Which are the characteristics of Ophiophagus Hannah ?

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giorgiana1976 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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 The Royal Cobra is the longest venomous snake in the world with a length of up to 6 m, weighting approximately 6 kg. It belongs to the family of reptiles called Elapide. Ophiophagus Hannah, its name in Latin means snake-eater of men. The largest in the world is at the London Zoo, which has a length of 5.7 m. The average life of a Royal Cobra is about 20 year.  The Royal Cobra is an endangered species due to forest destruction. World Conservation Union (IUCN) protects those species.

Hunting : Like other snakes, the Royal Cobra receives chemical information (scent) through her tongue split. Moving prey may refer to 100 m away. After injection of venom, cobra started to swallow prey. As with any snake, jaw bones are connected by very flexible ligaments, which enable the snake to swallow animals larger than he. Are able to hunt at any time of day, although it is rarely seen at night.

 Feeding : Usually, the Royal Cobra eats other snakes such as Python,  Bungarus , Indian Cobra and small vertebrates, such as iguanas, birds or rodents.

 Venom : Venom, which is composed of proteins and polypeptides, is produced in specialized salivary glands, behind the eyes. From a single bite, the snake may inject into prey to 8 ml of venom. The venom is neurotoxic and thus causes pain, blurred vision and drowsiness, when injected into a creature. At two minutes after the bite occurs circulatory collapse and the victim falls into a coma. Red Cross in Thailand and Central Research Institute of India produce an antidote but both are produced in small quantities and are not widely available.

Multiplication : the Royal Cobra reproduces by eggs. The female makes a deposit of 20-40 eggs each in the soil that acts as an incubator. The female stands as guard near the eggs .

Related Species : There are over 200 species of elapide found worldwide except Antarctica and Europe. All are aggressive and venomous but may differ in habits, behavior and their appearance. The most famous and important species are elapide: Coral snake, the Black Mamba,  Royal Cobra and Black Cobra.

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