Cobras

September 20, 2018

in Cat Health

The species of snake called the spitting cobra is very unusual as it not only has a poisonous bite but it also spits venom into the eyes of its prey and aggressors. Contact of this venom with your eyes is very painful and can even blind you temporarily, therefore, if you get cobra venom in your eyes, irrigate them with water at once in order to prevent permanent tissue damage.

The King Cobra,Ophiophagus hannah, also distinguishes itself in this large family of snakes (elapids) by the fact that it feeds almost entirely on other snakes with mice and small birds also falling prey to its venom.

The King Cobra is also unique because of its size – it can reach 5.85m (almost 20 feet) in length, which makes it the longest poisonous snake in the world. The latest discovery of a new species of cobra was made in 2003 when it was identified by London Zoo as part of an illegal shipment of exotic pets.

According to DNA studies this new species of snake is similar to the red spitting cobra but different in terms of genes. It appears to have originated in an area between Sudan and Egypt, and it was given the name of the ‘Nubian Spitting Cobra’.

Though highly dangerous when it senses a threat, a cobra will not attack if you leave it in peace, although the venomous spit can travel very accurately for two meters. If compared to the strike of a rattlesnake, the cobra is pretty slow in attack, and many bites prove blank, that is without envenomation.

Statistics of a study conducted on Malaysian cobra snake victims indicate that only 55% of the bites involved poison release and the same statistics indicate a mortality rate of only 10% for people bitten, since the poisons injected into the blood of the prey destroy the nerves (neurotoxins), which induces respiratory failure approximately half an hour after being bitten, so you have 30 minutes to seek help.

The colouration of this snake is variable from light green-grey to black, whereas juveniles have alternate yellow and black bands.This snake is to be found all over south-eastern Asia.

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