25 Deadliest Animals in Australia Dangerous & Scary Australian Animals
Several of the world's most dangerous animals live in Australia. The shark and saltwater crocodile can chomp a human in half. The box jellyfish, the most venomous animal in the world, can kill you in minutes. The powerful kick from a cassowary bird can slit a person open. Australia is also home to many dangerous snakes, spiders, fish, and even snails that can kill you.
Crocodiles are ferocious cold-blooded, amphibious, carnivorous reptiles with mouths crammed fully of large, pointed teeth. Crocodiles will eat almost anything and can grow to 6m and weigh as much as 1,000kg.Read More
The box jellyfish is the most venomous animal in the world. Its sting can kill a human in minutes. It is a pale blue, basketball-sized jellyfish that trails numerous long tentacles that fire tiny darts containing deadly toxins that cause paralysis, cardiac arrest, and even death.Read More
Redbacks are the second most dangerous spider in the world. They have a black pea-shaped body with a red stripe, a warning to keep away. They are closely related to the black widow spider but are far more deadly.Read More
Red Bellied Black Snake
Red-bellied black snakes account for approximately 16% of all snake bites in Australia. If provoked, a redback snake will attack, delivering a quick bite and injecting venom into its victim. It may also cling to its victim and chew vigorously.Read More
Shark attacks are wildly publicised by the media, but they are very rare. The great white, tiger shark and bull sharks are the most dangerous. There are 182 species of sharks in Australian waters. Over 97% of these sharks are harmless.Read More
Eastern Brown Snake
The eastern brown snake is the second most venomous snake in the world and responsible for the most snakebite fatalities in Australia. It is not naturally aggressive towards humans. Its venom is 12 times more deadly than an Indian cobra's.Read More
The stonefish is the most venomous fish in the world. Spines along its back inject a highly toxic venom which causes excruciating pain and can lead to heart failure and death. It camouflages itself and hides near coral and rocks.Read More
The male platypus has two sharp jabbing spurs on its rear ankles. Its venom can kill small animals such as dogs but is not fatal to humans. But the pain is excruciating and lasts for months.Read More
Kangaroos are strong muscular animals with powerful kicks. If cornered or threatened, they will kick and claw their adversary, causing serious injury or even death.Read More
Cassowaries are the most dangerous birds in the world. These large, flightless birds with dagger-like claws and powerful legs can kill a human with a single kick.Read More
Dingoes are wild dogs of Australia. They generally avoid humans, but are unpredictable and have been known to attack or bite humans.Read More
Emus are tall non-aggressive birds. However, if threatened, it will kick with its powerful legs with sharp claws. About 100 emu attacks are reported in Australia each year.Read More
Funnel Web Spider
The Sydney funnel web is the deadliest spider in the world. Its venom is packed with 40 toxic proteins that can kill a human in 15 minutes. Its fangs are strong enough to penetrate fingers and even toenails.Read More
Wombats are shy muscular marsupials that can become aggressive. They will bulldoze you down in a frontal assault, possibly knocking you over. In their burrows, they will smash an intruder against the burrow walls using their tough bottoms.Read More
European Honey Bee
Nearly 33% of all hospital admissions are for bee stings. Most only cause short term pain and swelling. Some cause anaphylactic shock and death.Read More
Cane toad toxin is highly poisonous. Produced in glands on its shoulders, this poison causes rapid heartbeat, convulsions, and paralysis resulting in death.Read More
Feral water buffaloes are notoriously aggressive and not afraid to face off a human. They are large, fast and have massive horns which make them formidable.Read More
The corroboree frog a highly poisonous amphibian with striking yellow and black longitudinal markings. There may be as few as 50 left in the wild.Read More
The bite from the tiny blue-ringed octopus is painless and may go unnoticed. However, its toxin is one of the most potent on earth, and there is no antidote. Death may occur in as little as 30 minutes. It lives in tidal pools and coral reefs.
The Textile Cone's harpoon-like tooth can pierce the skin, rubber gloves and even wetsuits. Its sting is painless and often goes unnoticed. But its venom quickly causes respiratory paralysis and eventual death. Over 30 human deaths have resulted from cone snails.
Banded Coral Sea Snake
One bite from this very venomous snake can deliver ten times the venom needed to kill a human. They and are excellent swimmers and divers.
The European wasp is aggressive and will sting their victim repeatedly causes burning pain, inflammation and severe allergic reactions.
Tiger snakes are large, aggressive snakes responsible for the second-highest number of bites in Australia. Their venom is neurotoxic.
The lion fish with its zebra-stripes and venomous spines lurks near underwater caves and crevices. Its sting is very painful but not fatal.
