Critter Science

The Science of Animals

coastal taipan

Beware the Deadly Coastal Taipan!

Ranked as the 3rd deadliest snake in the world, it’s the coastal taipan. This snake is also called the common taipan snake by Australian locals. They are generally non-confrontational but will strike repeatedly if cornered. These snakes pack a multiple punch with regards to their venom which they inject via multiple strikes. Read more and don’t forget to comment below.

First the Stats…

Scientific name: Oxyuranus scutellatus
Weight: 6.6 lbs.
Length: Up to 9.5 feet
Lifespan: 10 – 15 years (in captivity)

Now on to the Facts!

1.) Its venom contains primarily taicatoxin, a highly potent neurotoxin affecting the nervous system and the blood’s ability to clot. Bite victims may experience headache, nausea, vomiting, collapse, convulsions, paralysis, internal bleeding, myolysis (destruction of muscle tissue), and kidney damage.

2.) This is the longest venomous snake in Australia.

3.) The name Taipan was actually given by the Wik-mungkan people who inhabited the Cape York Peninsula of Australia, and the name stuck.

4.) Coastal Taipans go through seasonal color changes. During the winter months they turn a slightly darker (to allow more heat absorption in colder months) while in the summer they have lighter coloration due to the excessive heat.

5.) They have large eyes and very good eyesight.

But wait, there’s more on the coastal taipan!

6.) When moving along the ground they will do so with their heads elevated to allow for the searching of prey.

7.) There are 2 known subspecies of the coastal taipan, the Oxyuranus scutellatus canni and the Oxyuranus scutellatus scutellatus.

Did you know…?
In cases of severe envenomation, death can occur as early as 30 minutes after being bitten, with the average being around 2.5 hours!

8.) Coastal Taipans are found only in New Guinea Island and Australia.

9.) Coastal taipans prefer woodlands, dry and wet sclerophyll forests. They can also be found in grassy areas and cane fields.

10.) Once a prey is spotted in close striking distance, they will freeze for a little bit. After a few moments they will then hurl forward to deliver one or more high speed lethal bites.

Now a Short Coastal Taipan Video!

Learn more about all kinds of cool critters here.

Be sure to comment below!

Critter Man

With over 40 years of critter experience to my credit and hundreds of zoology teaching hours to people around the world, I have amassed not only a continuing thirst for critter knowledge but a desire to teach others all I can about the majesty and wonder of our natural world. Critter Science is a culmination of such knowledge.I have hands on as well as book acquired intel on all kinds of critters. Whether they're on land, sea, or air.I will never say that I know everything about all animals. That's impossible, even for a savant. But, that being said, ask me any animal question and I'll answer it. If I don't know the answer, I'll get an answer for you!Let it be said that I have been oft times accused of loving animals more than I love people. I can neither confirm nor deny this.

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