King Cobra Snake

King Cobra Snake

King Cobra Snake…

King Cobra
The Mystical King Cobra and Coffee Forests by Michael Allen Smith cc2.0

Where do king cobras live?

The King Cobra mainly inhabits thick forest regions of India and Asia. Growing up to an average of 3-4 m in length, it is the longest of all venomous snake species. Other than slithering on land, the cobra can also climb trees and swim.




Prey and Hunting

King Cobra Sensory
The Mystical King Cobra and Coffee Forests by Michael Allen Smith cc2.0

It has excellent vision that enables it to spot prey from a distance of 300 ft. The cobra has the ability to feel the vibrations of the ground (such as footsteps), so this compensates for its deafness. Also it has a forked tongue with which it smells. The tongue picks up scent particles and sends it to sensory receptors on the roof of its mouth. When a prey is detected by its scent, the cobra flicks the tongue out to figure out the prey’s location. With its sense of smell, great eyesight and sensitivity to vibrations, the cobra can successfully track its prey.

Venom

The king cobra’s venom is not as toxic as most other highly venomous snakes’, but the volume of venom injected in one bite is enough to kill a full grown Asian elephant or 20 – 30 adult humans.

What does a king cobra eat?

Predator King Cobra
A royal meal by Lip Kee cc2.0

The diet of the king cobra consists of almost entirely snakes! Most of these snakes are non-venomous species like small pythons and rat snakes, but it does feed on venomous species as well like cobras, kraits and even other king cobras. It swallows the whole prey head first, like all snakes, and it can stretch its jaws to take in prey that is much wider that itself. If the cobra has had a large meal it can go for several months without another, since its metabolic rate is slow (though swallowing the large prey may take hours).

Babies

The female cobras build a nest of leaves and lay 20-50 eggs. She takes very good care of the eggs by protecting it from threats. However this parental care lasts only until the eggs start to hatch. When the hatching starts she instinctively leaves the nest to find a prey. This is to prevent her from eating her own young, since king cobras do commit cannibalism. When born, the baby cobras, at about 45-55 cm long, are just as venomous as the adults.

King cobras are featured in the following books:
25 Most Deadly Animals in the World
25 of the Most Poisonous Animals in the World!
25 Top Predators in the World Book
25 Awesome Snakes


The YouTube video below contains a playlist of videos about the king cobra. The list of videos featured is underneath.

The Playlist:

  1. How Dangerous Is The King Cobra? – Natural World: One Million Snake Bites, Preview – BBC Two – The BBC shows snake expert Romulus Whitaker gets up close to a King Cobra in India.
  2. King Cobra vs. Saltwater Crocodile by NationalGeographic – Footage showing the perils of being young in the animal kingdom no matter how deadly you might grow up to be.
  3. indian worlds deadliest monsters by RAMAN KUMAR – A close look at the king cobra.
  4. The Biggest King Cobra Caught On Tape In INDIA by shanisharma – The biggest venomous snake the documentary maker had ever seen.
  5. snake king cobra by national geographic – A very excitable presenter meets a king cobra.




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