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the most dangerous snake to humans

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Poll Question: What is the most dangerous snake alive
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  Quote Squire Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: the most dangerous snake to humans
    Posted: 14-Apr-2007 at 05:12
these are some of the worlds most dangerous snakes seven out of twelve come from Australia which one do you think it is?

Edited by Knights - 15-Apr-2007 at 09:57
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  Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Apr-2007 at 05:29
Difficult question to answer really.
The most potent is the Inland Taipan, or Fierce Snake (I think you have it on the poll as 'Western Taipan').
The most aggressive is harder to classify as it is variable to a further extent. I would go with the Eastern Brown Snake (Australia), King Brown or the Black Mamba - they have serious attitude problems.
Large Pythons only pose a real threat if we stumble upon them in their element, like Anacondas in a swamp.
If I had to go for one snake that I think poses the most serious threat to humans, I wouldn't go past the Black Mamba, of Africa's savannah.
Black Mambas are aggressive snakes that can sprint up to 20km/h - as fast as the average human. In addition to this, they are one of the most venomous snakes in the world.
A Black Mambas bite delivers cardiotoxins (which attack the functioning of heart muscles) and neurotoxins (which disrupt the regular functioning of the nervous system), though as with all venomous snakes, 50% of strikes deliver 'dry bites' (no venom is discharged).
As far as I know, the Black Mamba's bite has a 100% mortality rate if untreated...the highest of any snake
So for me, the Black Mamba takes the cake.



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  Quote Squire Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Apr-2007 at 05:38
I voted reticulated python because it is a very good hider and it has addapted to city enviroment it can hide in trash cans closets pantrees they only need one second to rap round you and crush your bones in the click of a finger.
 
it is very hostile when it adapted to the city it also adapted to humans it is not afraid of us and it will attack id hungry.
 
it may be a contrictor but it has a nasty bite wile it crushes your bones it will go for your neck.
 
as nasty the black mamba and inland typan I still think the reticulated Python is the most dangerous


Edited by Squire - 14-Apr-2007 at 06:28
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  Quote Praetor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Apr-2007 at 07:06
This is indeed a most difficult question and at present open to much interpretation.
 
Knights arguments are quite persuasive as I believe that an aggresive snake, with venom potent enough to kill a human everytime without treatment, that dwells in significant numbers, in an area with a large human population (this is the area where many of Australias most venomous snakes fall short) is the best bet for most dangerous to humans. The Black Mamba meets all these criteria to varying degrees and I am strongly considering voting for it. However there are other snakes that meet these criteria such as the  Indian saw-scaled viper which as the name suggests lives in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan etc. Though not as fast as the Black Mamba it may well live in a more populated area then the African savannah (though admittedly a large portion of the saw-scaled vipers live in the desert) It also comes out in large number after rain which in the non-desert parts of India is very common. So I will hold my vote for now as the candidates are examined more closely.
 
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  Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Apr-2007 at 08:04
ive heard of the black (and green) mamba and Knights information was a good read with a compelling holistic argument, but...


 i voted for inland Taipan purely for venom strength. i can be biased.  im not handing that deadliest snake award to any other country as we have soo many here.Tongue


Why arent more sea snakes included? then we have a real competition.
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  Quote Squire Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Apr-2007 at 08:25

because its on land snakes if it was on sea snakes aswell nearly the hole list would be sea snakes.Plus im not going to go diving any time soon.

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  Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Apr-2007 at 08:57
Originally posted by Praetor

Knights arguments are quite persuasive as I believe that an aggresive snake, with venom potent enough to kill a human everytime without treatment, that dwells in significant numbers, in an area with a large human population (this is the area where many of Australias most venomous snakes fall short) is the best bet for most dangerous to humans.

These are definitely very fitting criteria, and all need to be taken into consideration when determining the world's most 'dangerous' snake. As I and you said, it is a difficult question to answer. I could easily defend the rights of an Inland Taipan, Beaked Sea Snake or King Cobra.etc to being the most dangerous snake - it comes down to opinion in the end.

Originally posted by Praetor

The Black Mamba meets all these criteria to varying degrees and I am strongly considering voting for it. However there are other snakes that meet these criteria such as the  Indian saw-scaled viper which as the name suggests lives in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan etc. Though not as fast as the Black Mamba it may well live in a more populated area then the African savannah (though admittedly a large portion of the saw-scaled vipers live in the desert) It also comes out in large number after rain which in the non-desert parts of India is very common. So I will hold my vote for now as the candidates are examined more closely.

