COBRAS: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
ARE YOU FASCINATED BY THE MOST
FEARSOME SNAKE ON THE PLANET?
Hopefully this page will help you learn some informative and fast cobra facts. Don’t forget to bookmark our site and come back to learn lots more, and have some fun too!
Let us start by getting acquainted with Cobras…
How many cobras are there?
Overall, there are around 270 types of Elapid Snakes (that include the Cobras and their relatives such as the Taipans, Adders, Mambas and others). There are around 28 types of Cobras, who are regarded as true Cobras. King Cobras are just one type of cobras, although they belong to a genus of their own.
Here’s a short clip showcasing 13 Types of True Deadly Cobras…
Are Cobras aggressive? Most cobras are shy, and will usually run and hide when people are around. The exception is King Cobra, who is aggressive and will rear up and stand his ground when confronted.
What unique power do they have? This is one of those supernatural cobra facts that always amazes me: Cobras are the only snake in the world that can spit their venom, and they are accurate up to about half their own length!
Can they see? Cobras are not blind, in fact they see very well even at night. However, eyesight is not their only great sense…
Jacobsen’s Organ: Gives the Cobra super smelling ability.
How well can they smell? Cobras have a “Jacobsen’s Organ” (like most snakes) that gives them super smelling ability. They can sense tiny changes in temperature, which helps them track their prey at night.
Can they hear? Cobras can hear, although they sense sound through contact with the ground much better than humans.
How heavy are Cobras? They vary in weight, depending on species, from only a few ounces for a typical African Ringhals, to 35 lbs. for a large King.
How powerful is their Venom? Cobras venom is not the strongest there is, but cobras can inject so much venom in a single bite that they can kill an elephant. Sea snakes have deadlier venom, and rattlesnakes have weaker venom. Anyway, if you plan to be around venomous snakes – always have a Snakebite First Aid Kit close by. Coghalan’S Snake Bite Kit is one good option.
Are they poisonous? Cobras are not poisonous, they are venomous. This means that even though they have deadly venom in their sacs, the rest of the snake is edible to predators, if they are brave enough to try!
How can Snake Charmers avoid death? Many snake charmers remove the fangs or the venom sacs from their snakes, because it is too dangerous. This practice is illegal, and is considered inhumane to the snake. For those of you who want to do something about it, if by teaching others or helping those who teach, I urge you to visit ASP, an American nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the way people view and treat snakes. For our readers from India there is the famous non-profit organization “Friends of Snakes Society”, founded in 1995, which is dedicated to the protection of, and public education about, snakes.
HOW DOES THE COBRA HOOD FUNCTION?
What is the Cobra Hood made of? As Cobras grow bigger, their beautiful hood becomes a spectacle, but how does it work? Well, A cobras hood is created by the extension of the ribs behind the snakes’ head. It is primarily used to make the Cobra appear bigger and scarier. This amazing hood contains loose skin which the Cobra can inflate with air from his lungs, expanding the movable ribs. Take a look at the Cobra hood photo and drawing of the Cobra’s Anatomy, in order to get a better picture…
What did Scientists discover about the Hood? In 2010, scientists from the Washington State University in the U.S uncovered the mechanism behind the menacing “hood flare” that Cobras deploy for defensive means. The scientists measured the electrical activity of the Cobra’s muscles, and discovered the exact group of muscles used to raise the hoods. There were only 8 muscles found to be involved in the “hooding”. The interesting fact is, that these muscles were also present in non-hooding snakes. The scientists further claim that the Cobra’s hood evolved as its ribs were “co-opted” to be used in this unique visual display. These findings were reported in the Journal of Experimental Biology.
WHAT DO COBRAS EAT?
Do they eat their own? Cobras will gladly devour birds, fish, frogs, toads, lizards, eggs and chicks raided from poultry houses, in addition to small mammals such as rabbits and rats, and even other snakes. To learn more about the menu of the most fearsome snake, read our post “What Do Cobras Eat?“.
Did you know that Cobras are at the top of the food chain? Their only natural predators are the mongoose, a few large birds of prey like the Secretary Bird, and man of course. You are welcome to read more about the Cobra Predators.
How smart are Cobras? Cobras are very intelligent, and can learn quickly, which helps them avoid dangerous areas. As a Cobra owner for many years, John Klein wrote a great post on the Cobra’s snake brain and intelligence.
Do Cobras always inject their Venom? This is surely among the most surprising Cobra Facts on this list. Do you know that Cobras don’t always inject venom when they bite something? Well, they can do a “dry bite” if they choose to, without injecting the venom automatically. However, you can never know what a Cobra will do, so for any case whatsoever, it’s always wise to have a Snake Bite First Aid Kit at hand.
What is the treatment for a Cobra bite? The best special medicine given to cobra bite victims, called “antivenin”, is made from cobra venom.
How dangerous are babies? This might sound surprising, but baby cobras have full strength venom and can defend themselves exactly like their parents! So don’t be tempted to play with cute baby cobras…
Are Cobras legal? Obviously it is illegal to keep a cobra as a pet. Well that is at least the case in most places, because Cobras are so dangerous if handled by the wrong people.
Are Cobras like Gods? Cobras are revered in India and Southeast Asia. The Hindus consider them manifestations of Shiva, the god of destruction and regeneration. The Buddhists believe a massive cobra spread its hood over the Buddha to protect him from the sun while he meditated. Cobra images guard the entrances of many Buddhist and Hindu temples. King Cobras have also been worshipped as sun deities and associated with rain, thunder, and fertility. On the annual lunar holiday of Nag Panchami, Hindus refrain from plowing and field work out of respect for cobras.
The Super Cobra Snake Car: The Most sought-after car ever? In the early 1950’s, a young American named Carroll Shelby was one of the world’s first professional race car drivers. Later on he was told he could not drive anymore because of heart problems, so he begun building a new sports car. He called it AC Shelby Cobra, and it became one of the most sought-after and replicated cars ever. For more please read our great post “AC Shelby Cobra: The Story of a Super Snake Car”.
And here’s a little glimpse into the most majestic Cobras in the world…
WHY ARE KING COBRAS GREAT PARENTS?