Venomous Animals! There is something scary when we hear that term, but still each of these animals is beautiful and unique in their own way.
Venomous animals can be found in different parts of the world. Australia has lots of unique and special animals and many are not venomous or poisonous. But Australia also does have quite a few unique venomous animals that only live in this particular country. In this post, we will look at just 12 of the special venomous and dangerous creatures that live in Australia.
Let’s begin with two of the venomous snakes that live in this part of the world!
01. Inland Taipan Snake
The Inland Taipan is the deadliest and most poisonous snake in the whole world!
You really shouldn’t be too worried though about being bitten by an inland taipan as it is usually quite shy and stays hidden if it can.
This taipan can be found throughout the central regions of Australia that are very hot and dry.
In these arid areas the ground is hard and dry with hardly any plants or places for the snake to hide. So the inland taipan looks for cracks in the dry soil and slithers in to these holes. The cracks protect the snake from the hot sun and also from predators.
Small mammals and rodents, like rats and mice, are usually what this snake likes to eat. Sometimes, they may also eat small birds.
The inland taipan is also called the Fierce snake. This is because it strikes its prey multiple times quickly in a very short time. Sometimes this taipan can inject venom into its prey up to seven times one after the other!
02. Red-Bellied Black Snake
When people think of snakes in Australia, the Red-Bellied Black Snake is one that comes to mind. This is because this snake is quite common along the East cost of Australia and can even be found in built-up urban areas looking for something to eat.
Look and see how the tummy of the snake is a bright red color that stands out well against the black body!
The red-bellied black snake is not a social creature, and they have been known to eat others of their own species when food is scarce.
Most of the time their general diet is frogs, but they also eat lizards, small mammals, small birds and even fish sometimes! Since they love to eat frogs, they can often be found slithering around near large bodies of water.
In recent years, advances in antivenom (also called antivenene or antivenin) have meant that the bite of this particular snake isn’t deadly. But you should still seek immediate medical treatment if you are bitten. The doctors can then give you the antivenom to help reverse the impact of the snake bite.
03. Redback Spider
The Redback Spider is a very dangerous spider living throughout most of Australia. Despite being a very small spider they still have a venomous bite!
The females are bigger than the males. Female redbacks can reach around lcm (04 inch) in length and males about half that at 4-5mm (0.2 inch).
Here is a redback spider in its web protecting its egg sac.
It is not uncommon to find redback spiders devouring a lizard every so often. Most of the time they normally stick to eating insects.
A unique fact about this Australian spider is that they are one of only a few spiders where the female will eat the male shortly after mating. Not very pleasant for the male spider!
Their bite is painful for humans, but it is unlikely it will end up killing you. Small children are likely to be hurt more by the redback spider’s venom than an adult due to their small size.
Generally speaking, it is only the females who bite. This is probably due to the fact that the male spider is quite small.
04. Australian Funnel-Web Spider
The Australian Funnel-Web Spider is a medium sized spider found throughout Australia. They can even grow quite large in size. Anything from lcm (0.4 inch) all the way up to 5cm (2 inches) body length! So this is no tiny spider like the redback!
The name comes from the way these spiders build their home. They spin their web so that it looks like a web funnel. Any insect or creature that enters this funnel needs to be ware as it is likely to be their final trip!
There are lots of different species of this spider, but the Sydney Funnel-Web Spider has been known to cause the most deaths! People that live around Sydney are often afraid of this little Aussie creature, as their bite is very painful.
They have incredibly powerful fangs that can even pierce through shoes! So even walking in the garden can be dangerous if a funnel-web spider is out and about.
Funnel-web spiders spend most of their time living under rocks, which means they are incredibly common in gardens. So gardeners in the Sydney region of New South Wales need to be very careful.
Many times these spiders fall into swimming pools. The can survive under the water for long periods of time – even hours. So people need to be very careful when removing them from the water as the spider can still inflict a painful bite!
The Sydney version of this spider is regarded as being the deadliest spider in the entire world! Even though it is one of the world’s most venomous animals, antivenom advances have meant that deaths are very rare nowadays. No one has known to have died for over thirty years. So that is a good thing!
