King cobra is one of the most feared species of snakes in the world. Their imposing size, fierce appearance and deadly bite is renowned by all. In spite of these characters these creatures have Some unique qualities like a distinctive voice and a name that hides its true identity. Curious? Come and check some of the interesting facts about these kings of snakes.
2. They are the longest venomous snakes on the planet. A full grown male can be 10-13 feet in length where as some grows around 18 feet. A venomous snake with this size definitely horrifies anyone.
3. These snakes do have crowns or hoods on their head. When threatened they expand their ribs located behind their head that appears like a hood with unique prints on the back. King cobras are the only snake that have hoods to appear bigger.
4. When threatened these hoods are not the scary part. These snakes make a sound by exhaling the air and resonate it in their respiratory system to create a growling sound. This sound is not like hissing, instead it sounds like an angry German Shepherd’s growling. The snake makes this sound with raising their body up-to 6 feet above surface which is really a fierce sight.
5. King cobra’s venom is neurotoxin, which means the venom attacks the nervous system of the victim. A single bite can deliver up-to 7 mil-liters of venom which can cause dizziness, blurred vision, paralysis and respiratory failure. If anti-venom is not administrated in time than it can kill a full grown elephant or 10 men in 30 minutes.
6. These snakes eat generally lizards, small mammals but, sometime they got cannibals or eat other snakes. Even a python less than 10 feet in length is not safe. So the name genus Ophiophagus perfectly suits the creature which means snake eater in Greek.
8. These are the only snakes that build nests. Females gather leaves, hays and straws and lay 20-30 eggs on them, than cover it by another layer of leaves to regulate the temperature. The females guard their nest for 2-3 months until the eggs hatch. This time females don’t eat and behaves very aggressive to whatever approaches towards the nest.
9. Baby snakes are more vibrant in color as they have white or yellow bands throughout their body, these bands eventually get dull and adults are generally brown in color.
10. King cobras can live for 15 years, but in captivity they can live for over 20 years.
11. These snakes generally hunt on ground, but they are excellent climber. In South Indian forest one tracked snake had seen to climb at a height of 65 feet on tree branch, many times they are found hanging from trees. These snakes are actually great swimmers also.
12. King cobras have acute sense of chemical trails, feeling vibration and excellent sight that helps to see its prey from 300 feet away.
13. All snakes are ambush predators, King cobras also. But, unlike other they are not likely to stay in one place and let the prey come at them. These kings prefer to chase and hunt down their prey.
14. Almost all animals are vulnerable to this snake’s venom except the Mongoose. Their body cells are well adapted with this venom so, practically mongooses have no effect of this venom, they can attack and even kill King Cobras.
15. These snakes can run on all terrains. Forest, swamp, sand and hilly areas. Not just that, these snakes can run up-to 10-12 miles per hour.
16. King cobras can give dry bite. Means, they will bite but won’t inject venom. It is not as fatal as venom injection but, the 2 inch teeth can definitely give you serious pain and doctor suggestion is mandatory to check if venom is injected or not.
17. These creatures look fierce and menacing, but actually they are shy and avoid any human interactions. There are very few cases of King cobra bites, and documented most of the cases victims were snake charmers.
18. These snakes are mostly found in South Asia. Haffkine Institute and King Institute of preventive medicine & Research of India developed the Polyvalent anti-venom that reduces the effect of King cobra’s neurotoxin venom on human body.