Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cobra

Cobra is the name popularly applied to African and Asian snakes of the family Elapidae that are capable of spreading long ribs to flatten their necks into a hood when threatened. Included are six species of the genus Naja, as well as the South African ringhal (Hemachatus), king Cobra (Pseudohaje), and shield-nose cobra (Aspidelaps).

 

Cobra bites are potentially dangerous to humans. A few species, the ringhal, black neck cobra, and some species Asian cobra, can spray venom from their fangs accurately with human eyes causes immediate, severe irritation of the conjunctiva and cornea. If untreated, permanent blindness may result.

 

Cobra are large snakes, usually 1 m (3.3 ft) in length or longer. The king cobra, or hamadryad, holds the record length of 5.58 m (18.3 ft) for a venomous snake. Cobra are famous for their use by Oriental snake to visual cues, have a rather slow strike, and are of spectacular appearance.

 

The Indian cobra is a favorite of snake charmers because daylight hampers its ability to make an accurate strike. At night, however the venomous snake is extremely dangerous. Only 10 % of cobra bites are fatal. Yet it is estimated that cobra kill 10,000 Indians each years. 

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