The most poisonous snakes in the world: eastern brown snake

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The most poisonous snakes in the world: eastern brown snake

The eastern brown snake is considered the second-most venomous terrestrial snake in the world, behind only the inland taipa of central east Australia. It is a snake of the Elapidae family, widespread in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

This snake is considered to be the second most venomous snake on earth based on the hypodermic LD50 value measured in mice. Due to its presence in the suburbs it is the snake responsible for the largest number of deaths in Australia.

In adults, the coloring is very variable. While it is usually a solid shade of brown, it can have several variations including spotted and banded, with a range from very light fawn to black, including orange, silver, yellow and gray.

Juveniles can be bandaged and have a black head, with a lighter band on the shoulders, a black nape, and numerous red-brown spots on the belly. This species has an average length of 1.5-1.8 m and rarely exceeds 2 m. These snakes are often confused with the royal brown snake, sharing the same habitats in many areas.

The eastern brown snake is found in most habitats except dense forests. They are found often in farmland and on the outskirts of urban areas, as such places are populated by their main prey, the house mouse. The species is oviparous.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies the snake as a least-concern species. The eastern brown snake is found along the east coast of Australia, from Malanda in far north Queensland, along the coasts and inland ranges of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and to the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia.

Disjunct populations occur on the Barkly Tableland and the MacDonnell Ranges in the Northern Territory and the far east of the Kimberley in Western Australia, and discontinuously in parts of New Guinea, specifically northern Milne Bay Province and Central Province in Papua New Guinea, and the Merauke region of Papua Province, in the Indonesian part of New Guinea.

It is common in southeastern Queensland between Ipswich and Beenleigh. Clinically, the venom of the eastern brown snake causes venom-induced consumption coagulopathy; a third of cases develop serious systemic envenoming including hypotension and collapse, thrombotic microangiopathy, severe haemorrhage, and cardiac arrest.