot he introduction of antivenom, around 50% of death adder envenomations were fatal
www.avru.unimelb.edu.au...







Length:
to 75cm

Identification:
body stocky, head arrowed-shaped. Tail tapers rapidly and bears a spur-like scale at tip. Back any shade of grey to reddish-brown, usually with lighter bands; belly greyish to cream.

Scale Counts:
midbody scale rows 21-23; ventrals 110-135; anal single; subcaudals, mostly single, some divided at tail -tip 35-60.

Habitat:
wet and dry eucalypt forests, woodlands and coastal heaths.

Distribution:
eastern Australia (excluding far north and south) and southern SA and WA.

Status:
rare or insufficiently known; declining.

Habits:
encountered both day and night; usually motionless, concealed in leaf-litter.

Breeding:
live-bearer (up to 42 young); average sount-vent length of new-borns 12cm.

Main Prey:
frogs, Cane Toads (with fatal results), small reptiles, birds and mammals.

Venom:
strongly neurotoxic.

Notes:
potentially dangerous; apply first aid and seek urgent medical attention for all suspected bites; responsible for human deaths

www.qmuseum.qld.gov.au...



[edit on 10-9-2005 by SpittinCobra]

[edit on 10-9-2005 by SpittinCobra]

[edit on 10-9-2005 by SpittinCobra]




posted on Sep, 11 2005 @ 10:38 AM
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Death Adder

Death adders are snakes that live in most parts of Australia.

A death adder is covered with scales.

They are very poisonous snakes.

Death adders eat small animals and birds.

They use the tip of their tail like a worm to catch their food


Death adders grow to about 50-60 cms. They do not retreat if humans approach.

Death adders are greyish or brown, with darker stripes across their body. The tip of the tail is usually black in southern Australia and white in the north. They have unusually long poison fangs for snakes of their size.

The eggs develop inside the body of the female death adder after she has mated with a male. This means she gives birth to live young.



Death adder's food is insect-eating native birds and animals. The snake hides in leaf litter or loose sand. It wiggles its thin tail like a grub to attract prey. This means death adders cannot easily survive major changes to their habitat.

The number of death adders has reduced greatly since white settlement, because of loss of habitat and therefore food supply. Introduced animals such as foxes and cats eat them. Another introduced animal, the cane toad, eats young death adders. Adult death adders die when they swallow the poisonous cane toads.



posted on Sep, 11 2005 @ 10:48 AM
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You're doing an incredible job


Thank you for posting these - very informative (if slightly icky...), and really nicely done.




posted on Sep, 11 2005 @ 10:55 AM
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It really is my pleasure. I enjoy snakes and most reptiles.

Thanks for taking the time to learn.




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