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King Cobra

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Matilda Cruz
Matilda double majored in zoology and animal behavior at the University of Hawaii. She’s been an animal lover from a young age and knew she wanted to study them even more for her career. She’s always looking for ways to spread her animal knowledge.

The king cobra, scientific name Ophiophagus Hannah, is perhaps the most well-known and dangerous of venomous snakes in the world. It’s also the longest venomous snake. Native to Asia, king cobras are popular with snake charmers. Their iconic hood makes this animal of the day instantly recognizable.

Characteristics

  • Although they do not have the most potent venom of all snakes, king cobras produce enough neurotoxin in one bite to kill twenty men. Their venom causes cardiac failure and respiratory arrest.
  • King cobras may grow up to 18 feet in length, making them the longest venomous snake.
  • They cannot hear ambient noises. Instead, they sense vibrations in the ground.
  • Like other snakes, king cobras have no sense of smell. Their tongues pick up scents.

Appearance And Behavior

  • The coloring of king cobras varies depending on their region. But all cobras have a distinctive neck pattern and ‘hood.’
  • King cobras can extend their long bodies to ‘stand ‘ and face a threat. They flare out their hoods and emit a low hissing noise to scare the danger away.
  • Contrary to popular belief, king cobras avoid humans in the wild. They are shy by nature.

Habitat

  • The king cobra’s home is the forests and plains of Southeast Asia, India, and parts of China. Cobras survive in a range of environments, from thickets and swamps to rivers and high-altitude grasslands.
  • They feed on small mammals, eggs, lizards, and other snakes, both venomous and non-venomous.
  • King cobras are the only snakes that build nests for their eggs. They guard these eggs fiercely until they hatch.
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