Cobra snake<<<< Back to Snakes
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Order: Aquamata
- SubOrder: Serpentes
- Family: Elapidae
- Conservation status: Near Threatened
- Lenght: 5 m (20 inch)
- Weight: 9kg ( 20 pounds)
- Food: mice, rats, lizards, birds, etc
- Speed: 12 mph (19 KmH)
- Habitat: Trees, on land and water
- Lifespan: 18 - 20 years
- Litter size: 20 to 40 eggs
Cobras are found in Southeast Asia, India and southern China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Most specimens were recorded in the Malaysia peninsula. We don’t know an exact number, but due to the small number it is considered an endangered species. Generally cobras are found in jungles, humid places where they hide under leaves, rocks or in bamboo. Fortunately they prefer to avoid places inhabited by people.
Destruction of their habitat started a battle between man and snake. It has a very powerful poison and that makes it dangerous. Cobras can climb in trees or shrubs and may spend significant time away from the ground in search for prey. Cobras are threatened by the reduction of rainforests, jungles and bamboo plantations. Fear of poison makes the people try to kill the snake. It is also killed for the skin, used to make leather goods such as belts, boots, wallets, etc.
Cobra is the Portuguese word for "snake". The name "cobra" is short for cobra de capelo or cobra-de-capelo, which is Portuguese for "snake with hood", or "hood-snake". In some modern languages, such as Afrikaans the predominant name for a cobra is "kapel".
Food Cobra snake
Cobras eat mice, rats, lizards, birds, frogs and other snakes. Like all snakes they swallow the prey headfirst. Both jaws, upper and lower, have elastic ligaments so the snake can swallow prey larger than its circumference. Snakes can not chew their prey. This is digested by very strong acids in the cobras stomach. They can survive without food for several months.
They do not need much food to maintain a steady body temperature. They remain inactive for long periods of time and so use up little energy. They have extensive tissues that store fat. During long fasts they live off this fat.
Features Cobra snake
The cobra grows to a length of 3.7m. the longest animal had a length of 5.6m. When threatened, gets in his fighting position, also threatening. It rises to a third of his length, widens the part next to his head and emits a whistling noise. The cobra has scales covering its glowing and dry skin, but cold to the touch. Adults can be yellow, green, brown or black with a yellow or cream-colored neck.
The young snakes about 15cm long, have some light stripes on their bodies yellow, white or black.Cobras move around by sliding and crawling. They are often found in workers’ gardens in northeast India. They can rise to a maximum of one third of their body to defend themselves or to seek food.
The cobra is the most venomous snake in the world. One bite may inject enough venom to kill an elephant. The venom has a concentration so high that no more that 6-7ml is needed. This quantity is enough to kill 20 people. The venom has a paralyzing effect on the nerves. In medicine it is used to treat arthritis.
The cobra is worshiped in India, especially during Nag Panchami, it appears on the sculptures on temple walls and in local myths and legends. It is also found in many images of the Hindu cult.
Asiatic Types of Cobra:
- Chinese cobra - Naja atra
- Monocelate cobra - Naja kaouthia
- Indian spectacled cobra - naja naja
- Central asia cobra - Naja oxiama
- Philipine cobra - Naja philippinensis
- Adaman cobra - Naja sagittifera
- Visayan cobra (south philippine cobra) - Naja samarensis
- Indochinese spitting cobra - Naja siamensis
African Types of Cobra:
- Forest cobra - Naja melanoleuca melanoleuca
- Forect cobra - Naja melanoleuca subfulva
- Egyptian cobra - Naja haje haje
- Snouten cobra - Naja annulifera annulifera
- Blacked Necked spitting cobra - Naja nigricollis nigricollis
- Black spitting cobra - Naja nigricollis woodi
- Mozambique spitting cobra - Naja mossambica
- Red spitting cobra - Naja pallida
- Cape cobra - Naja nivea
Reproduction Cobra snake
They are the only snakes that build a nest to lay eggs. They gather a large pile of leaves to arrange the nest. These leaves generate heat and keep the eggs at a higher temperature. The female lays 20-40 eggs and twirls over them to keep them warm until they hatch. The eggs are incubated for two months. Meanwhile the snake will defend the nest from any predators.
Cobras shed several times a year with age, most often when growing during the development period. In India there is a tradition that says cobra snakes mate for life.
Cobras live up to 20 years or more, when they're in the wild.
Did you know that:
- Immediately after they hatch, the snakelets have venom.
- Cobras are the only snakes to nest and lay eggs.
- Most cobras are shy, will usually run and hide when people are around.
- Cobras are the only snake in the world that can spit their venom
- can inject so much venom in a single bite that they can kill an elephant.
- Cobras are not poisonous, they are venomous.
- There were only 8 muscles used to "raise the hoods".