|Facts and Knowledge:
The King Cobra is one of biggest venomous snakes in the world. It can grow up to eighteen feet long and can weigh up to two hundred pounds. The King Cobra is vicious. When the King Cobra is scared or excited it will spread it's neck into a "hood" creating long ribs that extend the loose skin of the neck behind the cobras' heads. This is how cobras usually attack readies for the attack. and a fine warning..
Habitats: The One of the king cobras natural habitats is the cool undergrowth of rain forests. It often stays near streams, where the temperature and humidity are relatively constant. It spends almost a fourth of its time up in trees or bushes, but also likes plains and mangrove swamps. As deforestation causes the kings habitat to shrink, it can find itself in enemy territory the human realm of tea estates and villages.
Breeding: Potential mates find each other by sending “scent messages.” Both males and females give off a musk is the mating season. When a male picks up the scent of a nearby female he pursues her and rubs her with his head. If she's not interested, he persists by using his head to butt and push her around. Once she's aroused, the male inserts the nearest of his pair of hemipenes, genitals stored inside the tail, just behind his vent. The pair can stay joined like this for hours. Scientists think that some king cobras mate for life. King cobras are the only snakes to make nests. These consist of mounds of leaves (preferably bamboo) that the queen whips together with her body coils. Its a two-story affair: The eggs are laid in a bottom chamber and the queen lies coiled in the upper layer.
Most coup attempts occur against a vulnerable young royal: Wild boar and mongoose are notorious thieves of king cobra eggs. Hatchlings cobras are susceptible to army ants, giant centipedes, civet cats, and more mongooses.
Coloration: Depending in part on its habitat, a king cobras color varies from olive brown to gray to a deep, shiny black. In general, royal in dark forests have darker skins, and those in open forest or plains have lighter skins.
Attacking & Feeding: The king cobra is the world's longest venomous snake. Many species of cobras are natives of Africa, including the asp (Naja haje) and the spitting cobra (Naja nigricollis), which sprays venom into the eyes of its victims. The King Cobra attacks by pushing itself forward and biting it's victim with it's short fangs. The venom of cobras often acts on the nervous system rending or paralyzing its victim. The cobra like most snakes swallow their victims whole. Usually head first.
Key Facts: Sizes, Weight, breeding, lifestyle, related Species
Length: Up to 13 ft - 18 ft
Related Species: The cobra's Latin name (Ophiophagus hannah), phiophagus means snake eater. Its related to many other cobras in the world.
Distribution: The kings natural realm stretches from India eastward to Vietnam, southern China, and the Philippines, and southeast through Malaysia and Indonesia. Yet throughout its vast range the king cobra is not common anywhere, and in India it has become rare from habitat loss. While only listed in some areas of being endangered this large snake is in no danger at present of extinction.
Conservation: Humans are the king cobras most dangerous insurgents. Deforestation, often due to growing populations and agriculture, is shrinking the kings native habitat throughout its range. In southern India, people kill a dozen or more king cobras each year when the snakes stray into tea estates and villages.
Features of the King Cobra:
Tail: Short and flat with a bare underside.
Anal scent glands at the base of tail.
Did you know:
The antidote arrives on horseback... or rather, via horse neck. A small, non lethal dose of venom “milked” from the fangs of alive king cobra is injected into a healthy horse. Once the horses body has developed antibodies to the venom, blood is removed from the jugular vein. Its then mixed with an anticoagulant and a preservative, and the antibodies are separated and stored as antivenin.
Drop for drop, a king cobras venom is actually less lethal than a common cobras. The king more than makes up for it by delivering more venom per bite as much as .2 fluid ounces (7 milliliters) of liquid. That's enough to kill an elephant, or 20 people.
King cobras generally shed four to six times a year in a two week shedding cycle, but in their first year they shed every month. Despite all this shedding, the number of scales and their arrangement remains the same throughout the snakes life.
The Queens not pregnant, she's gravid the term for snakes that are carrying eggs. The eggs develop side by side along the females body. A female snake can store sperm for several years, and can produce young two or three years after her last contact with a male snake. Scientists still doesn't understand how she does that.
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