Mighty King Cobra

Posted in Wildlife A-Z | April 7, 2010 | Comment Now

It can be a bit unnerving to know that the most venomous snake on the planet can stand erect and look at a full-grown adult straight in the eye. What are we talking about? Nothing but the legendary king cobra.

A king cobra can touch 18 feet in length. This makes them the longest venomous snake in the world. When under threat, they raise nearly one-third of their bodies off the ground. This helps them move forward to attack. When they perceive danger, they develop their characteristic hoods and emit a spine-chilling hiss. This resembles the growl of a dog.

The venom of the king cobra is not the most potent. However, the amount of neurotoxin that they generate in a single bite is sufficient to kill 20 people or a large elephant. Each bite can generate nearly seven milliliters of potent venom. On the bright side, king cobras are shy and tend to avoid contact with humans. However, they get extremely aggressive when isolated.

King cobras primarily reside in the rainforests and plains of India, China, and Southeast Asia. Their skin color varies from region to region. It is not surprising to find king cobras hanging from trees. They are sometimes seen in water. They gorge on other venomous and non-venomous snakes. They also eat lizard, rats, eggs, and other small mammals.

They are the only snake species in the world that builds a nesting place for their eggs. They guard this area with all their might till the hatchlings emerge.

Snake charmers of South Asia prefer the king cobra to any other snake species. King cobras have a weak auditory sense. They are deaf to ambient sounds and sense vibrations on the ground. The snake charmer’s flute attracts the cobra through its shape and movement and not by the music generated.

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