The cobras are the mightiest of all the snake species. There are around 270 sub-species of this unique reptile. Some of the rarest cobra species are Egyptian cobra, False water cobra, Red spitting cobra, among others. Did you know that a King cobra can eat another snake as its food? Yes, you read it right! An interesting cobra snake fact is that they exhibit an Ophiophagus diet system, which means they feed on other snakes and even on their eggs. The young cobras, called hatchlings, look extremely cute but are equally dangerous. It is both an incredible and scary moment to watch a King cobra with its raised hood. The hood and their sharp fangs are the tools they use to bite and inject venom into their prey or to ward off predators. The cobras are long snakes, capable of winding half a human from top to toe. Usually, they like are loners but become friendly while looking for mates and are found in groups, called a quiver. To know more about the cobra facts for kids, continue reading below.
A cobra is one of the most venomous snakes in the world. It is also the longest snake, capable of attaining explicit height when it lifts its body.
What class of animal does a Cobra belong to?
A cobra snake belongs to the class of reptiles.
How many Cobras are there in the world?
There are about 748 king cobras left in the world. The other 270 species of cobra are also dwindling in number.
Where does a Cobra live?
All cobras like the King Cobra prefer living in areas full of trees, shrubs, bushes, and near water bodies. These are typical of Southeast Asian countries like India where the King Cobras nests in the tropical rainforests, deciduous forests, grasslands, wetlands. They usually prefer living on trees, branches, and shrubs, sometimes winding around it. One may also find it hanging its body from the trees. An ample amount of moisture in the air is needed to prevent skin dehydration and the consequent death of the cobras.
What is a Cobra's habitat?
A perfect cobra habitat is the one found only in the tropical regions of South Asia. Warm and sultry weather are ideal habitats for the cobra snakes. Hence, these venomous snakes are mostly found in the forest floors of the tropical evergreen forests, near wetlands, and some even in agricultural lands. In the dense forests, it is hard to spot them as their mottled skin color camouflages with their surroundings. During hot summers, they prefer staying underground or under a bush of fallen leaves to keep them cool. The cobras can easily catch their prey from these areas collecting their food from birds, and other snakes. Also, a warmer environment enables hassle-free hatching of the cobra eggs.
Who do Cobras live with?
Cobras are extremely venomous snakes and always prefer staying on their own. They are very shy and introverted creatures who don't like to mix up with any other species. They are happy and calm when left on their own. But these snakes become extremely violent when provoked, enough to kill other animals and man.
How long does a Cobra live?
These venomous snakes have a lifespan of 17-18 years in the wild. But most of its species are being increasingly threatened by their habitat loss.
How do they reproduce?
The breeding season of the King cobras starts from January to April. The otherwise aggressive snakes become quite friendly while looking for a female cobra. If there's a quiver, then all the males fight and the strongest one gets to mate with the female. King cobras remain monogamous throughout the mating season and the females lay 21-40 eggs. The mother snake makes up a pile of dry leaves and branches as nests for its eggs and protects them with all her might. It takes around 50-79 days for the eggs to hatch into hatchlings. The hatchlings are initially nourished by the mother and gradually become independent and start hunting their own prey. The bite and venom of the cute-looking hatchlings are as poisonous as that of the adults, so humans shouldn't be fooled by their cuteness.
What is their conservation status?
All the 270 species of cobra, namely the King Cobra, White Cobra, Red Spitting Cobra, Forest Cobra, and others are listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List. The most venomous snakes are being threatened by their most potent predator - humans. Since earlier times, the cobra snakes fall prey to humans for various purposes. These snakes were poached for their skin and for preparing delicacies. Their venom is extracted for making medicines and antidotes to snake bite.
In Southeast Asia, the King cobra or Indian cobra is used by snake charmers for performing street shows. They are taken out from the wild and are forcefully captivated in a different habitat, threatening their survival. Many King cobras were poached to obtain a cobra stone, known to have healing powers. All these malpractices using this unique family of snakes have threatened to kill them.
However, most of the countries are now pooling their conservation efforts to help this longest snake species survive. Separate provisions replicating the cobra habitat and for breeding of eggs are created at the zoo to conserve them.
Cobra Fun Facts
What do Cobras look like?