Well the snake most notorious for biting people is the Russell's Viper, accounting for over 1000 deaths in Asia each year. It is common in plantations where workers use their hands and walk through long grass.
Other options to consider are the Western Coral Snake Micruroides euryxanthus which is extremely toxic, even more so than the Eastern Coral Snake Micrurus fulvius. The Western Coral Snake is a shy snake and is rarely seen, but if bitten, there is no anti venom available for this species which in my opinion makes him an extremely dangerous snake. With coral snakes you can be bitten and 'envenomated' and not have any reaction for several hours (up to 24 hours or more) but once the venom does begin to react it reacts very quickly. Corals snake venom contains neurotoxins which will paralyze it's victim eventually killing it from cardiac/respiratory arrest.
The list goes on...

Originally posted by Leonidas

i voted for inland Taipan purely for venom strength. i can be biased.  im not handing that deadliest snake award to any other country as we have soo many here

I'd be perfectly content with going along with the Fierce Snake (Inland Taipan) being the most dangerous, there isn't really much difference, when it comes down to it. Overall, we Aussies annihilate the competition in terms of dangerous snakes.

Originally posted by Leonidas

Why arent more sea snakes included? then we have a real competition.
Originally posted by Squire

because its on land snakes

Squire, the Sea Krait is on there is it not - that's not an entirely terrestrial snake. Either way, the Beaked Sea Snake should be on the list...and possibly yellow bellied Sea Snake. Good list still, because people can bring up those non mentioned.

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  Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Apr-2007 at 09:15
The Eastern Cotton Mouth,  80% deadly without treatment and can be extremely agressive.  It's most commonly found in the Southeast US, with a sub specie found in Florida.  It's also called a Water Moccasin.
 
 
 


Edited by red clay - 14-Apr-2007 at 09:28
"Arguing with someone who hates you or your ideas, is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter what move you make, your opponent will walk all over the board and scramble the pieces".
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  Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Apr-2007 at 09:26
The Eastern Cottonmouth would have to be a contender too. I would say that being bitten by one of them and surviving would be amongst the worst.
An Eastern Cottonmouth has haemotoxic enzymes and other proteins that are present in the venom. Haemotoxins have horrific consequences, as the haemotoxins attack the red blood cells and muscles/tissues and organs. Haemolysis occurs and terrible tissue destruction follows. Haemotoxins cause a far slower and more painful death, as you do not become paralyzed (neurotoxins).
The Russell's Viper mentioned above also has haemotoxins.

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Edited by Knights - 14-Apr-2007 at 09:31
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  Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Apr-2007 at 14:18
I voted King Brown due to it's aggressive temper but... I am sure that any snake which has enough willpower will kill a man... (oh.. how I loved "Snakes On a Plane".... "I've had it with these motha****ing snakes on this motha****ing plane..":D
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  Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Apr-2007 at 22:55
Originally posted by Knights

Difficult question to answer really.
The most potent is the Inland Taipan, or Fierce Snake (I think you have it on the poll as 'Western Taipan').
The most aggressive is harder to classify as it is variable to a further extent. I would go with the Eastern Brown Snake (Australia), King Brown or the Black Mamba - they have serious attitude problems.
Large Pythons only pose a real threat if we stumble upon them in their element, like Anacondas in a swamp.
If I had to go for one snake that I think poses the most serious threat to humans, I wouldn't go past the Black Mamba, of Africa's savannah.
Black Mambas are aggressive snakes that can sprint up to 20km/h - as fast as the average human. In addition to this, they are one of the most venomous snakes in the world.
A Black Mambas bite delivers cardiotoxins (which attack the functioning of heart muscles) and neurotoxins (which disrupt the regular functioning of the nervous system), though as with all venomous snakes, 50% of strikes deliver 'dry bites' (no venom is discharged).
As far as I know, the Black Mamba's bite has a 100% mortality rate if untreated...the highest of any snake
So for me, the Black Mamba takes the cake.



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  Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Apr-2007 at 23:23
Originally posted by rider

I voted King Brown due to it's aggressive temper but... I am sure that any snake which has enough willpower will kill a man...

