Aussies challenged to spot hidden danger in this pic - can you see it?

One of Australia's most deadly animals is lurking in this photo.

Bushwalkers beware, there's a deadly animal that frequents the east coast of Australia and it's a master of camouflage. "Does anyone fancy playing I Spy?" a Queensland man posted in a popular Facebook group on Thursday. "This might be a bit of an easy one for some. Found up Mt Glorious, Brisbane, last night."

While some group members managed to find the hidden danger, many were stumped by the image. "I can't see a single thing. Maybe I should avoid hiking," commented one member. "I think I need to go to Specsavers because I cannot see it," wrote another. "I'd be dead, couldn't see it at all," added a third.

Death adder camouflaged amongst leaves and loose soil
Can you spot the deadly animal in this photo? Source: Facebook/Cameron Tuckett-McKeon

The photo shows some run-of-the-mill leaf litter at which the average Aussie wouldn't spare a second glance. However, a closer look at the centre-right of the image reveals a snake's head poking out above a green leaf, blending in all but perfectly with the surrounding scattered leaves.

The reptile hiding in the photo is a common death adder, or acanthophis antarcticus, which is one of the most venomous snakes in the world and although generally not aggressive, they can be quite tricky to spot.

According to Associate Professor Bryan Fry from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Queensland, this behaviour is pretty standard for the death adder. "Death adders are the classic sit-and-wait type of ambush feeder," he told Yahoo News Australia.

A common death adder
The common death adder, one of the world's deadliest snakes, hides in leaf litter and uses its tail as a lure for unsuspecting prey. Source: Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

"They park themselves by an area that smells like potential prey, use it as a movement corridor and then wait motionless for weeks at a time, relying on their amazing camouflage. Basically they are the venomous equivalent of a land mine."

However, Professor Fry also notes that the death adder's evolutionary reliance on camouflage also makes it particularly vulnerable to human-driven destruction of habitat. "This perfect adaptation is also what is making them decline in numbers quite quickly in areas that are no longer pristine habitat," he explains.

Snake handlers extracting venom from snake
Snake and venom expert Professor Bryan Fry from the University of Queensland likens death adders to the venomous equivalent of a landmine. Source: University of Queensland

"Any modification of the environment risks breaking the perfect match their colours and patterns have with the background. Making them stand out more, which decreases their hunting effectiveness and also makes them more vulnerable to birds of prey and goannas. This underscores the importance of national parks, as they preserve habitat that is essential for some species continued survival."

Scarce in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, and no longer found in Victoria, the death adder was once found all around the coast of the Australia's mainland, but is now only common on the east coast. Although the species is not considered endangered, habitat loss and invasive cane toads both pose significant threats.

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