Sunday, 2 March 2014

Flora and Fauna #2: The King of Snakes - The King Cobra

Hey Asauce!

Today, I thought I'll write about a species which fascinates me whenever I think about them and they are King Cobra. Do you know why its called as a King (of Snakes)? As you all would know they chiefly prey on other snakes and they are the longest venomous snake in the world. In them some are poisonous and some are not. When attacked or threaten they might strike back and they also have their senses to find their prey / threat. So to attack other snakes King Cobra inflicts fear in its prey's subconscious mind through low frequency signals. Any species which has reflex would stop for a second and look around for threat and that is when King Cobra strikes!

Generally in snakes and other venomous species have glands that secrete the zootoxins (Poisons) which is nothing but highly modified saliva. The King Cobra has an evolutionary advantage here. They can simply breath (Oxygen) once and they have their poison ready to strike. They can do this for 40 - 50 times which is enough to kill a heard of elephants and no other snake can kill a fully grown elephant. Cobra's would lift their heads which not only to threaten but also to search for food. There are 270 different types of cobras which include their cousins Taipans, Adders, Mambas, Kraits and many sea snakes. They all have short fangs and are extremely poisonous. They can move very fast and can speed along with their head raised. They can raise up to 1/3rd of their length and King Cobra's can grow up to 17 to 18 feet. Hence, a fully grown King Cobra can lift their head to 6 feet from the ground!

When I was on a safari on a huge male Indian elephants in Jim Corbett National Park in the year 2010, the elephant lifted one of his leg and started trumpeting as there was a King Cobra just few feet away from us. It was a breathtaking experience for all 3 of us on the elephant. I had encountered King Cobra's in Mundanthurai Tiger reserve and Agumbe amongst other little known hamlets where the Snakes have a field day ;)

Ps: I would like to call my readers "Asause" and as always thanks for reading :) Looking for your valuable comments and open to discussion.

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