This was one of two new venomous snakes in the Toledo Zoo Reptile House for Wild Walkabout, the other being a coastal taipan. The taipan stuck to the back of its terrarium, and I couldn't get a look at its head for any profile shots. But this death adder had enough of it sticking out from that rock in the picture to make it worthwhile, and I only needed one good shot instead of a series. There was an organized line to see the new crocodile Baru, and so that didn't leave me any more time to get more shots of this guy. My dad also took an almost identical shot with my PowerShot the same time I took this with my new EOS Rebel T4i.
Common death adders have broad flattened, triangular heads and thick bodies. Reaching a length of 70–100 centimeters max,
The common death adder occurs over much of eastern and coastal southern Australia – Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. It may also be found more scarce in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and the west parts of South Australia, due to its sister species of death adders (e.g. desert adder).
Common death adders are found in forests, woodlands, grasslands and heaths of the eastern coast of Australia. The death adder is a master of camouflage, due to its band stripes, hiding beneath loose leaf litter and debris in woodland, shrubland and grassland.
Common death adders eat small mammals and birds as a primary diet. Unlike other snakes, the common death adder lies in wait for its prey (often for many days) until a meal passes. It covers itself with leaves—making itself inconspicuous—and lies coiled in ambush, twitching its grub-like tail close to its head as a lure. When an animal approaches to investigate the movement, the death adder quickly strikes, injecting its venom and then waits for the victim to die before eating it. This ambush hunting makes the death adder more of a threat to humans.
Unlike most snakes, death adders produce litters of live young. In the late summer, a female death adder will produce a litter of live babies, approximately 3–20, however over 30 young have been recorded in a single litter.
The common death adder venom contains highly toxic neurotoxin which can cause paralysis or even death. It can deliver the fastest strike among all venomous snakes recorded in Australia.
Information from Wikipedia.
Special Adaptions: Stout body.
For a member of the cobra family which is typically represented by slender body form, the stout body of the death adder is unusual. It looks much more like a viper than a cobra. This is an adaption to assume the niche of a viper. The death adder is a sit-and-wait predator, always on the alert for prey coming into striking distance.
Information from Toledo Zoo sign.
Taken at Toledo Zoo in Toledo, Ohio on May 25th, 2013.