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Encyclopedia > King cobra
King Cobra

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Elapidae
Genus: Ophiophagus
Species: O. hannah
Binomial name
Ophiophagus hannah
Cantor, 1836
Range (in red)
Range (in red)

The King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is the world's longest venomous snake, growing to a length of 18.5 ft (5.7 m).[1] However, as they are not thick-bodied, King Cobras usually do not exceed 44 lb (20 kg) in bodyweight. The venom of the King Cobra is primarily neurotoxic, and the snake is fully capable of killing a human with a single bite.[2] The mortality rate can be as high as 75%, but most bites involve nonfatal amounts of venom.[2][3][4] File links The following pages link to this file: King Cobra Categories: GFDL images ... For other uses, see Scientific classification (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Typical Classes See below Chordates (phylum Chordata) are a group of animals that includes the vertebrates, together with several closely related invertebrates. ... Reptilia redirects here. ... Suborders Lacertilia- Lizards Serpentes - Snakes Amphisbaenia - Worm lizards This article is about the Squamata order of reptiles. ... Families Acrochordidae Aniliidae Anomalepididae Anomochilidae Atractaspididae Boidae Bolyeriidae Colubridae Cylindrophiidae Elapidae Hydrophiidae Leptotyphlopidae Loxocemidae Pythonidae Tropidophiidae Typhlopidae Uropeltidae Viperidae Xenopeltidae Snakes are cold blooded legless reptiles closely related to lizards, which share the order Squamata. ... The Elapidae, or elapids, are a family of highly venomous snakes found in tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Theodore Edward (Theodor Edvard) Cantor (1809 - 1860) was a Danish physician, zoologist and botanist. ... Year 1836 (MDCCCXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... It has been suggested that Snake poison be merged into this article or section. ... For other uses, see Snake (disambiguation). ... // Snake venom is a highly modified saliva that is produced by special glands. ... A neurotoxin is a toxin that acts specifically on nerve cells – neurons – usually by interacting with membrane proteins such as ion channels. ... Snakebite can refer to several things: A cocktail made from lager beer and cider (hard cider); see snakebite (cocktail). ...



The King Cobra is pale olive or yellow olive in color with a pale yellow veneer.[1] Individuals from India are crossbanded with yellow and a black posterior, whereas Chinese variants are black-brown crossbanded with pale white or ivory.[1] Male King Cobras tend to be longer and thicker than female King Cobras. Like other snakes bearing the cobra name, the King can also flatten its neck, giving it the distinctive hood.


The King Cobra lives in much of mainland Southeast Asia and throughout the dense highland forest ranging from Northern India to Southeastern China through the Malay peninsula to western Indonesia and the Philippines.[1][5] The snake has a preference for living in areas dotted with lakes and streams. King Cobra populations have dropped in some areas of its range due to the destruction of forests, but despite this the snake is not listed by the IUCN as in danger of becoming extinct. It is however listed as an Appendix II Animal within CITES.[6] This article is about forests as a massing of trees. ... The World Conservation Union or International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. ... The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement between Governments, drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). ...

Scalation of the King Cobra
Scalation of the King Cobra

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (815x626, 11 KB) Summary Scalation of King cobra, Ophiophagus hannah. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (815x626, 11 KB) Summary Scalation of King cobra, Ophiophagus hannah. ...


King Cobras, like other snakes, smell using their forked tongue which picks up scent particles and transfers them to a special sensory receptor (Jacobson's Organ), located in the roof of its mouth.[1] When the scent of a potential meal has been detected, the snake will continue to flick its tongue to gauge the prey's direction (the twin forks of the tongue acting in stereo); it will also rely on its keen eyesight (King Cobras are able to detect moving prey almost 300 ft [100 y] away), sensitivity to vibrations, and intelligence to track its prey.[7] Following envenomation, the King Cobra will begin to swallow its struggling prey whole while its toxins begin the digestion of its victim.[1] King Cobras, as with all other snakes, do not have rigidly fixed jaws. Instead, the jaw bones are connected by extremely pliable ligaments, enabling the lower jaw bones to move independently of each other.[1] Like other snakes, the King Cobra does not chew its food, its prey is swallowed whole. Unhinging the jaw enables the snake to swallow prey much larger than their head.[1] A forked tongue is a tongue split into two distinct ends at the tip. ... The vomeronasal organ (VNO) or Jacobsons organ is an auxiliary olfactory sense organ in some tetrapods. ... For the industrial process, see anaerobic digestion. ...

King Cobras are able to hunt at all times of day, although it is rarely seen at night, leading most herpetologists to classify it as a diurnal species.[1][2] Herpetology (from greek: ερπετόν, creeping animal and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of reptiles and amphibians. ... A diurnal animal (dī-ŭrnəl) is an animal that is active during the daytime and sleeps during the night. ...


