King Cobra : World's Longest Venomous Snake

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Posted By : ScienceIndia Administrator

Just think of a situation where a snake can literally “stand up” and look a fullgrown person in the eye and what if they are amongst the most venomous on the planet, the situation becomes more verse, but that describes the famous king cobra.

Where can we find them?

King cobras live mainly in the rain forests and plains of India, southern China, and Southeast Asia and their colouring can vary greatly from region to region. They are comfortable in the trees, on land and in water

What they eat?

The king cobra’s generic name, Ophiophagus is a Greek-derived word which means “snake-eater”, and it’s diet consists primarily of other snakes, including rat snakes, small pythons and even other venomous snakes such as various members of the true cobras. After a large meal, the snake may live for many months without another one because of its slow metabolic rate.

How can we distinguish them from other cobras?

Well, the King is far larger than other cobras, while its hood is narrower and longer. The easiest way of identifying a King Cobra, is by it’s pair of large scales at the back of its head.

How they bite?

When concerned, it rears up the anterior portion (usually one-third) of its body when extending the neck, showing the fangs and hissing loudly. The King has two fixed fangs in the front of his mouth. These deadly fangs are used like needles to inject the venom into its prey. It can be easily irritated by closely approaching objects or sudden movements. When raising it’s body, the king cobra can still move forward to strike with a long distance and people may misjudge the safe zone. This snake may deliver multiple bites in a single attack

What happens if the King bites?

Don’t mess with a King cobra! It’s venom is mostly comprised of neurotoxins. These will brutally attack anyone’s central nervous system. One fatal bite by the King can channel a large amount of venom into its prey. The doses range from 200 to 500 mg and even higher.

What happens if you are bitten?

The symptoms may include severe pain, vertigo and up to paralysis or coma. The next stage is respiratory failure and death. How fast they can kill? A bite by a King Cobra can lead to death within thirty minutes. One bite can actually kill approximately 20 men. There are even records of King Cobras that have killed elephants in a few hours.

Looking for Anti-Venom?

here are only two types of anti-venom produced for treating bites by King Cobras. One is manufactured in Thailand by the Red Cross, while the other is made in India by the Central Research Institute.

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