Cobras are snakes with potent venom and the ability to strike at their foes with amazing speed. They’re known for killing and eating lizards, rodents, amphibians, and more. However, not every small mammal is an easy meal for them. That lesson is one that a deadly black cobra, possibly a forest cobra, is bound to learn in this video.
The video begins with a cameraperson that is entirely too close to a black cobra that measures several feet long. The snake is too busy to pay attention to the human, though. Its eyes are fixed on a mongoose, a small mammal. The cobra lunges at the mongoose but comes up empty, unable to sink its venomous fangs into the critter.
The mongoose gets even closer to the cobra as it draws its head off the ground and spreads its hood. It goes for another bite, and the mongoose dodges once again. This time, the mongoose goes for a counterstrike, but it misses.
The fight goes on and the video skips forward a few moments or several minutes. The mongoose jumps to the side of the snake. Before it can strike, the mongoose delivers one bite, and the snake recoils. The deadly black cobra tries to counter, but it’s too late. The mongoose leaps and bites into the cobra’s head and takes it down. The mongoose keeps gnawing and twisting on the head, and the fight seems all but over. However, the mammal gets distracted, allowing the snake to rise again.
Round Two: The Deadly Black Cobra’s Second Wind
The black cobra is clearly hurt, but it’s not out of the fight just yet. The two square up once again, and it seems like the cobra is ready to go for another round. However, the mongoose isn’t going to give the snake another opportunity to fight it. Instead, it leaps up and grabs the cobra by the head again, bringing it to the ground, and turning it over and over.
This time, the mongoose apparently kills the cobra. The mongoose rolls the snake’s body over and over. The snake is either too exhausted or injured to fight. This outcome is not all that unusual. Mongooses take down deadly black cobras and other venomous snakes with great frequency.
These mammals may be small, but they’re also agile and have teeth that help them crush skulls and tear flesh away. More importantly, they have some resistance to certain types of snake venom, allowing them to survive some envenomation. This combined biological toolkit makes mongooses the ideal species for killing cobras and even black mambas!
So, the next time you think about animals fighting, remember that size isn’t everything. Some animals are born well-equipped to handle larger, deadlier animals.
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- , Available here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1874391916304018
- , Available here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1469-185X.2012.00222.x