Taipans

Taipans

About Taipans

The Taipan is a genus of large, fast, highly venomous Australasian snakes of the elapid family. The taipan was named by Donald Thomson after the word used by the Wik-Mungkan Aboriginal people of central Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia. The three known species are: the coastal taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus), the inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) and a recently discovered third species, the Central Ranges taipan (Oxyuranus temporalis). The coastal taipan has two subspecies: the coastal taipan (O. s. scutellatus), found along the northeastern coast of Queensland, and the Papuan taipan (O. s. canni), found on the southern coast of Papua New Guinea. Their diets consist primarily of small mammals, especially rats and bandicoots. One species, the inland taipan (O. microlepidotus), which is endemic to Australia, has the most toxic venom of any terrestrial snake species worldwide. Pseudonaja textilis intervenes between the inland and coastal taipan (O.