Location: Bass Strait, off Launceston,
Tas., & Spencer Gulf, off Adelaide, SA.
Chappell Island is not only an island of snakes,
it is an island of giant snakes, 3,000 giant highly venomous tigersnakes
on one tiny island. Chappell Island tigersnakes are the largest
tigersnakes in the world yet they survive on an annual six week
feast of mutton bird chicks before enduring over ten months of enforced
fasting once the fast-growing mutton bird chicks are too large for
the snakes to eat them. There is nothing else for the adult snakes
to eat. The island tigersnake population is also unusual in that
it is very adult-heavy, there are very few juvenile tigersnakes
to be found. Mark and American herpetologist Dr Terry Schwaner set
out to investigate why there are so few juveniles and capture some
of the adult tigersnakes that Terry recorded and marked over the
last 17 years to see how much they have grown since he last met
them. Could the Chappell island tigersnakes be the oldest living
snakes in the world?
[Mark and Terry also spent time on Tasmania searching out all three
species of native snakes and travelled to Roxby Island, off South
Australia, in search of a dwarf tigersnake known to live there on
a diet of skinks but this footage never made the final film.]
This old Chappell Island tigersnake (Notechis
ater serventyi) has a large parasitic tick on its neck.
||Eastern banjo frog
||Green and golden bell
|Ctenotus uber orientalis
||Eastern spotted ctenotus
||COBRAS & THEIR
|Notechis ater humphreysi
|Notechis ater serventyii
||Chappell Island tigersnake
Location: Chappell Is., Bass Strait, Tas. and Sir Joseph Banks Is.,
Spencer Gulf, SA.