Credit to Stewart Macdonald

Interactions with Other Species


        Eastern brown snakes are known for their very potent venom which to humans automatically gives them a bad reputation. In reality the eastern brown snake is great for rodent control. Mus musculus and relatives of the Cavia porcellus are just a few of the many rodents in which the snake eats. However, if the Eastern Brown Snake was to try to consume a Cane Toad which are found throughout Australia the result for the snake is usually fatal.

         It is studied that some feral cats have developed immunity to the snake’s venom, which makes these snakes an easy meal for the cats. Other mammals, however, are not quite so lucky when they encounter the eastern brown snake for it has the second most potent venom of any snake in the world. The only snake with more potent venom is the inland taipan which some people consider to be less potent than the eastern brown.

        Many organisms in Australia compete for the same food and living space with the eastern brown snake. Many birds of prey such as hawks and falcons enjoy a nice meal of the same animals as the brown snake. This would generally create great competition over food, but since the rodent population is extremely high there is little competition over food sources.

        The Eastern Brown Snake is also a host to many organisms such as nematodes and cestodes. These organisms live in the intestine of the snake and feed off of the nutrients the snake takes in. These are both very common parasites found in most any vertebrate. 

Interactions with humans

       The eastern brown snake is the leading cause of death by snake bites in Australia with about two deaths recorded per year. There are on average around 3000 snake bites recorded per year with many of them being from the brown snake. The reason for the high rate of snake bites per year is because the snake resides in semi-populated areas.

 Picture of Eastern brown snake dead on side of road         This snake can be found dead on the side of many roads in Australia, and vehicles are a main source of death for this snake. The brown snake is generally a solitary animal and will not readily attack humans, but will attack if it feels threatened. Unlike the spitting cobras, the brown snake is unable to spray its venom in order to protect itself; it has to inject its venom through its fangs into the human to protect itself.

Photo taken by Stewart Macdonald

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