Venom toxicity is difficult to measure accurately. It’s obviously not ethical to inject humans on purpose, so laboratory studies use mice and then scale up the calculated dose to human body weight. But as mice are common prey for snakes, they have evolved partial resistance to many venoms. Snake evolution has responded by injecting larger and larger doses. The result is that some snake bites are actually much deadlier to humans than the laboratory toxicity value would suggest. Some snakes are very venomous but so rarely come into contact with humans that fatalities are extremely rare. Which leaves us with the strange contradiction that the Australian inland taipan is the world’s most venomous snake, even though there are no recorded human fatalities.
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