If someone is bitten then they need to follow first- aid techniques straight away to stop the venom spreading through the body! They then need to be taken as quickly as possible to the local hospital for treatment.
05. Australian Scorpion
Australian Scorpions belong to a group of arachnids found all around Australia. In fact there are about a hundred different species of scorpions in this country alone.
Some are very small, but the biggest scorpion in Australia can grow to around 12cm (4.7 inches) long!
Have a look at this scorpion carrying all its babies on its back. This keeps the young scorpions safe until they grow larger.
Scorpion with babies on back Image from rarvesen at FlickrSome of these scorpions live in forests and bush, while others prefer the hot, dry deserts.
The ones that are found in the forests tend to live in and around tree logs or under rocks. They sometimes even wander into people’s gardens.
The scorpions that live in the desert burrow underneath the ground for protection from the heat and sun.
While all scorpions are dangerous, it is the ones in the north of the country that tend to hold the strongest poison.
Scorpions tend to have a fairly bad reputation. There are very few species of scorpion in Australia that can actually deliver a fatal blow to a person. Normally it will just cause pain in the victim.
Some people even have scorpions as pets!
06. Jack Jumper Ants
Jumper Ants can be found throughout much of south east Australia and the south-west corner of Western Australia. These ants are also especially common in all of Tasmania.
They are also called the Jack Jumper Ant or the Hopper Ant. Their names come from the fact that if you annoy them they will become very aggressive! When they get angry they can easily jump around 10cm (4 inches!) over and over again! So watch out if you get close to their nest!
Jumper ants usually grow to about lcm (0.4 inch) long. They also have very good vision.
One of the unique things about this ant is that unlike some other species out there, they spend the majority of their time gathering food on their own. However, they will bring the food back to fairly large colonies to share it.
They eat almost any small insect they can find, with wasps being one of their favorite meals.
Their venom is similar to that of a bee or wasp sting, which means it can cause death if an allergic reaction occurs. This ant sting is also a lot more painful than a bee sting!
Even though these ants have nasty nippers to bite with, they inject their poisonous venom through stinging their victim!
07. Fire Ants
There are almost 300 different species of Fire Ants around the world. Most of these fire ants are not dangerous to humans and are not invasive.
The main problem is the red imported fire ants! They are not native to Australia and originally come from South America. Today they are a major problem in Australia and other countries around the world, including the United States of America!
Fire ants get their name from the fact that their stings are very painful and feel like fire shooting through your body!
Red imported fire ants vary in size from a small 1.5mm up to 6mm (1/16 to 3/16 inch). So they are not overly big, but the danger comes from the fact that they live in colonies where there may be up to 200,000 ants!
So if you are near a fire ant nest and upset an ant then it will quickly be joined by thousands of family members who will all then attack and sting!
They tend to live in areas that are along the coastline, as they love burrowing into the wet, moist soil to build their nest.
Fire ants are omnivores. They eat caterpillars and other insects. Seeds are also a part of these ants’ diet. They can also come together as a group and attack an animal, kill it and then eat it all up!
Like most types of ant, their colony is led by a queen, who can often produce over one million eggs in her lifetime. This of course means that a fire ant infestation can get out of control pretty fast!
Have a look at what can happen when a person is attacked by a colony of these very aggressive ants! Sometimes people are left with permanent scars from these many ant stings.
Most people that do get stung can treat the stings at home, but if the victim is allergic then they need to go straight to hospital.
08. Banded Sea Krait
The Banded Sea Krait is a sea snake that lives in the seawaters around Australia and the surrounding region. These snakes like the shallow waters off the coast of New South Wales and Queensland.
Did you know that all sea snakes are very venomous? Some sea snakes are even ten times more venomous than the rattlesnake! Now that is strong venom!
This sea krait likes to eat small fish, crabs, squid and even eels. In fact, eels are probably their favorite. They come out at night to search for what they are going to eat. During the day, they are not as active as night time.
These dangerous sea creatures are very good swimmers and they also can hold their breath for a long time. About every 15 minutes these sea kraits need to swim back up to the surface to take a breath.
