Introduction - King CobraThe King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is the longest venomous snake in the world. It can raise up enough of its body off the ground to stare a 6 foot man straight in the eyes. Although they only kill a few people every year do not underestimate the King Cobra; they are an extremely dangerous animal. In fact a single bite from this huge snake can inject enough venom to kill 20 people. The facts listed below contain interesting information for both kids and adults who want to learn more about this extremely dangerous animal.
Click here for a great selection of Amazon.com books about King Cobras.
Interesting King Cobra Facts
- The King Cobra can raise up to one-third of its body off the ground straight up into the air.
- Although the King Cobra has the word Cobra in its name it is not what is called a true cobra. It is not a member of the genus Naja which are "true cobras". It is the only member of the genus Ophiophagus.
- Not all King Cobra bites of humans are lethal; sometimes a bite will be a "blank bite" meaning the snake will not inject its venom, and in other cases will not inject a full dose of venom.
- As if its appearance was not scary enough its hiss sounds like a growling dog.
- These snakes try to avoid human contact but are extremely dangerous when they are cornered or otherwise feel threatened.
- There is an interesting answer to the question what do King Cobras eat? Their diet consists mostly of other snakes. In fact it genus name Ophiophagus is derived from Greek meaning "snake-eater". They also eat lizards, eggs, and small animals.
- These snakes hunt during the day and are rarely spotted at night.
- Although there are many other snakes that have more potent venom, what makes the bite of this animal so lethal is that its bite can inject up to two-tenths of an ounce (7 milliliters) of venom; a very lethal dose.
- Where do King Cobras live? Their habitat is mainly forests and plains in India, and southeast Asia.
- One interesting fact is that this snake builds a nest for its eggs; the only snake in the world to do so. The female will guard the eggs until they hatch.
- This species was first recorded in 1836 by a Danish naturalist named Theodore Edward Cantor.
King Cobra Description
- This reptile can grow to an amazing length of 18.8 feet (5.73 meters).
- An average weight for these animals is 13 pounds (6 kilograms).
- The King Cobras color varies depending on what region they are from.
- Making these animals even more dangerous is the fact that they are very agile and can move quickly.
- Like all other snakes the King Cobra has very flexible jaws that allow it to open its mouth wide enough to swallow large prey whole.
- This snake, as do all snakes, has a forked tongue which is used to pick up scents and therefore is much like the human nose.
- These dangerous reptiles have keen eyesight.
- The King Cobra's hood is longer and narrower than "true cobras".
- One sure way of identifying a King Cobra from other snakes are by two large scales called occipitals on the top of its head.