King Cobra – Ophiophagus hannah
The longest venomous snake in the world is the King Cobra. This is a snake that has many people worried because of the way they look and the size of them. There are many deaths that they are help responsible for too. However, it is usually from the infection and so proper medical treatment is very important. There are many sub species of Cobras but this is the largest one.
They can grow up to 18 ½ feet! However, in most locations they are going to be about 13 feet in length. When they are fully grown they will weigh about 20 pounds. The males tend to be thicker around and to be longer. They also feature a wide head that is very large overall.
They are fast moving snakes with amazing agility. The color for the King Cobra will depend on the location where they live. They need colors that allow them to have sufficient camouflage. That provides them with the cover they need for finding prey as well as remaining harder for predators to locate.
Olive green is the main base color of most of them. However, you will find those that have black and tan on them. There will always be some types of bands that run over them from the top down. Those will usually be yellow in color. They have a cream or light yellow on the belly.
They feature scales along the belly that are smooth to the touch. They also have very sharp fangs with teeth that turn inward. The overall appearance of the King Cobra gives it a look that appears to be very intense as well as fierce.
They have one of the longest forked tongues of all snake species. They use it to help them sense what is going on around them. They are able to smell with it and they also use receptors in their mouth to taste what they smelled. This helps the brain to decide if what is around them is something they may want to eat, if it is a threat, or if they should retreat from it.
This is one of the few species of snakes that has very good vision. They are known to be able to identify prey that is up to 300 feet away from them. They are highly aggressive and will give hissing sounds and hold the head up high when they are going to strike. They often give off such sounds too in an effort to keep other snakes out of their territory.
Habitat and Distribution
This species of snake is mainly found around the areas of India and Asia. They live in locations that offer a thick forest region. This allows them to be hard to identify due to the colorations they offer. The risk of coming into contact with one of them in such forest locations is very high.
They tend to stick in the dense places that typically aren’t disturbed. If you stay on the main paths you can significantly reduce your chances of coming along and surprise one of them in their natural habitat. This particular type of snake is also one that stays close to bodies of water.
They are highly adaptable and that has accounted for them being found in many unusual places. When construction is taking place in their natural habitat they are going to span out and see where they can go that will allow them to have the shelter and the food resources they need.
Diet and Feeding Habits
The venom that the King Cobra captures is going to be quickly immobilized by the venom that they offer. This will then allow them to open up the jaws widely and swallow the prey whole. They will do most of their hunting at night but don’t be surprised if you see them active during daylight hours as well.
The males will be attracted to the females for mating by powerful scents she gives off. Many males may all be headed in the direction of the same female. As a result she can be very selective about who she will be with. She may become very agitated during this period of time though due to all of the attention.
After mating she will start to create eggs in her body. She will spend some time finding a location that offers heat for the eggs to be incubated. She also wants a place that is well hidden from various predators. Piles of leaves are common places where such eggs are deposited. They can have from 20 to 40 of them at a time.
The female is going to keep a close watch on her eggs, and that is when humans are at the greatest risk of being bitten. She will perceive anything that comes along as a threat to her young. As they start to come out of the shells though she will finally venture away to go find food.
These young are common meals for predators soon after they are born. It can be very difficult for them to go find food and shelter once they are born. However, there are enough of them that do survive the process that they aren’t in any danger of population concerns.
The Mongoose is one of the main predators of the King Cobra in the wild. Various types of birds including Hawks and Eagles can also be a threat to them. Most of the time such predators go after the eggs and try to consume them before they hatch. They will also consume the young that have emerged from them and are out there alone trying to survive. They are quite vulnerable during that stage of life.
Humans continue to be a threat to the King Cobra though. They destroy the natural habitat to make room for their own benefits such as for farming and for industry. They are sold as part of the pet trade too due to so many people wanting ownership of such a mysterious and dangerous snake.
In many areas it is illegal to own them due to the risk of them biting people or getting loose. However, this has only fueled the desire that many people have for owning one. They buy them on the black market for a premium price.
Venomous Bite or Danger to Humans
This is one of the most dangerous of all snakes in the world when it comes to humans and bites. The pain is unbearable and unlike anything you have experienced before. It is necessary to get medical treatment immediately because the venom will spread rapidly. A person can be extremely ill in an hour or two after the bite occurs.
It is important to understand that the King Cobra has a very long striking distance. In a matter of seconds they can strike several feet from where they are located. This is one of the reasons why people do get bit. The other factor is that this is one snake that has a rapid fire response. They may only bite once but in most cases they will do it over and over again in a matter of seconds.