As dance partners go, king cobras have got to be up there with the most unusual candidates. The woman in this extraordinary footage seems very calm about being so close to this deadly snake and this is not something that we would recommend that you do yourself. We get a fantastic view of the wonderful markings on the back of the snake’s head whilst we marvel at her bravery.
The Longest Venomous Snake on Earth
King Cobras are large snakes! Their head can be the size of a human hand and they can grow up to 18 feet in length. Their body and tail are long and slim but their neck vertebrae have extra-long ribs that they can pull out laterally to create the classic cobra hood.
King cobra fangs have to be short because they cannot fold back and they have three small teeth behind each fang.
These magnificent snakes reside in India, southern China, Malaysia, the Philippines and several island countries. Their preferred habitat is dense or open forests, bamboo thickets, mangroves or agricultural land and they like to be near water. King cobras eat mainly other snakes and occasionally lizards.
Venom and Behavior of King Cobras
King cobras are actually quite secretive snakes, and rarely do humans see them. When you are faced with their hooded head they may seem aggressive, but there are plenty of more aggressive snakes out there! These guys would prefer to hide away than to attack a human. Rattle snakes are responsible for more deaths each year than king cobras. However, it is possible to tell from this snake’s appearance that they feel threatened. The top third of their body is raised and their hood is expanded.
So, how dangerous would it be if the kind cobra bit this woman? They do not have the most potent venom of all snakes but they inject so much of it into their prey (or any animal that they perceive as a threat) that it is very dangerous. Their venom glands are large and produce large quantities of venom and king cobras bite as many as four times in quick succession. A single bite is enough to kill an elephant!
The venom is a neurotoxin and binds to receptors on muscle cells so that the victim is paralyzed.
If a king cobra bites a human, it is a medical emergency as death can occur within 30 minutes. Antivenom medication is available. The victim must go to a hospital that can treat snake bites. With the correct treatment, many victims recover although the best option is not to get bitten in the first place!
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