King Brown...I always thought Eastern Browns to be more aggressive, could be wrong though. Any snake that has the willpower will kill a man? How about the Antillean Thread Snake of the West-Indies?Tongue


After some research, I have compiled a short overview of the top 3 most dangerous snakes, in my opinion. (No particular order, and sketchy at this stage)

Black Mamba Dendroaspis polylepis

Growing up to 3.5m, this streamlined brown-grey elapid[1] is famed for its ability to reach speeds of up to 20km/h over short bursts faster than the average human. Considered by most experts (Hunter 1999; Johnson 2000) to be the most aggressive of all snakes, the Black Mamba commonly attacks unprovoked.
Black Mambas are Proteroglyphs, meaning they have small, stationary front fangs. These fangs deliver deadly neurotoxins and cardiotoxins.
Neurotoxins disrupt the proper functioning of the nervous system and brain, by destroying neurons. The cardiotoxins affect the heart muscles, disallowing the heart to pump at full efficiency and resulting in heart failure and cardiac arrest.
Prior to antivenom, 100% of Black Mambas bites were fatal, while 100% of victims die nowadays if not medicated rapidly. The neurotoxins/cardiotoxins are very fast acting.
The Black Mamba is an aggressive, fast and extremely venomous snake, efficiently killing victims with rapid speed.



Fierce Snake Oxyuranus scutellatus

Contrary to its name, the Fierce Snake is a timid and docile inhabitant of the inner regions of Australia. Despite possessing the most potent venom of all snakes, this elapid has never caused a fatality. A very effective antivenin has been developed.
Again, the Taipan has extremely neurotoxic venom, working very quickly to disrupt the nervous system and causing entire paralysis.
Though not aggressive, it will attack when provoked and arch into the position from which its namesake is derived fierce.



Saw Scaled Viper
Echis carinatus

A very small viper native to Central Asia, Middle East and India. As a genus, Saw Scaled Vipers cause the most fatalities each year (See Appendix 1). Not known for unprovoked attacks, the Saw Scaled Viper is a crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk) Solenoglyph (huge movable frontal fangs able to be rotated out 180 degrees). When alarmed they rub their rough scales together to make a shrilling noise.
As most vipers are, the Saw Scaled is haemotoxic causing a slow and extremely agonising death. Of the more dangerous systemic symptoms, hemorrhage and coagulation defects are the most striking. Hematemesis, melena, hemoptysis, hematuria and epistaxis also occur and may lead to hypovolmic shock. Almost all patients develop oliguria or anuria within a few hours to as late as 6 days post bite. In some cases, kidney dialysis is necessary due to acute renal failure, but this is not often caused by hypotension. It is more often the result of intravascular haemolysis, which occurs in about half of all cases. In other cases, acute renal failure is often caused by disseminated intravascular coagulation[2]. In summary, if you get bitten, youre dead.




Other Honourable Mentions - Venomous

Russell's Viper
Fer-De-Lance (Lancehead)
Water Moccasin
Banded Sea Krait
King and Eastern Brown Snake
Boomslang
Spitting Cobra (Several species)
Beaked Sea Snake
Egyptian Cobra
Mohave Rattlesnake
Numerous more...

Other Honourable Mentions - Non Venomous

Green Anaconda
Yellow Anaconda
Reticulated Python
Indian Rock Python
African Rock Python
Burmese Python

It really is a terribly hard thing to judge, and I'm up for opinions and disagreements.

Appendix

Common Name Number of
Deaths Per Year (approximate)

Asian cobras - 15,000

Saw scaled vipers - 10,000

Russells viper - 5,000

Kraits - 3,000

Lance-headed vipers - 3,000

Sources

Burnie, D. (2004). "Animal - the definitive visual guide" Dorling Kindersley, London. pp376-399
Haji, R. (2000). "Venomous Snakes and Snake bite" <http://www.zoocheck.com/programs/exotic/venom/AppendixA.shtml> 15/4/07
Appleby, Y. Finlay, P. (2000). "Bad asp terrorizes Toronto community", The Globe and Mail, p. A18.


[1] Family: Elapidae.  Species: 291. Accounting for less than 1/10 of all snake species, all elapids are venomous and include cobras, mambas, kraits, sea snakes. Classified by the positioning of the fangs in the jaw.

[2] Ali G, Kak M, Kumar M, Bali SK, Tak SI, Hassan G, Wadhwa MB. 2004. Acute renal failure following echis carinatus (sawscaled viper) envenomation. Indian Journal of Nephrology 14:177-181

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Edited by Knights - 14-Apr-2007 at 23:27
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  Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2007 at 01:04
I just watched Steve Irwin's Top Ten Deadliest (Most Venomous) Snakes in the World Documentary, and to no surprise, all of them are in Australia.

It is available on YouTube in 3 parts:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

The order of top ten deadliest snakes varies from website to website, so I thought I'd take the experts opinion, that of Steve. Here is the list he presents. Please note, this is the ten most venomous, which is fact based on LD50* testing/sampling and the like. The ten most dangerous are more subjective, and open to interpretation.

