Okay, let’s kick off 2012 with my favourite subject.
The Coastal Taipan is one of Australia’s most dangerous snakes. This very reclusive reptile is rarely spotted, even up north where it is believed to be much more common.
Where I live, which is Western Suburbs of Brisbane, we have plenty of snakes. I had a snake in my house recently, you may recall.
There have been many reported sightings of the Coastal Taipan in this area, but none have officially been recorded as being found here.
About 5 kilometres from where I live is a suburb called Pullenvale. When local snake catcher Bryan Robinson caught a Coastal Taipan at a property there, it was the first ever recorded in the Brisbane Western Suburbs and the closest Coastal Taipan to inner Brisbane that’s been found to date.
I’m not surprised there have been many false sightings though. Eastern Browns, quite common around here, and the Coastal Taipan, presumed to be rare, look remarkably similar.
This is the Eastern Brown….
Now you might be thinking “Oh, come on Bob, one’s got a smooth skin and the other one’s scaly!” And that is the problem with snake identification, even snakes of the same species can look very different from each other.
Eastern Browns, for example, come in many shades of brown as well as shades of other colours like grey and charcoal.
This is an image of a Coastal Taipan, courtesy of AllenMcC and taken from the Wikipedia page about Coastal Taipans.
By the way, the top two photographs were taken by me, some time ago, during a visit to the Australia Zoo. That’s the zoo made famous by much missed Steve Irwin, who was also known as “The Crocodile Hunter”.
He was pretty handy with snakes too. For the record, the Coastal Taipan is the third most venomous snake in Australia and the Eastern Brown is second.
Here’s some absolutely stunning footage of Steve with THE most venomous snake in all of Australia, the Inland Taipan, also known as the Fierce Snake. Do not miss this one….