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What Is Australia’s Most Dangerous Animal?

You might think that dangerous snakes or insects are the most deadly animals in Australia. The redback spider, for example, is one of the most venomous spiders in the world. And you certainly don’t want to tangle with an eastern brown snake, a seven-foot (2.1-m) slitherer with venom potent enough to easily kill a human. But they're certainly not the most deadly examples of Australia's fauna. In fact, from 2000 to 2013, the most deadly creatures roaming Australia were horses. A 2017 study by University of Melbourne researchers found that 74 Aussies died during that period after being thrown or trampled by horses. That’s more than all venomous animal-induced fatalities combined.

Watch out, mate:

  • Twenty-seven deaths occurred after humans were stung by bees and wasps, and another 27 were felled after encounters with snakes. Ticks and ants (five fatalities) and jellyfish (three deaths) made up the rest of the list.
  • There was pain, however. Around 12,000 Australians were hospitalized after bee or wasp stings -- mostly allergic reactions -- and another 17,000 or so were hospitalized after encounters with spiders and snakes.
  • There were no reported deaths from spider bites from 2000 to 2013. In fact, Australia's last recorded death from spider venom occurred in 1980. That was back before the funnel web spider anti-venom was developed.
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