Inland Taipan Snake
The inland taipan may be the world’s most venomous snake, but this Australian taipan is so shy that hardly anything was known about it by Western science for nearly a hundred years after it was first described in 1879.
The snake seeks protection from both the scorching heat and predators under rocks, inside mammal burrows and within deep cracks in the parched earth.
The Inland taipan is most active in the early hours of the day, when it surfaces to hunt for prey and to bask in the morning sun. After a few hours it retreats back into its shelter for the remainder of the day, although in cool weather it may show up above ground in the afternoon too.
The inland taipan has adapted to the extremes of the outback climate by dramatic seasonal changes in its coloration. The color of its back varies from a dark brown to almost black in winter. During the summer months it changes to a pale straw color.
These color changes allow the inland taipan to control its temperature, with the darker markings efficient at absorbing heat and the lighter ones good at reflecting it.
The head of the inland taipan is much darker compared to the rest of the body, which makes it possible for the snake to warm up quickly by exposing only its head to the sun.
Facts At A Glance
- Other Names: Fierce snake, western taipan, small-scaled snake, lignum snake, dandarabilla
- Scientific name: Oxyuranus microlepidotus
- Type of Animal: Reptile
- Animal Family: Elapidae
- Where Found: Central east Australia
- Average length: 1.8 m to 2.5 m (5.9 ft to 8.2 ft)
- Fang length: 3.5 mm to 6.2 mm
- Conservation Status: Not assessed by the IUCN
- Other interesting Inland Taipan facts: The two parts of inland taipan’s scientific name mean ‘sharp-pointed tail’ and ‘small-scaled’
Inland Taipan Snake Pictures