The King Cobra's diet is mainly composed of other snakes (ophiophagy): both non-venomous snakes such as pythons and venomous snakes including kraits and Indian Cobras.[2][8] When food is scarce, King Cobras may feed on other small vertebrates such as lizards, birds, and rodents.[1][8] After a large meal the snake may live for many months without another one due to its slow metabolic rate.[1][2] Ophiophagy (snake eating) is a specialized form of feeding or alimentary behavior of animals which hunt and eat snakes. ... Species , Banded Krait A krait (Pronounced krIt) is a very deadly snake. ... Binomial name Linnaeus, 1758 The Indian Cobra or Spectacled Cobra (Naja naja), also known as an Asian Cobra, is a species of venomous snake native to the Indian subcontinent. ... This page is about Lizards, the order of reptile. ... Structure of the coenzyme adenosine triphosphate, a central intermediate in energy metabolism. ...


Adult Male King Cobra

If a King Cobra encounters a natural predator, such as the mongoose, which has some resistance to the neurotoxins,[9] the cobra will generally try to flee. If all else fails, it will flatten its upper ribs forming the prototypical cobra hood about its neck and emit a high-pitched hiss, sometimes with feigned closed-mouth strikes. When two male king cobras confront each other they will wrestle while constantly trying to stay upright.[10] The snake which manages to keep the other's head down is the victor in this ritual combat. The purpose of this contest is dominance for mating or territorial rights.[10] Image File history File links Ophiophagus_hannah2. ... Image File history File links Ophiophagus_hannah2. ... For other uses, see Mongoose (disambiguation). ... This article is about the bones called ribs. ... The hood is the name in anatomy for the flap of skin behind the head of cobras, which can be used to make the snake appear bigger. ... Endemic warfare is the state of continual, low-threshold warfare in a tribal warrior society. ...


Like all species of snakes, King Cobras shed their skin four to six times per year as adults and every month as juveniles. To get the skin to start to peel, the King Cobra will rub its snout against rough edges to start the shedding process.


King Cobra venom, which is composed mostly of proteins and polypeptides, is produced in specialized salivary glands just behind the animal's eyes. The venom difference between King Cobra venom and Black Mamba venom is a King Cobra can kill a human in 15 minutes and a Black Mamba can kill a human in 20 minutes so the King Cobra is 5 times deadlier than the Black Mamba. When biting its prey, venom is forced through the snake's half-inch-long (8-10 mm) fangs and into the wound. Although the venom is less toxic than that of many other venomous snakes, including the Indian Cobra, a King Cobra is capable of injecting more venom than most other snakes due to its large size.[11][10] A single bite from a King Cobra can deliver enough venom to kill a full-grown Asian Elephant within 3 hours if the snake bites it in the trunk.[12][13] A representation of the 3D structure of myoglobin, showing coloured alpha helices. ... Peptides are the family of molecules formed from the linking, in a defined order, of various amino acids. ... The salivary glands produce saliva, which keeps the mouth and other parts of the digestive system moist. ... For the comic book character, see Black Mamba (comics). ... Binomial name Linnaeus, 1758 Asian Elephant range The Asian or Asiatic Elephant (Elephas maximus), sometimes known by the name of its nominate subspecies (the Indian Elephant), is one of the three living species of elephant, and the only living species of the genus Elephas. ...

The King Cobra's venom is primarily neurotoxic and thus attacks the victim's central nervous system and quickly induces severe pain, blurred vision, vertigo, drowsiness, and paralysis.[11] In the minutes following, cardiovascular collapse occurs, and the victim falls into a coma. Death soon follows due to respiratory failure. There are two types of antivenin made specifically to treat King Cobra envenomations. The Red Cross in Thailand manufactures one, and the Central Research Institute in India manufactures the other, however both are made in small quantities, and are not widely available.[14] The Human Nervous System. ... For other uses, see Vertigo. ... Somnolence (or drowsiness, or hypersomnia) is a state of near-sleep, a strong desire for sleep, or sleeping unusually long periods. ... Paralysed redirects here. ... For other uses, see Coma (disambiguation). ... Respiratory failure is a medical term for inadequate gas exchange by the respiratory system. ... Antivenin (or antivenom, or antivenene) is a biological product used in the treatment of venomous bites or stings. ... Red Cross redirects here. ...

