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Mar 16 2016

Australia’s Most Toxic Terrors

10. Bulldog Ant:
One of the toughest insects on earth, the bulldog ant delivers a powerful bite and a painful sting to its victims. These ants live in groups of up to 1,000 but lack the complex social structure of most ant colonies. The Bulldog ant hunts on its own and rarely shares its food.

Lockdown:
The Bulldog ant’s massive spiked jaws open wide and swing closed like a pair of scissors. One bite can kill smaller victims, or the jaws clamp down in an iron grip on larger prey.

Don’t Move:
A toxic sting is this ants primary weapon. While it holds prey in its jaws, the bulldog injects paralyzing venom. The victim is then carried away in the insect’s jaws.

Lonely Hunter:
Rather than feeding on fruits and nectar like some other ants, the bullldog is a hunter and sets out on its own in search of prey. With the ability to jump several times its own body length, this ant can pounce on a victim and inject its paralyzing sting in an instant. A bulldog and will occasionally share its food with larvae in the colony, but otherwise, a hunter’s kill is its own. Even the queen of the mound has to hunt for herself.

Deadly Tracker:
The ants antennae help it locate chemical signals given off by nearby prey. Large compound eyes give the insect great eyesight to spot potential victims.

Lethal Leap:
A slim body helps make the bulldog ant very agile. These insects are so quick that they can even jump, snatch flies from the air and inject their venom on the way back down.

Creature Features:
Genus/Species: Myrmecia/Various
Size: Length up to 1.2 inches
Habitat: Forests and deserts of Australia
Prey: Spiders and small insects
Lifespan: A few weeks for worders, up to 3 years for queens
Did you know?
Like real bulldogs, bulldog ants have powerful jaws and a reputation for never letting go.

9. Blue-Ringed Octopus
The blue-ringed octopus seems tiny and delicate, but this crafty sea creature has enough poison to kill an animal as big as a horse with a single bite. The octopus often hides in and around coral reefs and when threatened, shows off its blue rings to warn off attackers.

Packing Poison:
This octopus’ two poison glands are each about as big as the creatures brain. The poison, one of the deadliest of all known toxins, attacks a victim’s central nervous system, causing paralysis and a complete body shutdown.

Fatal Beauty:
The blue rings make the octopus startingly attractive, but the colors are warning. The blue rings enlarge and flash to advertise the creatures toxic threat.

Double Whammy:
Having no bones in its body, the blue ringed octopus can hide in very tiny spaces. When prey happens by, it has a choice of how to make a kill. It can spring out and deliver a poisonous bite, or it can simply release its toxins into the water, killing fish as they take in the poisonous cloud through their gills. The octopus uses its sharp beak to chew up the dead prey.

20/20 and Beyond:
The blue-ringed octopus hunts mainly by sight. It can see so clearly through the water that it instantly recognizes whether passing prey is a favorite food.

Mad Grabber:
The creature cant see into rock crevices, however, so it uses its long tentacles to search for food and grip prey tightly. The suckers on these long arms are sensitive to texture and even taste to let the octopus know when it has found something it wants to eat.
Creature Features:
Species: Hapalochlaena Iunulata
Size:Lengeth up to 8 in, including body and tentacles. Weigth up to 3 ozs
Habitat:Rock pools, and coral reefs in Australia
Prey: Shellfish, small bony fish, crabs, other crustaceans
Lifespan: About 2 years
Did you know?
Octpus tentacles that are cut off in battles with predators will grow back over time

8. Red-Bellied Black Snake:
Like many of the worlds most dangerous creatures, the red-bellied black snake makes its home in Australia. Extremely aggressive, this reptile is just as comfortable chasing prey in trees or in the water as it is on the ground. Bad tempered, red-bellied snakes don’t even get along with each other very well. During mating season, males fight over females in battles that last for hours; other times these snakes try to eat each other.

All Purpose:
The red-bellied black snake is fast on land, chasing prey through plants and even into their burrows to make the kill. This reptile also likes to clu=imb trees and sneak up on birds, and even lies on the bottom of lakes to strike at fish.

Red Flag: When threatened, this snake rears up to flash its bright red belly, which shows that its venomous. If the enemy doesn’t leave, the snake makes a few fake strikes, but will strike for real after a few warnings. Its venom cal kill large animals, even people.