Taipans are large, fast-moving snakes. They are some of the most venomous snakes in the world but prefer to avoid confrontation with humans.
Accidents involving horses are the most common cause of animal related deaths. Overall domesticated animals account for 54% of all human fatalities.
More About Introduced Animals
Introduced animals are those animals brought to Australia by humans. Many have been destroying the Australian ecosystem.Read More
More About Australian Marsupials
Marsupials are pouched animals. They have evolved into fascinating and unusual creatures in all ecological niches. They Learn more here.Read More
More About Nocturnal Animals
Because of the extreme heat, most animals in Australia prefer to come out at night. They are night-time animals. Learn more here.Read More
Do Australian Animals Attack Humans? Do Australia's Dangerous Animals Like Eating Humans?
Australia has some of the deadliest animals in the world. But there are no animals in Australia that deliberately attack humans. Given a choice, they all prefer avoiding humans. Except for sharks and crocodiles, none of these deadly animals would ever consume a human for a meal. Therefore, there is no advantage in them attacking something as large and tasteless as a person. Even sharks and crocodiles prefer leaving humans alone.
Therefore, it is reasonable to say that almost all confrontations with these animals are caused by foolhardy actions of humans. These may include such things as sticking their hands into a spider's web, swimming in waters infested with crocodiles or shakes, stepping on dangerous animals or invading an animal’s space.
Classification of Dangerous Australian Animals? Level of Danger of Australian Animals
There is no standard way of classifying the level of risk posed by various types of animals. We have formulated a common-sense approach for determining the level of risk involved. Some animals may be in more than one of these groupings. For example, a bee sting is not deadly to most people; however, to some, a bee sting can bring about a severe allergic reaction which in turn can cause death.
Deadly - Those animals likely to inflict death if untreated. The most venomous Australian snakes and spiders and the box jellyfish fall into this category.
Dangerous - Animals that can inflict significant injury on a human but who don't necessarily cause death. For example, being mowed down by a wombat is really not much fun, and could definitely result in broken bones and other serious injuries.
Types of Injury Inflicted by Australian Animals How Dangerous Animals Inflict Harm
We have grouped animals according to their modus operandi — ie how do they inflict death and injury on humans.
Venom - Typically the most deadly animals inflict their injury by stinging or biting, and injecting toxins into their victims which results in the victim's death.
Poison - These animals do not directly inflict injury on humans themselves. If, however, these animals are ingested or rubbed against, poisoning can occur resulting in serious injury or death.
Aggression - Animals in this group are those that inflict damage by brute force such as kicking, biting, and butting their victims.
Australian Dangerous Animals Rating Dangerous Australian Animals Rated
The dangerous animal rating used on this page was developed by the Australian Museum, where the museum staff rated animals on a score of 10 based on the threat they pose, combined with the likelihood of encountering one. This list was published in the Australian Geographic. We have added other animals to this list. (See the Dangerous Animals Rated Index above).
Deaths Caused by Australian Animals – Statistics Domestic Animals are the Most Dangerous
A recent NCIS Fact Sheet for the period 2000-2010 states that there were 254 animal related deaths throughout Australia in this ten year period. Whilst the numbers vary from year to year, this equates to roughly 26 deaths per year overall.
Deaths Caused by Domestic Animals
Domesticated, recreational, farm animals and pets accounted for 54% of all animal related fatalities. The report states that deaths involving horses were the most common and occurred most amongst people aged between 20 and 24 years. Deaths involving dogs occurred most frequently in children under the age of 4 years or elderly people. Farming accidents probably account for the bovine related deaths.
Deaths Caused by Australia Wild Animals
Australian wild animals, both native and introduced, contributed to only 46% of all animal related fatalities. Deaths attributed to emus, cassowaries and kangaroos occurred indirectly as a consequence of collision with motor vehicles. They did not directly cause the death of any people.
Why Do Australian Animals Cause So Few Deaths? Very Low Mortality Rate
The good new is that the number of fatalities resulting from these deadly and dangerous animals is extremely low – it averages only 13 a year. Four times as many Australians die by falling out of bed each year (56 deaths).
So while Australia may indeed have the most deadly and dangerous animals the death rate is surprisingly very low. The reasons for this is twofold.
Most Dangerous Animals Rarely Meet Humans
Most deadly and dangerous animals rarely come in contact with humans because they prefer avoiding humans and also in many instance they live away from human populations.
Excellent Medical Care
In recent years excellent medical care and the development of antivenom means that relief can be administered to the victim before the ill effect of the inflicted injury can cause death.
All Rights Reserved. (Last Updated: Oct 05, 2022)