Female banded sea kraits grow bigger then the males. Females can be as long as 150cm (5 foot) and males only grow to a maximum of 100cm (3.3 foot).
Banded sea kraits have strong venom, but since they are such a gentle snake people do not usually get bitten. They would normally only attack a human if they felt threatened or in danger.
If anyone was to be bitten then they would need to apply a pressure bandage straight away and then go to the hospital for further treatment as the venom is very strong!
09. Australian Blue Bottle Jellyfish
Australian Blue Bottles are quite small relative to other jellyfish. They can be found in the waters off the coast of Australia.
It is very common to find blue bottle jellyfish washed up onto Australia’s sandy beaches. Even after they have been on the dry sand for a while the blue bottle’s tentacles can still sting anyone that touches them!
Blue bottles use their long tentacles to grab their prey, such as small fish or other marine creatures. After the prey is paralyzed the blue bottle eats it.
This unusual marine creature varies in size. The float part of the body, called a sail, can vary from about 2cm (0.8 inch) all the way up to 15cm (6 inches).
The blue bottle’s tentacles also vary in length. They can be as short as 15cm (6 inches) up to 10m (33 foot).
Often swimmers can be enjoying the refreshing water along the coast when a blue bottle will come and wrap its tentacles around their body. Once the tentacles attach to the victim the blue bottle begins to inject the venom.
No one has died in Australia from blue bottle stings; they just cause a lot of pain! Every summer these small, blue venomous creatures sting over 10,000 people around Australia!
10. Box Jellyfish
Box Jellyfish are without a doubt one of the most lethal creatures in the world. Quite often their venom can kill a human being who only comes into brief contact with one.
These dangerous jellyfish are often called marine stingers.
They are different from other jellyfish because they don’t just drift with the current. Instead they can swim quite fast, often catching small fish to eat along the way.
Box jellyfish are carnivores and live on a diet of fish, shrimp, prawns and even other jellyfish, which they sting and paralyze and then eat.
From what we know, it is only Sea Turtles who are resistant to the venom of the Box Jellyfish. These turtles often eat them as food.
They can be found along the tropical coasts of eastern Australia, all around the Great Barrier Reef and also across the top of Australia as well.
They can often cause quite a problem for divers and tourists visiting these beautiful tropical areas. Most of the time the stings do not result in death, but rather just very painful stings! But death can still occur if enough venom is injected into the victim!
At least 64 people have died after being stung by the box jellyfish in Australian tropical waters since 1883!
It is characterized by the spikes that stick out of its body. It is these spikes that are very poisonous to the touch.
Their diet is normally made up of small fish, and other small creatures they can get their mouth around.
Crustaceans, such as prawns and shrimp are also a popular dinner item.
They have been observed to be fantastic at hunting. They are also one of the few fish species that is known to eat its young. So lionfish are actually cannibals!
Lionfish are one of only a few fish in the Great Barrier Reef system that is poisonous to divers and swimmers. When someone is stung they can feel pain as well as feeling sick, like they need to throw up. Sometimes the venom even causes the victim to experience paralysis and convulsions.
The population of this fish is increasing rapidly at the moment. But its poisonous nature means that people are constantly trying to work to get their numbers under control.
12. Sea Urchin
The Sea Urchin is a spiny animal, cylindrical in shape, which lives at the bottom of the tropical seas surrounding Australia.
The spines around the body are designed to protect the Sea Urchin from predators. Venom is stored in these hollow spines. When the spines stick into someone the venom enters the victim and causes a lot of pain.
Sea urchins come in different colors and shapes depending on the species. Some have longer spines than others.
They are omnivores and eat algae that grow on the rocks and coral in the water. Decaying dead fish and other sea creatures also form part of the sea urchin’s diet.
This spiny sea creature can live a long time. Some species live over 100 years!
There is no real way to tell the difference between the male and females of the species just by looking. Both male and female sea urchins look the same.
When the sea urchin dies and the spines all fall off then a beautiful shell is left behind. These shells come in a variety of different colors and are often found washed up on beaches.