Other Bits and Pieces:
These snakes seem to slough more than any snake I have seen in the 13 months I have had them they have sloughed 14 times and 17 times retrospectively. At one stage the snakes would slough have clear eyes for a week and then become milky again. I know it sounds like I "pumped" these snakes but I have not. A fellow colleague over here in Oz has had them reach over 1800mm in one year. Taipans are the only snake that I have seen to actually know who its owner is. I handle the snakes without a problem and they are very calm and relaxed around me. When another person is in the room the snakes become far more nervous and jumpy. Why this is so, I am as stumped as everyone else is; maybe they are just that little bit more advanced than most other elapids for example, the Black Snake genus Pseudechis.
I hope this article has helped any future keepers of the Oxyuranus genus. The fact that I keep these elapids does not mean they are suitable for most keepers. They are quick, intelligent, very nervous and deadly. When I bought these snakes I was warned of their demeanour after now keeping them for over a year I quickly believe they earned his nickname of poison-pogo sticks. If you do wish to keep this particular species get in contact with numerous people who already keep the species and ask every question possible. Have lots of anti-venom on hand as well as some luck because if you are hit don't guarantee you will survive. Many people survive their bite's here in Australia, but many do die in New Guinea. Taipans deserve the reputation they have.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The taipans are snakes of the genus Oxyuranus in the elapid family. They are large, fast-moving, highly venomous, and endemic toAustralasia. There are currently three recognized species, one of which, the coastal taipan, has two subspecies. The taipans are considered some of the most deadly known snakes.
Inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus)
Scientific classification :
The common name, taipan, was coined by anthropologist Donald Thomson after the word used by theWik-Mungkan Aboriginal people of central Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia.
Species and geographic ranges :
The three known species are: the coastal taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus), the inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus), and a recently discovered third species, the Central Ranges taipan (Oxyuranus temporalis). The coastal taipan has two subspecies: the coastal taipan (O. s. scutellatus), found along the northeastern coast of Queensland, and the Papuan taipan (O. s. canni), found on the southern coast of Papua New Guinea.
Their diets consist primarily of small mammals, especially rats and bandicoots.
Species of this genus possess highly neurotoxic venom with some other toxic constituents that have multiple effects on victims. The venom is known to paralyze victim's nervous system and clot the blood, which then blocks blood vessels and uses up clotting factors. Members of this genus are considered to be among the most venomous land snakes based on their murine LD50, an indicator of the toxicity on mice. The inland taipan is considered to be the most venomous land snake and the coastal taipan, which is arguably the largest Australian venomous snake, is the third-most venomous land snake. The central ranges taipan has been less researched than other species of this genus, so the exact toxicity of its venom is still not clear, but it may be even more venomous than the other taipan species. Apart from venom toxicity, quantities of venom delivered should also be taken into account for the danger posed. The coastal taipan is capable of injecting a large quantity of venom due to its large size.
A coastal taipan.
In 1950, Kevin Budden, an amateur herpetologist, was one of the first people to capture a taipan alive, although he was bitten in the process and died the next day. The snake, which ended up dying a few weeks later, was milked by Melbourne zoologist David Fleay and its venom used to develop an antivenom, which became available in 1955.
Temperament also varies from species to species. The inland taipan is generally shy while the coastal taipan can be quite aggressive when cornered and will actively defend itself.
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Steve Irwin Plays With Inland Taipan (Fierce Snake)
INLAND TAIPAN / FIERCE SNAKE
Adult Size: Commonly 6 feet, but reaching at least 8 feet
Range: This rare and poorly understood species is found in eastern Australia from the interior of Queensland south to northwestern New South Wales (where now possibly extinct) and as an isolated population in South Australia.
Habitat: This large venomous snake is a species of dry plains, where it often is found in burrows of native rats. Oddly, though it was described in 1879, it was not rediscovered until 1967, when its bite almost killed the first person to see it in almost a century.
Captive Lifespan: 8 to 12 Years
Care Level: Advanced
Though large, the inland taipan is a relatively sedentary snake that spends much of its time in hiding. A single specimen could be housed in a large terrarium at least 4 to 6 feet long and 4 feet high; make sure there is sufficient room to safely clean the terrarium. The substrate should not hold too much moisture. Keep the terrarium between 78 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, with a small drop at night. One or two basking lamps should be available over a basking spot for this diurnal species. A large, lockable hide box is a must, and a switch box should also be available.
In nature, the inland taipan feeds on a variety of small marsupials as well as the local native rat species, and in captivity it usually will take small to large rats.
Although it is rare and seldom kept even in Australia, this species has gained a reputation as one of the most venomous snakes. No human fatalities are recorded, but certainly the inland taipan is large enough to have a fatal bite like that of its close relative the coastal taipan, Oxyuranus scutellatus.
THE COASTAL TAIPAN
OXYURANUS SCUTELLATUS SCUTELLATUS
courtesy to : www.venomousreptiles.org/articles/49By Scott Eipper
Coastal Taipans, Oxyuranus scutellatus, are large elapids from Australia, Irian Jaya and Papua New Guinea. They are fast diurnal elapids that hunt down their prey quickly and efficiently. This article is just a general run down about my personal experiences with these elapids over the past year or so that I have had them. I obtained the snakes as juveniles (about 450 mm) and they are now at 1300mm and 1560 mm retrospectively. I am now cooling the snakes this year however I don't believe they will breed due to their age.
I started off by housing these snakes in top opening cages (400X600X600mm) with a substrate of newspaper, a ceramic water bowl and a trap box. The cages where heated by 1 40 watt light bulb with the thermostat set at 31 degrees Celsius. A 12-inch fluorescent tube wired via a timer provided the snakes with a photoperiod of 12 hrs light/darkness. These cages worked very well until the snakes reached the 1200mm mark, when the snakes where continually flying out of the cage to get their rats, not the safest practise. The snakes are now housed in the same sort of enclosure, just a larger version (800X800X600mm). They still fly out but it's a better cage for them.
From the start they ate fuzzy mice. They where fed at 4 day intervals, the average feed consisting of 3 fuzzy mice. This continued for 3 months by which time they had both reached about 750 mm. I have never seen any snake eat so much food and sh*t so much - a lot of work. The mice where fed off dead but I could not resist timing the time from strike to death on one occasion, 3 seconds! After seeing this you can develop a whole new respect for venomous snakes of this type, completely amazing snakes. Now at the age of 13 months they are eating adult rats cruising around always after another. The feeding behaviour of these snakes is very interesting. They seem to study their prey before one or two lightning fast accurate strikes, hitting their mark (the head or shoulders) and then waiting for the prey to die. They follow the prey scent before eating the mouse/rat headfirst. They usually defecate within 2 days of feeding at which time they start to cruise again looking for their next meal. Something I have not noticed with other snakes is that they change their feeding behaviour with age, Coastal Taipans do. As juveniles they strike and hold on to the prey item where as adults they release it. I imagine this is an evolutionary trait to protect themselves from the sharp teeth of mice, rats and other small mammals, which they prey upon in the wild.
World's Most Dangerous Snake Coastal Taipan (Oxyuranus s. scutellatus) venom extraction at KRZ