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Top 10 - 2008

Number 5 – One of the Most Venomous Snakes in the World

Name: Oxyuranus temporalis

How it made the Top 10: This is perhaps one of the most venomous known snake species. Its two closest relatives, the inland taipan (or fierce snake) and the coastal taipan, are ranked first and third most venomous snakes in the world, respectively. The discovery of the new species (known only from a single specimen) highlights how little is known of even relatively large animals in harsh, poorly collected habitats (in this case an isolated arid region of Australia). It also emphasizes the need for accurate taxonomy of venomous species for proper treatment of bites.

Reference: Doughty, P., B. Maryan, S.C. Donnellan & M.N. Hutchinson. 2007. A new species of taipan (Elapidae: Oxyuranus) from central Australia. Zootaxa 1422: 45-58.

Type material: Holotype, Western Australia Museum, Perth.

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