King Cobra - the Longest of the Venomous Snakes
Snakes are one of the most common wild creatures found expect in Antarctica. The word snake itself frightens common man today as they are very poisonous. These reptiles can be creep into many houses in search of food and hence becomes really frightening. In scientific terms snakes are generally carnivorous reptiles, elongated and do not have legs. The snake has skulls with many more joints than that of lizards and hence has the capability of swallowing a prey much larger than the shape of its prey. There are fifteen families of snakes that have been recognized which comprises of four hundred and fifty odd genera and over two thousand and nine hundred species found. The longest of the snakes can be up to 49 feet long.
King Cobras are the longest of the venomous snakes and can be found in South East Asia, Indonesia and Philippines. An average King Cobra grows about 3 to 4 meters long and weighs up to 6 kilograms. The longest of this species was found in the London Zoo which is about 5.7 meters long during the Second World War. The color of this snake is olive green, tan or black. It has pale yellow cross bands underneath. The scales are considered very smooth and have a pale yellow color belly. Juveniles are shiny black with narrow yellow bands. However, the size depends on the location of the Cobra. Despite its size some of the cobra is really fast and agile. These snakes are generally found near the bamboo stands and edges of the forests. Some of these can be found near and rivers and swampy areas as well.
The new born King Cobra's venom is as strong as the adult's. The King mates during the month of January and the female builds its nest during the month of April. It starts mating only when it is four years old. It generally mates only once a year and lays around 20 to 40 eggs. The eggs take around seventy days to hatch and the young snake is 12 to 24 inches long. The snake lives up to twenty years in solititude and the male snake does not help raising its young ones.
The King Cobra forms a hood when it feels threatened. At first, it rises up one-third of its length and may sway toward you. It will also sometimes expectorate and might spit in its prey's eyes which stings. This could kill a human or an animal rapidly if it gets into the blood stream. The poison is also a special adaptation that paralyzes the nervous system of its prey, which is often larger than itself .The King Cobra is the only snake that builds a nest and guards it until the eggs hatch. The King generally eats other small snakes, lizards and sometimes small mammals as well. The only predators of this snake are humans, mongoose and birds that eat snakes.
I gathered some of the common facts about Kings when I was sitting the other day to watch Animal Planet featuring on my Dish TV. The program was about King Cobra. Some of these facts really drew my interests. The King Cobra's eyes are sensitive and can even see clearly at night. It is said that they have the 'Jacobsen's Organ' which gives it the ability to smell and sense climatic changes. This helps these cobras to attack its prey during the night time. These cobras are very intelligent which allows them to learn very fast and avoid danger. Another specialty of these cobras is that it is considered very sacred in many cultures. While people kill other snakes which are now abandoned, people generally avoid killing a cobra. If you are in a place to visit some of the temples in India, then you will find idols of snakes worshiped by people in these areas. Staring a King Cobra eye to eye might give a creepy feeling to any one and one must have a real courage to do that.
Stuart Owens - About Author:
Stuart is a freelance writer who likes to watch Animal Planet featuring on his Dish TV. The other day he watched a program on King Cobras from South India and fascinated by the features of this wonderful snake.
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