Giant Snake of Australia.
Etymology: From the Wemba (Australian) mirndayi.
Variant names: Mallee snake, Mindai, Mindye, Myndie.
Physical description: Length, 18-30 feet. Hairy scales. Large head. Tongue with three points. Black mane.
Behavior: Hangs on tree branches. Lies in wait at water holes. Feeds on emus. Gives off a disgusting smell and leaves smallpox in its wake. Able to kill with its glance. Oviparous. Not poisonous.
Habitat: Eucalyptus scrub. Distribution: Lower Murray River, South Australia; the Grampians, Victoria. Possible explanations:
(1) Distorted memory of the Diamond python (Morelia spilota spilota), found only on the coast of New South Wales. It grows to 15 feet long and has olive-black scales with cream or yellow spots.
(2) A surviving Pleistocene madtsoiid snake, the Giant Australian python (Wonambi naracoortensis), known from fossil deposits in South Australia. It ranged from 10 to 20 feet in length.
Sources: J. C. Byrne, Twelve Years' Wanderings in the British Colonies (London:
Richard Bentley, 1848), vol. 2, p. 274; Sydney Empire, February 17, 1851, p. 3; A Resident [John Hunter Kerr], Glimpses of Life in Victoria (Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas, 1872), p. 251; Georgiana McCrae, Georgiana's Journal: Melbourne, a Hundred Years Ago (Sydney, Australia: Angus and Robertson, 1934), p. 129; Gilbert Whitley, "Mystery Animals of Australia," Australian Museum Magazine 7 (1940): 132-139; Charles Barrett, The Bunyip and Other Mythical Monsters and Legends (Melbourne, Australia: Reed and Harris, 1946), pp. 35-45.
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