Despite the King Cobra's fearsome reputation and deadly bite, it is a shy and reclusive animal, avoiding confrontation with humans as often as possible.[8] There are other venomous snakes within this species' range that are responsible for a more fatal snake bites than the King Cobra such as the Monocled cobra, Russel's Viper, and Banded Krait.[5] For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Naja kaouthia Lesson, 1831 Monocled Cobra Naja kaouthia is a species of snake. ... Binomial name (Shaw & Nodder, 1797) Synonyms Daboia - Gray, 1840 (nomen nudum) Daboia - Gray, 1842 Chersophis - Fitzinger, 1843 Daboya - Hattori, 1913[1] Coluber russelii - Shaw & Nodder, 1797 Coluber Russelii - Shaw, 1802 Coluber Daboie - Latreille In Sonnini & Latreille, 1801 Coluber trinoculus - Schneider In Bechstein, 1802 Vipera daboya - Daudin, 1803 Vipera elegans - Daudin... Banded Krait (Bungarus fasciatus) is an easily identifiable snake due to its alternate black and yellow bands. ...

In Burma, King Cobras are often used by female snake charmers.[8] The charmer is usually tattooed with three pictograms using an ink mixed with snake venom; superstition holds that it protects the charmer from the snake.[8] The charmer kisses the snake on the top of its head at the end of the show.[8] Snake charmer in Jaipur (India) in 2007 Snake charming is the practice of apparently hypnotising a snake by simply playing an instrument. ...


King Cobras mate annually and are the only snakes known to construct an actual nest for their eggs.[1][2][11][10] Prior to laying eggs, the female uses her coils to gather material together such as branches, dead leaves and similar vegetation.[1][2] This can result in a simple clump or an elaborate two tiered construct where the female lays up to 50 eggs in the lower compartment and coils atop them in the upper chamber.[1] The female then remains atop the nest throughout the 60-80 day incubation period, while the male remains in the vicinity until the hatchlings emerge.[1][11] Neonates are 18-20" long and banded in black and white.[1][2]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Mehrtens, John (1987). Living Snakes of the World. New York: Sterling. ISBN 0806964618. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Capula, Massimo; Behler (1989). Simon & Schuster's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of the World. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0671690981. 
  3. ^ Ophitoxaemia (venomous snake bite). Retrieved on 9/5/2007.
  4. ^ Sean Thomas. Most Dangerous Snakes in the World. Retrieved on 9/5/2007.
  5. ^ a b Miller, Harry (September 1970), "The Cobra, India’s ‘Good Snake", National Geographic 20: 393-409
  6. ^ CITES List of animal species used in traditional medicine. Retrieved on 9/1/2007.
  7. ^ Taylor, David (1997), King Cobra, <http://www.nationalgeographic.com/kingcobra/index-n.html>. Retrieved on 9/8/2007
  8. ^ a b c d e f Coborn, John (October 1991). The Atlas of Snakes of the World. New Jersey: TFH Publications, 30,452. ISBN 978-0866227490. 
  9. ^ Dr. Zoltan Takacs. Why the cobra is resistant to its own venom. Retrieved on 9/5/2007.
  10. ^ a b c d MSN Encarta: King Cobra. MSN Encarta. Retrieved on 9/5/2007.
  11. ^ a b c d Freiberg, Dr. Marcos; Walls (1984). The World of Venomous Animals. New Jersey: TFH. ISBN 0876665679. 
  12. ^ Venomous African Snakes. Retrieved on 9/5/2007.
  13. ^ National Geographic: King Cobra. Retrieved on 9/5/2007.
  14. ^ Munich AntiVenom Index:Ophiophagus hannah. Munich Poison Center. MAVIN (Munich AntiVenom Index) (01/02/2007). Retrieved on 09/02/2007.
Wikispecies has information related to:

Image File history File links Wikispecies-logo. ... Wikispecies is a wiki-based online project supported by the Wikimedia Foundation that aims to create a comprehensive free content catalogue of all species (including animalia, plantae, fungi, bacteria, archaea, and protista). ...

External links

  • Real Audio format of a King Cobra hissing

  Results from FactBites:
Cobra (snake) - MSN Encarta (517 words)
Cobras are recognized by the hoods that they flare when angry or disturbed; the hoods are created by the elongate ribs that extend the loose skin of the neck behind the cobras' heads.
The hood of the common cobra is, proportionately, much larger than that of the king cobra and is usually yellow to brown, with a fl-and-white spectacle pattern on top and two fl and white spots on the lower surface.
The king cobra is classified as Ophiophagus hannah, the common cobra as Naja naja, the spitting cobra as Naja nigricollis, the ringhals as Hemachatus haemachatus, and the asp as Naja haje.
King Cobra - Ophiophagus hannah (1213 words)
King cobras are most noted for their venom, which is located in salivary glands behind the eyes — these glands are attached to two hollow, erect fangs.
King cobras are generally found in dense or open rainforests, as well as mangrove swamps, bamboo thickets, savannas, and even around human settlements.
King cobras are the only snakes known to make a nest, perhaps a sign of their intelligence.
  More results at FactBites »



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