Cobras are the longest snake species in the world belonging to the Elapidae family. These snake species range between 13-18 ft in length. They have a glossy and slippery scaly skin texture and move by slithering on the surfaces. Different species of cobras differ in their color and skin texture. All cobras have extremely venomous fangs which are around 2-3 in long. The cobras are widely known for raising their hood and body to attack or ward off enemies. The eyes of the King Cobras are glistening dark black in color with rounded pupils. Another species called the spitting cobra have their fangs protruded out throwing venom up to 1.3 m. These snakes hiss loudly taking their fangs out. When threatened or disturbed, a cobra can attain almost 6 ft in height, raising its entire body, and can even chase its enemy in that posture for long distances.
How cute are they?
Cobras or King Cobras are scary-looking reptiles. Most people don't find them cute and look frightening instead. People who like snakes, find cobras cute when they raise their hood or are just lazying in a stand-still position. Their glistening eyes can be cute for some.
How do they communicate?
The cobra snake is usually a shy animal. A king cobra is a complete loner, enjoying the solitude. These cobras usually don't move around much because of it's enormous length but become very violent and scary when threatened or provoked. These snakes hiss making a very loud and shrill sound, resembling that of a dog howling at night. Apart from warding off the enemies, cobras also start hissing during the breeding season to find another cobra snake to mate with.
How big is a Cobra?
Cobras are the longest and thickest snakes in the world ranging between 13-18 ft in length. It is more than double the size of a human. It is eight times the size of a rattlesnake.
How fast can a Cobra move?
A cobra can move as fast as 12 mph. It is usually slow but can raise its hood to chase and attack humans and other enemies from far.
How much does a Cobra weigh?
Cobras generally weigh around 13-20 lb, equivalent to two buckets filled with water.
What are their male and female names of the species?
You may think that a female is called a Queen Cobra. But no, females are called female King cobras.
What would you call a baby Cobra?
A baby cobra is known as a hatchling.
What do they eat?
A typical cobra diet consists of preying on other snakes, small reptiles like mongoose, lizards, chameleons, rodents, and birds. Initially, a cobra lifts up its hood and searches for its prey. With great eyesight, it can find its food from long distances. It slowly slithers towards its prey first, raises its hood, takes out its fangs, and attacks the animals to eat. A cobra hunts and swallows its food at one go and becomes very lazy post-meal. After a single hunt, cobras like King cobra can go on for days without being hungry and searching for food. This is because these snakes have a very low appetite and slow metabolism.
Are they poisonous?
All snake species of cobras are extremely poisonous. They can kill other snakes, rodents, and even humans in a matter of few minutes. King cobras are one of the most poisonous snakes in the world, followed by the spitting cobras. There are many instances in Asia where an Indian cobra petted by a snake charmer had killed him with its multiple bites injecting poisonous venom. On a scale of 1 to 10, a King Cobra can be given 9 for being poisonous.
Would they make a good pet?
It is not advisable to keep King Cobras or any cobra as pets for home. These snakes are extremely venomous and moody. It is not a good idea to pet them. First, they are almost 18 ft long, and making space for such a large species is a problem. Also, no other humans will come to your home if you pet a King Cobra, because they often raise their hood and chase people around. They hiss so loudly that it will deafen you. Hence, they are best kept at a zoo or in the wild. Most importantly, translocating cobras from their native habitat, reduces their lifespan due to habitat loss, and they are also an endangered species.
Did you know...
A King cobra is also known as Hamadryad.
The venom of an Egyptian cobra directly destabilizes the nervous system of humans, causing brain death or total death. The venom of cobras are so poisonous that their bite can kill a full-grown elephant and 20 humans all at once.
The male cobra is longer than the females.
The oldest King cobra was recorded to survive for 22 years.
India has adopted a unique technique to attach micro-chips to the back of the cobras' hoods, to track them in the wild and rescue them to a zoo away from the poachers.
Some cobras don't develop the dark pigment in their body and become white cobras or albino cobras, which look even scarier.
How fast can a Cobra kill a human?
King cobras are loaded with the deadliest venom. In case a human is attacked by the fangs of a King cobra, the person will die in less than 30 minutes' time. In the case of getting attacked by a spitting cobra, the risk of dying within 30 minutes still remains.
How to draw a Cobra?
Drawing a cobra is easy, but bringing out its mottled and scaly skin texture requires precision. Start by making the outline of its hooded head and the fangs. Proceed by drawing the body of the snake making thick semi-circular bends, tucked in towards the tail. Shade or color the skin bringing out the scaly texture. Make two rounded and black eyes, maintaining the alignment with the protruded fangs of the snake.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including green anaconda or rattlesnake.
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