10) Western Brown Snake (Aus) Pseudonaja nuchalis
9) Death Adder (Aus) Acanthophis cummingi
8) Giant/Chappel Island Tiger Snake (Aus) Notechis ater serventyi
7) Western Australian Tiger Snake (Aus) Notechis ater occidentalis
6) Beaked Sea Snake (Aus) Enhydrina schistosa
5) Revesby Island Tiger Snake (Aus) Notechis ater niger
4) Eastern/Common Tiger Snake (Aus) Notechis scutatus
3) Coastal/Eastern Taipan (Aus) Oxyuranus scutellatus
2) Eastern/Common Brown Snake (Aus) Pseudonaja textilis
1) Fierce Snake or Inland/Western Taipan (Aus) Oxyuranus microlepidotus

However, the relative toxicity of the top ten most venomous snakes differs to Steve's slightly, according to Venom researcher Peter Mirtschin of Australia:

Inland Taipan                                            

Oxyuranus microlepidotus
 50.0

Common Brown Snake                              

Pseudonaja textilis
12.5

Taipan                                                         

Oxyuranus scutellatus
 7.8

Reevesby Is. Tiger Snake                           

Notechis ater niger
5.1

Common Tiger Snake                                  

Notechis scutatus
4.2

Western Tiger Snake                                    

Notechis ater occidentalis
4.0

Beaked sea snake                                     

Enhydrina schistosa
2.9

Chappell Is. Tiger Snake                            

Notechis ater serventyi
1.8

Common death adder                               

Acanthophis antarcticus
1.5

Western Brown Snake                               

Pseudonaja nuchalis
1.5

The reason for differing results is probably due to varying discharge of venom during LD50 testing. The only difference is the Eastern Tiger Snake and Revesby Island Tiger Snake, who have alternated no.4 and 5.

So there you have it, a pretty comprehensive overview of the world's most venomous (not dangerous!) snakes.

Slightly off-topic, this is Knights's favourite snake, the beautiful Black Headed Python Aspidites melanocephalus, of Australia. They have such a docile and friendly nature.


Such magnificent colouration and markings ^

* Lethal Dose per 50% of tested population. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LD50

I know Squire voted Reticulated Python, Leonidas, Fierce Snake, Rider, King Brown Snake and myself, the Black Mamba. May I ask which other two people voted for the Black Mamba?Smile

- Knights -

EDIT: Scientific names sourced from: Burnie, D. (2004). "Animal - the definitive visual guide" Dorling Kindersley, London. pp378-399


Edited by Knights - 15-Apr-2007 at 01:17
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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2007 at 07:59
Black mambas are also supposed to be pretty agressive. They get my vote.
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  Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2007 at 09:57
Originally posted by Knights

Slightly off-topic, this is Knights's favourite snake, the beautiful Black Headed Python Aspidites melanocephalus, of Australia. They have such a docile and friendly nature.


Speaking of yourself in third-person isn't usually a sign that everything is okay:D...

But... I think that the Mamba should be on the 10 Most Killersnake List.

BTW, do you think that the Green Mamba might have more kills per year than the Black one?
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  Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2007 at 10:08
In this case, it is a sign of good health Thumbs%20Up

I wouldn't imagine that the Green Mamba would cause more fatalities. My reasoning being:
- it is mainly arboreal and does not spend much time on the ground, where humans usually are...
- they are far less aggressive than their Black cousins
- smaller, therefore less of a venom yield
- far less potent venom
 
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  Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2007 at 10:19
Well, but when people climb trees? I think they kill more people in that... (I'd imagine an inter-Mamba trap... Black follows person to a tree, Green ambushes from the tree:D).

BTW, what was the snake that killed one of the Mayans in the Apocalypto? It seemed pretty fierce (attacked without reason)...
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  Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2007 at 10:27
Well, I have not seen Apocalypto, but I think I might have an idea which snake it might be. My guess would either be the...
Common Lancehead Bothrops atrox


or the Bushmaster Lachesis muta


If it doesn't seem to be either of those, let me know, I have a few other options.

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  Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2007 at 10:29
It doesn't seem to be either... I think it had a greenish colour. Not sure however, don't remember well. It wasn't definetly as large as the Bushmaster...

The snake was residing on a tree branch it seemed to, it turned when the person stopped at the tree, bit and jumped to the ground trying to get away.
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  Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2007 at 10:44
Hmmh. I was thinking, perhaps you could also present what you think are the three most poisonous or killing sea snakes in the world (might as well do it to five sea ones). Sea snakes aren't especially common in Europe and it might be more interesting than the ordinary land ones.

Thanks,
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