Ask the Wizard – poisonous snakes

Ask the Wizard – poisonous snakes – Brief Article

Martha J. Heil

What animal has the most poisonous venom?

— Bob Smith, Boston, Mass.

John C. Perez, director of the Natural Toxins Research Initiative at Texas A&M University in Kingsville, responds: Among venomous animals-including Jellyfish, scorpions, and wasps-snakes have the deadliest bites. Perhaps the deadliest is the hook-nosed sea snake, which has venom 60 times more toxic than a rattlesnake. Because of its aggressiveness and long fangs, Russell’s viper (Vipera russelii) has probably killed the most people worldwide. The inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) delivers the largest amount of concentrated venom with each mouthful; one bite could fell a full-grown elephant.

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