Kraits Cobras Sea Snakes and Relatives: Elapidae
Death Adder (acanthophis Antarcticus): Species Accounts
Physical characteristics: The death adder has a thick body, with bands of light brown to black. Adults are about 20 to 39 inches (0.5 to 1 meter) long.
Geographic range: The death adder is found in Australia.
Habitat: Death adders live in dry areas, including grasslands and deserts, in eastern and southern Australia. It also sometimes wanders into cities.
Diet: The death adder eats mainly small reptiles but also frogs and small mammals.
Behavior and reproduction: Most members of this family actively search out prey to eat, but the death adder buries itself, leaving out just the tip of its tail. The tail tip, which looks like a worm, catches the attention of their prey. When the prey animals get close, the adder strikes. The death adder is a secretive snake and is most active at night. Females give birth to live snakes, instead of laying eggs; they may have up to twenty young at a time.
Death adders and people: The snake's venom is very strong and can kill people. Antivenin is available.
Conservation status: The death adder is not endangered or threatened. ∎
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