Yes, the title of this article is a little miss-leading. Why? Well, strictly speaking, snakes are venomous - not poisonous. The guide for this is that if you bite it, and you get ill -  it is poisonous. If it bites you and you get ill - it's venomous.

So, what is the worlds most venomous snake?

Well, to answer this question fairly I am going to split the answer into two parts.

1. The most venomous snake on land

The most venomous snake on land is commonly called the 'Fierce Snake', otherwise known as the 'Inland Taipan'.  Native to the semi-arid regions of central east Australia, the incredible Inland Taipan has the most toxic venom of any land snake in the world. The maximum yield recorded for one bite is 110mg, enough to kill about 100 humans, or 250,000 mice!

With an LD/50 of 0.03mg/kg, it is 10 times as venomous as the Mojave Rattlesnake, and 50 times more than the common Cobra. Fortunately, the Inland Taipan snake is not particularly aggressive and is rarely encountered by humans in the wild. No fatalities have ever been recorded, though it could potentially kill an adult human within 45 minutes.

2. The most venomous snake in the water

This carries two titles, the first is that it is the most venomous snake in the water, the second is that it is the most venomous snake in the world.

It is called the 'Belcher's Sea Snake' and a few milligrams is strong enough to kill 1000 people! Luckily, less than 1/4 of bites will contain venom, and they are relatively docile.

Fisherman are usually the victims of these bites, as they encounter the species when they pull nets from the ocean. The Belcher's Sea Snake can be found throughout waters off South East Asia and Northern Australia.

America's most poisonous snake

While not as venomous as the previous two title holders its is probably the most recognised of all snake, due in no small part to the countless number of cowboy movies that the United States has exported over the years.

The Rattlesnake is a member of the pit viper family and is easily identifiable by the tell tale 'rattle' on the end of its tail. The most widely accepted hypothesis for the evolution of the rattle is that it is a warning device to drive predatory animals away.

All rattlesnake species are capable of injecting large quantities of hemotoxic venom, but it is the Eastern Diamondback which is considered to be the most venomous species of all.

Surprisingly, juvenile rattlesnake are considered more dangerous than adults, as they are unable to control the amount of venom injected. Untreated rattlesnake bites, especially from larger species, are very often fatal. However, antivenin, when applied in time, reduces the death rate to less than 4%

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Photo care of http://listverse.com/2011/03/30/top-10-most-venomous-snakes/ and http://www.infobarrel.com/Media/snake_mouth
Based on an article by http://listverse.com/2010/10/06/10-unusual-and-amazing-snakes/

1 comment:

Cherie Dsouza said...

The cottonmouth snake aka water moccasin which belongs to the Agkistrodon family, along with the copperhead is one of the most feared and respected venomous snakes in the United States. In this quick article we'll cover 8 facts you may or may not know about the cottonmouth.

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