Description: Generally uniformly olive or dark brown, with a somewhat darker brown head.
Characteristics: Considered one of the most deadly snakes. It has an aggressive disposition. When aroused, it can display a fearsome appearance by flattening its head, raising it off the ground, waving it back and forth, and suddenly striking with such speed that the victim may receive several bites before it retreats. Its venom is a powerful neurotoxin, causing respiratory paralysis. Its victim has little chance for recovery without prompt medical aid.
Habitat: At home in a variety of habitats, it is found from the savanna forests to the inland plains.
Length: Average 1.8 meters (6 feet), maximum 3.7 meters (12 feet).
Distribution: Northern Australia and southern New Guinea (Figure E-46).
Figure E-46. Taipan Habitat