Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cobra Snakes

Some of the largest snakes in the world, both poisonous and non-poisonous, are found in Indonesia. Many species are restricted to a single or small group of island within the Archipelago. People are often wary of snakes and although a snake will rarely attack a person, it is sensible to treat all snakes as poisonous if one is uncertain of the species. This fear of snakes has often led to them being killed on sight, which is unfortunate as many species are beneficial in reducing the number of agriculture pests, particularly rodents.

Enchanting Cobras

Poisonous snakes are a minority in Indonesia and as in most other countries, the incident of snakes bite is almost entirely restricted to people living in and around forest and scrubland. The most common poisonous snakes found in Indonesia are the southern spitting cobra (Naja sputatrix) which occur from Java to Alor and the equatorial spitting cobra in Borneo and Sumatra. Cobra are the easiest snakes to recognize as they rise up when threatened, spreading their long, thin neck ribs to form a distinctive hood around the head. Their poison is neurotoxic, it affect to the victim and death can be fairly rapid if the patient does not receive attention once bitten.

The world's largest poisonous snakes is the king cobra (Ophiophagus Hannah), which can reach a length of 5.8 m. A specialist snake eater, this is a shy forest-dwelling species which only attack human when provoked. Its large venom gland contain enough poison to kill an elephant. The king cobra is the only snake known to make a nest of soil and leaf litter, gathering fallen leaves from the forest floor. The nest is about 30 centimeters high and may contain 20 to 40 eggs. These are guarded by the mother until they hatch.

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