Here is some cheerful reading material for you to look at while I am otherwise engaged, (staring at the white line in the centre of the road) for about 2300 Klms over the next few days.
I’ll post again when the opportunity arises.
Spiders and Snakes.
We are blessed with, or should that read cursed by, having many of the worlds deadliest spiders and snakes here in Australia.This shouldn’t be as alarming as it may sound though, for all the arachnids and reptiles that are capable of so much destruction the incidence of deaths from bites is really quite small.
As can be seen in the following statistics it is much more dangerous to drive or swim or even to gambol in a field of flowers, where a bee might sting you.
Human Deaths in Australia Between 1980-1990, Inclusive (from Stevens & Paxton, 199
Cause of Death
Average per year
Scuba Diving Accidents
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Number of deaths by Spider bites?
In Australia, only male Sydney Funnel Web Spiders and Redback Spiders have caused human deaths, since anti venoms were made available in 1981. Each year in Australia as many as 4,000 people are bitten. Of these 200 require anti venom treatment, and 1 proves fatal.
Number of deaths from Snake bites?
Less than eight presumably. You should also bear in mind that some of the snake attacks would be of people who handle snakes, keep them as pets or other wise live in close proximity to the beasties. Another point is, in the extremely unlikely you are bitten or witness someone else being bitten, do not try to attack the snake as it moves faster then you do and will probably have another go. More people die worrying about snakes (‘I think I saw a snake’, heart attack – thud) than actually get bitten by them.
There are few stats on this one but if you do get abducted at least let them know you are on holiday. There are no space tours that I’m aware of and potential for great photography should not be squandered.
The LD50 DescribedThe LD50 is a standard laboratory test with set guidelines laid down by the World Health Organisation. With the toxicity test in snakes, individual mice within a sample receive equivalent quantities of venom (each mouse is of the same weight). Each sample receives less venom than the previous. The LD50 is the amount of venom administered to each mouse to cause 50% of the sample to die. The lower the LD50 the higher the toxicity is on mice!.
Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) 0.025 0.01
Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis) 0.053 0.041
Northern Taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus) 0.099 0.064
Eastern Mainland Tiger Snake (Notechis s. scutatus) 0.118 0.118
These 4 snakes are considered to be our most venomous, the inland Taipan (worlds deadliest snake) has never been responsible for a single human death (but you wouldn't want to be a mouse!!!)
This cutie is the Eastern Brown and has been responsible for more deaths in Australia than any other snake, one reason being that it is one of the most commonly occurring snakes.
Inland Taipan, highly venomous but a shy snake with a zero kill rate to date.
Tiger Snake, rated as the second highest killer among our snakes, one of the few that can be aggressive particularly during breeding season.
Death Adder, despite its chilling name this guys claim to fame is more a matter of its means of hunting its prey, it buries itself in the loose sand and dust near water and strikes suddenly at its prey from concealment.
White tailed spider, the bite is not fatal but has long lasting tissue destruction and severely painful bites, relatively little is known about these spiders.
The Funnel Web Spider is a resident in the Sydney area, it is Australia's most deadly spider having been know to cause deaths.
The Red-Back Spider, this is the one that likes to co-habituate with humans, and is the one that in mythology lives under the toilet seat just waiting to bite you on the bum.
I have had the dis-pleasure of being bitten by one of these buggers, no, it wasn't under the toilet seat, moderately painful for a couple of days and then itched like you wouldn't believe for the next couple of days