Twisted Dudes:
When its spring in Australia red-bellied black snakes come out to breed. If two males approach the same female, the males start to elaborate battle. The rivals rear up and hiss at each other, then twist their bodies together. When in this position the snakes try to raise their hards above that of their rival so they can strike down at their necks. These fights can last for hours, but one snake usually flees before it is badly injured.

Young and Tender:
The red-bellied black snakes takes food wherever it can find it, and that includes smaller members of its own. Young and old snakes alike are vulnerable to the venom of other red-bellies.

Submarine Snake:
If this snake has to flee from an enemy, it will literally take a dive. The red-belly likes to hide in water- the reptile can stay submerged for more than an hour before needing to take a breath.
Creature Features:
Species: Pseudechis Porphyriacus
Size: Length up to 8.25 feet
Habitat: Forests and swamps in eastern Australia
Prey: Reptiles, frogs, birds, fish, and small mammals
Lifespan: About 20 years
Did you know?
One dose of venom has enough tocins to kill 500 mice.

7. Death Adder:
In the Australian outback, a bulky, lazy snake likes to hide under piles of leaves and debris and wait for easy meals to wander by. The death adder almost always stays out of sight and waits under dirt and leaves to ambush prey. While this snake avoids humans, people who venture into the outback and don’t see this well-hidden snake can accidentally step on it; the adder will strike and has caused human deaths.

Short But Deadly:
The death adders fangs are fixed in place and very short, only 0.3 inches, so the snake doesn’t stab itself when it closes its mouth. Its venom however, is quite strong, quickly paralyzing victims so they can’t breathe.

Fatso:
This snake isn’t a true adder, and its actually a cousin to cobras. Like real adders, though it has a thick body and spends most of its time coiled up under a pile of fallen leaves, patiently waiting for prey to wander by.

Snake Vs. Toad:
The death adder likes to be left alone, and when people settle in remote areas of the outback the snake sneaks off to fin another isolated habitat. This snake has also had its population threatened by the cane toad, which was imported to Australia in 1935. The toads eat baby death adders before they fully develop their venom. Plus, the toads are poisonous, and many adult adders have ben found dead with toads stuck inside their mouths.

Lure’ Em In:
Though this snake is fat, the last few inches of its tail are much thinner. It often wiggles the tip of its tail to attract curious animals, which might think the tail is a worm.

Life and Death:
Deather adder venom can be deadly to people, but it also saves lives. Scientists in Australia catch these snakes and use their venom to create antivenom which can cure the effects of bits from not only death adder but several other venomous snakes.
Creature Features:
Species: Acanthophis/ Various
Size: Length up to 30 inches
Habitat: THe Australian Outback and forests of New Guinea
Prey: Frogs, reptiles, birds, and small mammals
Did you know?
Death Adders venom works slowly on humans- advanced symptoms such as breathing failure may not show for two days after biten.

6. Australian Copperhead:
The Australian copperhead is the king of snakes in the southeastern tip of the continent it is named for. An all-terrain, all-weather snake, this predator moves over land or through water, and even snow. One injection of its deadly venom usually kills small prey instantly. On par with a cobra, the copperhead’s venom can even kill humans if they arent treated immediately.

Tiny Terror:
The Australian copperheads fangs are small, but they’re sharp as needles. They are fixed in place and hollow so the snake can easily inject a deadly dose of venom into a victim’s body.

Cobra Copy:
If threatened by a large predator this snake prefers to escape danger by slithering away. If cornered, however, it rears up, hisses loudly and flattens its head and neck in imitation of a cobra.

Snow Snake:
Unlike most other Australian snakes, these copperheads are well adapted to cold weather. In fact, these are the only snakes in the world that can be found slithering through snow. Like all snakes, they do hibernate through most of the winter, but they go to sleep later than other snakes and wake up before winter actually ends, making sire they grab the juiciest prey available while other predators are still asleep.

Snake Swallower:
Frogs are a staple of Australian copperheads diet, but the snake will eat just about anything it can swallow. This predator has no problem eating other copperheads, even its own young if prey is scarce.

Water World:
The Australian copperhead sometimes slides into lakes to gobble up tadpoles one after another, but leaves enough alive to grow into adults, which it will eat when they are mature.
Creature Features:
Genus/Species: Austrelaps/Various
Size: Length up to 6 ft.
Habitat: Grasslands in southeastern Australia and Tasmania
Prey: Mostly frogs; also small mammals and other snakes.
Lifespan: Up to 10 years
Did you know?

