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Inland Taipans



Inland Taipans
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.96

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    adders, diamond-backed, small-scaled, taipan, taipans, covering, respectively, lethal, ranked, venomous, elsewhere, inland, coastal, death, fierce, scales
     content words:    Reevesby Island, Chappell Island


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Inland Taipans   

1     Inland taipans live in southwestern Queensland, Australia. They are the world's most venomous snakes! Inland taipans (also known as western taipans, fierce snakes, or small-scaled snakes) may not be as famous as cobras and rattlesnakes. But a single bite from one delivers up to 110 mg of venom. That is enough poison to kill 100 people or 250,000 mice!
 
2     To put that number into perspective, the venom of inland taipans is fifty times deadlier than that of Indian cobras. It is 770 times more lethal than that of eastern diamond-backed rattlesnakes. Even the eastern brown snake (or the common brown snake) of Australia, ranked the second most venomous snake in the world, is no match for the inland taipan. The venom injected by eastern brown snakes is just a quarter of that produced by inland taipans.
 
3     Fortunately, due to their shy nature, inland taipans don't strike unless they are cornered. In fact, they prefer running after rats than humans. Inland taipans often take up underground homes abandoned by rats. Well, it is quite possible that these rats give up not only their homes but also their lives when inland taipans come knocking on the door! Aside from rats, inland taipans also feed on lizards, birds, frogs, or other small animals.

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