30 Interesting Coastal Taipan Facts

by Sankalan Baidya
Coastal Taipan facts

In our previous article on Coastal Taipan facts we learned about the looks and anatomy of this snake. We also learned about its distribution, habitat and feeding habits. However, that wasn’t the whole of it. We will go through another list of 30 Coastal Taipan facts and this time, we will learn about a few more things like the snake’s behavior, how it reproduces and the natural threats it faces out there in the wild! So, if you are ready, let us find out 30 more interesting Coastal Taipan facts…

Interesting Coastal Taipan Facts: 1-10

1. Usually, the Coastal Taipan is a diurnal snake. The best times to spot this snake are early morning and mid-morning.

2. Though Coastal Taipans are diurnal, they may come out and become active during the nights provided the weather conditions are pretty hot.

3. In our previous article we mentioned that these snakes change color with changes in seasons. In captivity, it was found that during the summer months, the snakes assume a bright coppery color while during the winter months, the color changes to dull brown.

4. Experts believe that the color change is more of a weather-based adaptation because dull brown is darker and it helps to keep the snake warmer during colder months by absorbing more heat.

5. Similarly, bright coppery color during the summer months help the snakes to stay cooler by not absorbing too much of heat.

6. However, this color changing behavior is not present among the juveniles. It is present only in the adult snakes.

7. Coastal Taipans are terrestrial snakes. They do prefer wetter places for spending their life but that does not mean they spend time in water. They stay on ground.

8. Experts who have studied the Coastal Taipans say that the females carry oviducal eggs starting late August till mid-November.

9. It has also been found that the gravid females bask in corn field windrows for two months – August and September.

10. Studies in captive conditions reveal that the mating activities reach peak during early spring and late winter. However, these snakes can actually mate throughout the year.

Interesting Coastal Taipan Facts: 11-20

11. Out in the wild, the male Coastal Taipans will fight each other to show dominance. This is not a fight-to-death combat but just a wrestling like combat to assert dominance.

12. During the combat, two male Taipans will entwine with each other, as if they are wrestling and then try to push down the neck and head of each other.

13. It is not really known how the winner of this wrestling match is decided but whoever wins turns out to be the alpha male and gets to mate with a greater number of receptive females in the whole area.

14. Mating in Coastal Taipans is associated with courtship. Courtship among Coastal Taipans is no different that courtship among any other snake species. Usually when a male gets close to a female in heat, the male will get very excited.

15. The excited male will then climb up along the female’s body and while doing so, he will rub his chin along the body of the female. Also, the male will flick its tongue over the body of the female.

16. Experts have no idea of how long a typical mating session lasts in the wild but in captive conditions, a mating session as long as 210 minutes had been recorded.

17. Coastal Taipans do not give birth to offspring directly. They lay eggs and hence, are oviparous snakes. The female takes 2 to 3 months after mating to lay her eggs.

18. On an average, a female will lay 11 soft-shelled eggs but the number of eggs laid can vary significantly and range anywhere between 3 and 21 eggs.

19. The places that are selected by females for laying eggs are – ground cavities, underneath tree roots or hollow logs.

20. One of the very interesting Coastal Taipan facts is that the females may be capable of storing sperm for several months. This belief comes from the study of captive females who managed to produce a second clutch of eggs several weeks after laying the first clutch of eggs.

Interesting Coastal Taipan Facts: 21-30

21. The laid eggs may take two or up to three months for hatching. The time required actually depends on the temperature of incubation.

22. The young Coastal Taipans that hatch out of the eggs are fully developed except that they are only 46 cm long. However, they are very much capable of living solitary lives and hunting on their own.

23. These snakes can grow incredibly fast. Within the first year itself, the young ones are capable of growing up to a meter in length. This is however true in case of captive Coastal Taipans. Experts however believe that under natural conditions too, these snakes grow incredibly fast.

24. Coastal Taipans that are immature or are newly hatched are known to have some natural predators. Goannas and birds of prey are the natural predators.

25. Only a few predators actually take on a fully-grown and adult Coastal Taipan because adults are far more alert and are very flexible and fast. They can deliver deadly bites in defense.

26. Humans are another breed of predators. Unlike birds and goannas, humans don’t kill the snake for eating but just kill them on sight. It is a routine practice among humans. This is possibly a natural reaction among humans.

27. Of all elapid snakes that are found in Australia, Coastal Taipans have the longest fangs and they also have a very well-developed venom apparatus. Unlike other elapids that have shorter and fixed fangs, the fangs of Coastal Taipans are long and can reach up to 12 mm in length. The fangs can also move forward slightly while striking.

28. Coastal Taipans are capable of delivering multiple bites within seconds. The first bite delivers very toxic venom into the muscles. However, the second and third bites are also capable of delivering the same amount of venom.

29. Though the venom is injected into the muscles, it is capable of disrupting body’s nervous system and also destroys body’s ability of blood clotting. Headache, vomiting, nausea, convulsions, internal bleeding, paralysis, kidney damage and myolysis (muscle tissue destruction) are some of the effects of Coastal Taipan venom.

30. There is anti-venom available for Coastal Taipan bite but it has to be administered quickly because serious symptoms can set in very rapidly and in absence of a proper anti-venom, a Coastal Taipan bite will be fatal to humans.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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