5. Box Jellyfish
More deadly than any shark, the box jellyfish is only a fraction of the man-eater’s size and is barely able to propel itself. This creature, of which there are more than a dozen species, simply drifts through the water, its posion-filled tentacles creating an almost invisible, deadly trail where victims become entangled and quickly die.

Ring-A-Dingy:
The jellyfish’s body, also called the “bell” is made up of an outer and inner later of cells that holds the internal organs. Between it all is a thick mass of “jelly” which is actually a lump of tissue called mesoglea.

Tentacle Trail:
More than 20 tentacles are attached to the bell and dangle behind the jellyfish. Loaded with poison stingers, the tentacles trap prey, then pull victims slowly toward the creature’s mouth.

Long and Lethal:
The box jellyfish may look soft, but its arsenal of weapons is worthy of the toughest army. The tentacles, each stretching up to about 10 ft., are packed with up to 5 billion stinging cells. The jellyfish tries to avoid contact with anything other than prey, but when something bumps into it, the tentacles instinctively fire off their stingers. If a person becomes entangled, he or she can be killed in a matter of minutes.

A Real No-Brainer:
The box jellyfish doesn’t have a brain- reactions to is surroundings automatically performed by a network of nerves running through its body.

See What? Recent discoveries show that the box jellyfish has an eye on each side of its body. Without a brain, however, its unknown what the creature does with its sight.
Creature Features:
Species: Chironex Fleckeri
Size: Body Width 6 in, tentacle length up to 10 ft
Habitat: Warm coastal waters off of nothern Australia
Prey: Shrimp, prawns, and small fish
Lifespan: A few months
Did you know?
In northern Australia, box jellyfish have killed at least 60 people, thats more than shark and corcodile fatalites combined!

4. Sydney Funnel- Web Spider:
The male Sydney funnel-web spider is one of the most feared creatures in Australia. This creature normally hides in a burrow to wait for prey, but often wanders into cities and suburbs where it comes into contact with humans who are vulnerable to its venom. One bite from this spider can kill an adult in a matter of hours.

Hard Hitter:
This spider’s fangs are only one-third of an inch long, but its jaws are heavily muscled. This beast bites down with so much force that its fangs can break through a small animals skull and deliver venom directly to the victims brain.

Stomach Pump:
This predators venom quickly paralyzes its victims and liquefies their insides. The spider uses a small opening behind its jaws to suck up its soupy supper.

City Slicker:
The bite of the male Sydney funnel-web spider doesn’t have much effect on most medium-sized and large animals. Cats and rabbits are barely bothered by the spiders venom, but its toxins are deadly to humans. The predator lives only near the city of Sydney, Australia, and often wanders into people homes when searching for a mate or to flee from heavy rains. At least 13 people are known to have been killed by this spider.

Eat Dirt:
Sydney funnel-web spiders make their homes in natural crevices in the ground or between rocks. When one of these creatures cant find a suitable home, it makes its own by using its fangs to dig a burrow in the soil.

Tripwires: This creature spins a dense web inside its burrow, and places silky strands near the entrance to its home. The spider hides inside, and pops out with its fangs primed when it feels the vibrations of a potential victim passing near by.

Creature Features:
Species: Atrax Robustus
Size: Length up to 2 inch. Legspan up to 3.2 inches
Habitat: Found only around the city of Sydney Australia
Prey: Insects, spiders, reptiles, and frogs.
Did you know?
Female spiders are bigger than males, but only their venom harms small mammls and other prey. Humans are unharmed by her bite.

3. Brown Snake:
In the dangerous Australian outback, an encounter with the brown snake can be doubly deadly. This poisonous snake can not only deliver a dose of deadly toxins, it also will wrap itself around a victim, like a boa constrictor does. Though usually timid, this creature’s bite is especially lethal; the venom slows the victims blood flow and paralyzes the heart and lungs. It can kill a human in a matter of minutes.

Watch Out: Unlike many snakes, the brown snake has highly developed vision. This predator can spot the movement of its prey from about 100 feet away; it then slowly slithers into striking range to make the kill.

Its a Wrap:
This creature seems to have taken a lesson from pythons and boas. Though the brown snake is highly venomous, it sometimes kills by wrapping its coils around prey and squeezing until the victim suffocates.

Heartstopper:
This Australian creature’s venom is one of the deadliest known cocktails of any land-dwelling snake in the world. A single injection from the brown snakes fangs kills small prey within seconds, and can kill humans within half an hour. In larger victims, the snakes bite seems harmless at first. However, the venom quickly begins to clot the blood then attacks the muscle tissue- including the heart. Plus, a series of neurotoxins paralyze the muscles, including those that help the victim beath.

