In the wild, the inland taipan consumes only mammals, mostly rodents, such as the long-haired rat, the plains rat, the house mouse and other dasyurids. Unlike other venomous snakes that strike with a single, accurate bite then retreat while waiting for the prey to die, the Inland Taipan subdues the prey with a series of rapid, accurate strikes. It is known to deliver up to eight venomous bites in a single attack, often snapping its jaws fiercely several times to inflict multiple punctures in the same attack. Its more risky attack strategy entails holding its prey with its body and biting it repeatedly. This injects the extremely toxic venom deep into the prey. The venom acts so rapidly that its prey does not have time to fight back.
Although extremely venomous and a capable striker, in contrast to the rather aggressive Coastal Taipan, the Inland Taipan is usually quite a shy and reclusive snake, with a placid disposition, and prefers to escape from trouble. However, it will defend itself and strike if provoked, mishandled, or prevented from escaping. Also, because it lives in such remote locations, the Inland Taipan seldom comes in contact with people; therefore it is not considered the overall, especially in terms of disposition and human deaths per year. The word "fierce" from its alternative name describes its venom, not its temperament.