The death adder is native to Australia, New Guina and nearby islands. This relatively short, stocky snake has a triangular head, tapering tail and long fangs, the longest of any Australian snake.
They are ambush predators, meaning they lie in wait rather than actively hunting their prey. The death adder has one of the fastest strikes in the animal kingdom. It strikes so quickly that the human eye can’t follow it. They mainly eat mammals and birds.
Death adder venom is highly toxic. The snake delivers an average of 180 mg of venom in a single strike, which is enough to kill several men. The venom paralyzes prey, eventually shutting down the victim’s respiratory system. Learn more about death adder venom in our “Science of Venom” section.
Scientists have recently found that death adder venom is an anticoagulant, a discovery that could help heart attack and stroke victims. Find out more about this discovery in our “Science of Venom” section.