The King Cobra snake, found in India is the largest venomous snake in the world.
In a single bite it can inject enough venom to kill an elephant - up to 6 -
7 ml. This is enough to kill up to 20 people. The venom of King Cobra snake has a
paralyzing effect on the nerves and has been used to develop painkillers
used to treat arthritis in humans.
Mythological Significance of Cobra Snake
The King Cobra snake is worshipped in India, particularly on the festive occasion
of Nag Panchami and is depicted in sculptures on temple walls and celebrated
in myth and legend. King Cobra snake also garlands the neck of Lord Shiva. The
King Cobra or Nag is seen in numerous images of Hindu worship.
Physical Feature of Cobra Snake
King Cobras grow to an average length of 3.7 m (12 ft). The longest
recorded King Cobra snake was 5.58 m. When threatened the King Cobra reacts by
putting on a threat display. It rises to one-third the length of its body,
spreads its hood and emits a hissing noise. The King Cobra snake has scales
covering its skin and looks shiny but is dry to touch. Adults are yellow,
green, brown, or black; the throat is light yellow or cream-colored. Young
King Cobras, which are about 14 inches long, have bright markings on their
bodies. They often have yellow, white or black bands across their bodies.
These bright bands fade with time to become the broad chevron like markings
seen on adult cobras.
Characteristics of Cobra Snake
The King Cobra snake moves by slithering and sliding. Though it usually tries to
escape when disturbed, when angered it stands menacingly with one-third of
its body erect, and its hood spread. Cobra snake is regarded as a fierce and
aggressive snake, and tea-garden workers often encounter it in the North
East of India.
King Cobras can rise up to one-third their length and look for prey or as a
defensive gesture. Male King Cobras wrestle with each other in ritual mating
contests for a female cobra snake. King Cobras are the only snakes that make nests
for their eggs. The female cobra snake or Queen brings together a pile of leaves.
As the leaves decay they generate heat, which keeps the eggs warm. The Queen
lays 20-40 eggs in the base of the nest and curls up above them to keep them
warm till they hatch. The eggs are incubated for 2 month During this time
the Queen will defend her nest from any predators. The Queen leaves the nest
just before the young snakes emerge from their eggs. In India the
traditional belief is that King Cobras mate for life. King Cobra snake shed their
skin several times a year in a process known as ecdysis.
Habitat of Cobra Snake & Diets of Cobra Snake
The King Cobra snake is generally found in deep jungles and mild cool climates
with a lot of humidity. Thick undergrowth, cool swamps and bamboo clusters.
Cobras prefer to avoid human habitation. The destruction of their habitat
has led to increased human cobra conflict. Cobras can slide up trees and
bushes and spend a significant amount of time above the ground, looking for
The King Cobra snake eats mice, rats, snakes, lizards, birds, frogs and fish. Like
all snakes, they swallow the prey whole, head first. The top and bottom jaws
are attached to each other with stretchy ligaments, which let the snake
swallow animals wider that itself. Cobra Snakes can't chew their prey; food is
digested by very strong acids in the snake's stomach. It can go without food
Key Factors of Cobra Snake
Egyptian Cobra :
King Cobras are found across South East Asia from India
through Southern China, Vietnam Malaysia Indonesia and the Philippines. The
largest recorded King Cobras have been found in peninsular Malaysia.
Estimated population :
Exact numbers of King Cobra population in
India are unknown. They are considered an endangered species.
Major Sites To See Cobra Snake
The King Cobra snake is found and Malaysia, India, Africa, China. In India, the
king Cobra can be found in the National Parks and Reserves of Buxa, Corbett,
Manas, Namdhapa, Simlipal, and the Sunderbans.
Tourists can see King Cobras at the Snake Park near Chennai in Tami Nadu,
on India Wildlife Tours. In the wild King Cobras are found in sanctuaries in
South and North Eastern India, but prefer to avoid humans and are not easily
seen in the wild.
Present Status of Cobra Snake
King Cobras are threatened by the reduction of rainforest jungle and bamboo
groves. The destruction of their natural habitat has led King Cobras to come
into conflict with humans. The fear of the cobra's venom often leads to
Cobras being killed as soon as they are seen. Cobras are usually killed due
to human encroachment. Cobra snakes are also killed for their skin which is used to
make leather items such as belts, purses and bags.