Rind Around The Collar:
Young brown snakes have dark rings around their bodies to help camouflage them from enemies. The rings fade as they mature, once they can defend themselves with their venom.

Cobra Cousin: This snake is related to cobras, and will even try o imitate its cousins. When an enemy strays too close, the brown snake unfolds small ribs in its neck to create a dangerous looking hood.

Creature Features:
Species: Pseudonaja/ Various
Size: Length up to 8 feet
Habitat: All over Australia and parts of New Guinea
Prey: Frogs, reptiles, and small mammals
Lifespan: Up to 15 years

2. Fierce Snake
On a continent full of nasty creatures, the fierce snake of Australia stands out. It delivers some of the most potent posion in the world, even deadlier than a cobras. With sharp fangs and a tendency to deliver multiple bites, the snake strikes incredible fear. Fortunately it lives in isolated areas and is rarely seen by humans.

Easy to I:D.:
The fierce snake is easily identifiable by its coloring. Its body is brown or olive, with a black or dark brown head.

Repeat Offender:
When attacking a large victim, the fierce snake never settles for just one bite. This snake strikes several times, injecting a lethal dose of poison with every bite.

The Deadliest Snake:
The fierce snake carries the most toxic poison of any land snake in the world. When the fierce snake bites, its poison paralyzes the victims nervous system, clots blood and prevents muscle movement in a deadly triple threat. Luckily, this creature would rather slither away from larger creatures than strike when possible.

Give Me A S:
When threatened, and unable to make an escape, this snake lifts the front part of its body off the ground and rears into an S-Shaped striking position with its head pointing directly at the target.

Home Invasion:
After swallowing a rat, the fierce snake may take shelter in its victims burrow. It digests its meal, stays out of the harsh sun and lays in wait for another unlucky rat.
Creature Features:
Species: Oxyuranus Microlepidotus
Size: Length up to 8 ft
Habitat: Desert and scrubland in the middle of Australia
Prey: Mostly long-haired rats, other small mammals
Lifespan: About 20 years
Did you know?
The fierce snake was discovered by westerners in the 1800s, but was hardly seen agaun until the 1900s.

1. Sea Krait:
By day sea krait hangs out on land, curled up on rock near the waters edge, but by night it lives up to its name. This highly poisonous snake swims underwater in search of food; its specializes in hunting slippery eels, as well as other fish. Usually found near coral reefs, the sea krait captures even the most elusive prey by delivering a venomous bite that paralyzes the victim. Fortunately, for humans the sea krait usually shies away when approached by swimmers or divers.

Fish Tail:
All sea snakes have flattened tails to help them swim, but the krait’s tail is even more specialized. Its tail has flat scaled that grow from top and bottom, making it look more like a fish’s fin than a snakes tail.

Small & Deadly:
A sea kraits venom is among the most toxic found in the wild. The snake injects its venom into prey through small fangs; once bitten, a victim has only minutes to live. One dose can kill up to 10 humans.

Turf and Surf:
Despite its name, the sea krait spends quite a lot of time on land. Females lay their eggs on land, usually in damp caves, so the kraits life actually begins out of water. The snake likes to spend most days on a rock, where it can soak up heat from the sun to give it energy to hunt. Also, the sea kraits belly is lined with wide, flat scales that help it crawl over land. When it enters the water, its thoroughly at home as well. The snakes rounded body and fin-like tail make it an excellent swimmer.

Daring Diver:
Sea kraits can’t breathe in water, so small flaps cover their nostrils when beneath the surface. These snakes usually dive for about 15 minutes at a time, though they only have to poke their nostrils above the water to take in a new oxygen supply.

Through The Cracks:
The front portion of this sea serpent’s body is especially narrow so the predator can slip into the cracks and crevices in a coral reef. Eels and small fish often hide in these areas, and the krait can easily snatch them up.

Creature Features:
Genus/Species: Laticauda/Various
Size: Length up to 4.5 ft
Habitat: Shallow seas between asia and northern Australia
Prey: Mostly eels, also small fish
Lifespan: About 5 years
Did you know?
The sea krait was named after the land krait, a snake that lives in Asia. Both snakes have bright striped bodies.

Would you still visit Australia after seeing these toxic animals? Let us know in the comments below! Don’t forget to subscribe. As always, thanks for watching.