Monday, 5 October 2009

Australia's Deadly Dozen - The Killers


A survey has been conducted as a part of the launch of the "Sydney Wildlife World’s Dangerous and Deadly Trail", to determine the level of awareness of Aussies when it comes to the country's deadly wildlife.

The results of the survey are quite chilling - most Australians are unable to identify a dangerous spider or snake (22% of men surveyed said that they can identify a dangerous snake, whereas only 6% of women can recognize one by sight).

This really presents a concern, when down-under is home to the world’s most deadly spider and boasts five of the top ten deadliest snakes on the planet.

Furthermore, the survey results indicate that 73% of Australians have personally encountered a snake. 30% have been bitten by a spider.

Time for some serious education, I think!!

AUSTRALIA'S DEADLY DOZEN (Courtesy of News.com.au)
Click on images for full-size image

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12. CONE SNAIL

This underwater snail has a tooth-like stinger which acts like a harpoon. It has enough venom to kill a human as it paralyses the respiratory muscles.

The cone snail's shell is pretty and colourful, so tourists often unknowingly pick them up.

Where: Located in the coastal waters of Australia, cone snails live in mud, sand flats and shallow reef waters / National Geographic Channel

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11. STONEFISH

The most venomous fish in the world, the stonefish is not aggressive, however its proximity to shores and ability to camouflage itself in coral makes it easy for people to accidentally touch or brush against.

It has 13 dangerous spines and a dorsal fin, and when humans are stung it causes death to tissues.

Where: The stonefish is mainly found in the coral reefs, mud, rocks and sand of Western Australia and Queensland / National Geographic Channel

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10. BOX JELLYFISH

This jellyfish has a venom that attacks a human's cardiac and nervous systems and if it stings you, you have virtually no chance of surviving unless treated straight away.

It's tentacles have the ability to sting even when separated from the jellyfish, making it a very dangerous creature.

Where: Box jellyfish are more numerous after rain and move towards the shore in calm waters when the tide is rising. They are commonly found across the northern top of the country as well as Queensland and the northern Western Australia coast / AAP

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9. BLUE-RINGED OCTOPUS

The tiny octopus changes from a muddy orange colour to a vibrant blue when it strikes.

It has venom 10,000 times more toxic than cyanide and can kill in 90 minutes. The size of a golf ball, its beak can penetrate a wetsuit.

Where: The blue-ringed octopus resides in rock pools and coral reefs around the nation / Reuters

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8. SALTWATER CROCODILE

With a jaw this size the crocodile doesn't need venom.

The largest reptile in the world, it is fiercely predatory and has the ability to keep its body concealed underwater until it's ready to strike.

Where: These crocodiles are found on the northern coast of Australia and inland for up to 100 kilometres or more / National Geographic Channel

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7. RED-BACK SPIDER

This spider hides in the dark corners of back sheds, wardrobes and gardens. It's venom blocks nerve impulses, causing severe pain, vomiting, muscular weakness and sweating.

Where: Red-back spiders are found throughout the country, commonly in disturbed and urban areas / National Geographic Channel

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6. FUNNEL-WEB SPIDER

The funnel-web sets up a trip-wire so it knows when prey is passing by, and its venom can kill a human in 15 minutes.

Where: These spiders live in burrows or stumps, tree trunks or ferns. They are found in all states except for Western Australia, but primarily exist along the coast of eastern Australia / Carlos Furtado

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5. TIGER SNAKE

The tiger snake's venom contains neurotoxins which attack the nervous system, paralysing the muscles and causing asphyxiation.

Anti-coagulants also in the venom causes heavy, uncontrollable bleeding.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that 22 people died from snakebites between 1997 and 2006.

Where: Found in coastal environments, wetlands and creeks around Australia / Mike Keating

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4. DEATH ADDER

The bite of a death adder causes paralysis and can kill in under six hours.

If you're unlucky enough to step on one you've very likely to be bitten, with the death adder having the fastest strike of any Australian snake at a quater of a second.

Where: The death adder is found everywhere in the country except for Victoria and Tasmania / Australian Reptile Park

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3. TAIPAN

The taipan snake's venom is one of the most potent of all snake venoms.

They generally stay away from humans but defend themselves fiercely if cornered or threatened. It typically attacks repeatedly, injecting as much venom as possible into the victim's body. This is in contrast to most snakes, who typically flee after attacking.

Where: The common taipan is found in the far north of the country, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

The very rare inland taipan is the most venomous snake in the world, 50 times more toxic than a rattlesnake / National Geographic Channel

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2. EASTERN BROWN SNAKE

The second most venomous snake in the world, the eastern brown is responsible for the most deaths by snakebite in Australia.

In 2007 a 16-year-old boy and nine-year-old girl died after being bitten by eastern brown snakes.

Where: Its tendency to stay close to homes makes it one of the most common snakes humans encounter.

This snake is found along the east coast of Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia / National Geographic Channel

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1. GREAT WHITE SHARK

The world's largest predatory fish, a typical specimen weighs between 700kg and one tonne and is 4 to 5 metres long.

Attacks on humans are rare, but few survive an encounter.

On average there are 15 shark attacks a year in the nation, with about one death each year.

Where: The great white is found along the east and south-west coasts of Australia / National Geographic Channel


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VIDEO: THE GREAT WHITE SHARK (Hold Your Breath)




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1 comment:

Rhett said...

I like it, now I know not to step on a snail or pick up that blue circled octopus while trying to get away from the great white shark! It is good to know about these beasts but the number of people killed is very low, more people get killed by cars. So don't let it keep you from taking a trip and seeing the world! Thanks for the post.
Rhett Out