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  • The 24-36 inch copperhead is responsible for approx. 35 % of all venomous bites in USA. Read More
  • Cottonmouth snakes forage by ambushing their prey, and will avoid humans at all costs. Read More
  • The average death rate from krait bites in Asia is 7 %. It is highly feared in India. Read More
  • The puff adder can strike with lightning speed and most of its victims are from Africa. Read More
  • Cobra's are the largest and deadliest snakes in the world. Read More
  • Known by its triangular head. The venom from the Russel's viper causes renal failure within hours.
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  • The coral snake is not as dangerous as people think and fatalities are uncommon.
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  • The gaboon is a rather calm snake, but deaths from its venom occur fast.
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  • Lancehead snakes accounts for approx. 90 % of all snake envenomations in South America.
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  • The rattlesnakes rattle is composed of scales. Amputations from its bite are common.
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  • The taipan snake has the lowest LD50-value of all snakes. 0.030 mg/kg can kill 50 people.
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  • Bushmasters are the largest vipers and lengths of 6 feet are common.
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  • The black mamba is largest and deadliest snake of Africa. Most, but not all, survive its bite.
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  • Fangs of sea snakes are mostly to short to penetrate human skin. Related to Cobras!
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  • Tiger snakes are roaming around Australia, including islands such as Tasmania.
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  • The death adder can attract prey by wiggling its tail. Its venom is slow to take effect.
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  • The boomslang is long and slender perfectly camouflaged African snake.
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  • Burrowings asps have the longest fangs relative to their head size of any snakes.
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  • The Moorish viper is the largest viper in Africa. It has a zig-zag pattern on its body.
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  • The horned viper is a typical ambusher. Usually, its bite is not deadly.
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  • The night adder is responsible for most venomous snake bites in Africa - it is not deadly.
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  • The most common types of antivenom and how it is produced and used.
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  • Read about people who has survived snake bites and see how bites affected them.
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  • See annotated videos of venomous snakes from around the world.
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  • See annotated images of venomous snakes from around the world.
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  • How did snakes evolve and how is the geological record of snakes.
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  • See a top 5 list of the most venomous snakes in the world.
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About

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Cobra Snakes: The Large, Spitting, Deadly Killers

By Anders Nielsen, Ph.d.

Cobra snakes are the largest and most venomous snakes in the world, as well as the deadliest when counting human fatalities. Just like the coral snake.they belong to the Elapidae family.

Links: Gaboon

Coral snake

Lancehead

Most venomous snakes in Australia and Asia are Elapids, and in some subtropical areas, particularly in the rural tropics, fatalities by Elapids are a significant medical problem (White, 2000)1.

A Cobra can kill a man in 10 minutes

Indian folklore portrays cobra snakes as a symbol of protection and fertility, and under Indian wildlife regulations, it is illegal to exterminate it.

Links: Krait

Copperhead

Cottonmouth

Snake charmers display cobras at markets because of their position in South-Asian culture and people's fascination withcobra snakes.

The diet of a cobra consists of a mixture of rodents and birds, yet they also consume other reptiles, although not as a preference.

Spitting Cobras can cause permanent blindness by their poisonous saliva

Bite From a Cobra Snake

Not all cobra bites are venomous; some bites are dry (venom is not injected) and may cause bacterial infections from germs in the cobra's mouth. Approximately 75 percent of people bit by a cobra will eventually die from the medical complications arising from the bite. A real (not dry) bite from a cobra snake will, in many cases, cause death within ten minutes due to respiratory failure.

Factbox Cobra snakes

Links: Cobra

Puff adder

Russel's viper

Cobra vs. Rat Snake

There are not many creatures in the world that kill someone from their own species, but snakes like the cobra do. This video will show you how a king cobra takes down a rat snake with its very dangerous and lethal venom in just a few minutes.

Since its neurotoxic venom acts by inhibiting the transfer of transmitter substances across the synaptic cleft, mechanical ventilation of a hurt victim may increase the sufferer's chance of survival.

If antivenin is necessary, it is important that the species responsible is correctly identified because the patient must have the correct antivenin and have proper supervision (Britt & Burkhart, 1997)2.

Life Cycle

Some cobras lay their eggs in nests they assemble themselves. The number of laid eggs varies with environmental factors, such as the weather conditions, temperature, and the quantity and availability of food.

Approximately nine weeks after mating, a clutch of 20 to 40 eggs is laid and ready for a period of maturation. Young cobras hatch after two months, and the female instinctively leaves the eggs before they hatch. This is convenient because otherwise she would probably eat the eggs, although it sounds like an illogical behavior from an evolutionary standpoint.

Juvenile cobra snakes are instantly venomous, and depending on the species, their size varies.

King Cobra

The king cobra has a reputation of having a special preference for other reptiles, but the majority of its diet is birds and rodents. King cobras are found in Asia (India, Malaysia, Philippines, and South China) where their habitats are in tropical forests, grasslands, and anywhere close to water resources where they utilize their excellent swimming skills. It is 10-12 feet long and shows aggression if provoked, even though it is generally considered timid.

A king cobra

Cobra vs. Mongoose

Cobra vs. Mongoose

You may have heard about cobra and mongoose encounters. In this video, you will see a great fight between a cobra and mongoose, and many will not believe that in the end it was not much of a contest and that the mongoose proved too strong for a cobra.

Spitting Cobra

Several species of cobra can spit. Spitting is used as a defense against predators. Generally a human cannot die from cobra saliva. The venom in the snake's saliva can, however, cause permanent blindness and scars if untreated.

References

1White J "Bites and stings from venomous animals: A global overview" THERAPEUTIC DRUG MONITORING Vol. 22 pp 65-68 (2000)
2Brit A & Burkhart "Naja naja cobra bite" AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE Vol. 15 (5) page 529-531 (1997)

Resources

Cobras

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