Snakes are animals that many people fear when coming to Australia, and understandably so. The Australian continent is host to ten of the most venomous snakes in the world. The following may answer some questions you may have about these snakes:
What is the most venomous snake? The most venomous snake is the Inland Taipan. The second most poisonous is the Eastern Brown snake. Both are common in Australia.
Will a snake chase you? A snake will never bite a person for no reason, nor do snakes chase people just to bite them. A snake will only bite you if you aggravate it.
How can I recognise a venomous snake? It is very difficult to differentiate between a venomous and non-venomous snake. To be on the safe side, always presume the snake is venomous.
What should I do if I’m bitten by a snake?
Do not kill the snake (see today’s ESD update). You should also never attempt to wash the venom from the puncture site. Washing the wound may remove any trace of the venom, interfering with the doctor’s ability to decide which anti-venom to give you. Clean around the puncture site if you must, to remove dirt that might infect the wound. Bandage the bitten limb firmly, wrapping towards the heart and as far along the limb in both directions away from the bite as you can. Then send for help, and stay still.
Can you tell the age of a snake by how long it is? Because snakes grow according to their environment, not their age, you cannot tell how old a snake is by it’s length. A snake that has lived for ten years in the desert might be only half the length of a three-year old snake which has lived in a more lush area.
Are all snakes venomous? No, not all snakes are venomous, though most will bite you if you aggravate them. As a precaution, always assume a snake is venomous.
How do snakes move? With up to 400 vertebrae in their spine (compared to humans’ 29 or so), the snake has amazing flexibility and can move up to 10 km/h.
Think of some other questions you may have about snakes or reptiles in your area, and try finding the answers in a book or on the internet. Some questions to consider: What is the largest snake in the world? What climate does it prefer? What is the snake’s lifespan? What does it eat?
Feed your snakes and children wheat. Josh.