Special Sub-Topic: The King Cobra
|What is the biological name for the king cobra?|
Ophiophagus hannah. The binomial name of the king cobra is Ophiophagus hannah. The king cobra is one of the most venomous snakes in the world. It belongs to the Class Reptilia, Order Squamata, Family Elapidae, Genus Ophiophagus and species hannah.
Naja naja and Naja tripudians are two species of the Indian cobra and Crotalus horridus is the rattlesnake.
|The name of this snake, namely cobra, is derived from a Portuguese phrase "cobra de capello." Do you know what this phrase means?|
Hooded snake. The term 'cobra di capello' is a Portuguese phrase which mean snake with hood. The reason for this name lies in the fact that the cobra can flatten its neck ribs to form the shape of a hood. The king cobra is one among the various types of cobra and is the largest in size.
|The king cobra has a forked tongue. Do you know the purpose of this forked tongue?|
To smell its prey. The king cobra can smell its prey through its tongue, which can pick up scent particles and transfer them to a sensory receptor. The king cobra thus uses its tongue to smell its prey and track them down. Even though the king cobra is deaf, it can feel vibrations from the movement of its prey.
|Where are king cobras mainly found?|
In forest areas. The king cobra is mostly found in forest areas. Its presence is restricted to Southern part of Asia mainly in India, China and parts of South-East Asia.
|What is the main food of the king cobra?|
Snakes. The king cobra's main food is other snakes. The king cobra belongs to the genus Ophiophagus, which means 'eater of snakes'. The king cobra feeds on different kinds of snakes (venomous and non-venomous), which includes the Indian cobra. If it does not find a snake for its meal, it feeds on birds, rats and other small creatures.
|The king cobra is the deadliest snake and can kill a human in 2 minutes. What makes it so deadly?|
Its bite contains a greater quantity of venom. The king cobra is one of the deadliest of all snakes and can kill a human being in 2 minutes. On an average it is 12-13 feet in length and can rear up and stand while facing an enemy. The fangs of the king cobra are around half-an-inch long and it can deliver more venom than other snakes. In one bite, the king cobra can inject around 7 ml of venom, which can easily kill 20 people. The amount of venom it injects is the main reason, why it is so deadly. The king cobra's venom is neurotoxic and affects the nervous system and results in cardiac and lung failure.
|By nature, the king cobra is extremely aggressive and will attack any creature that crosses its path.|
f. Despite its reputation of being the deadliest snake, the king cobra is shy in nature. It lives usually in forests, near rivers and prefers to avoid humans. But if attacked, it reacts ferociously raising its hood and standing up tall.
|Which of the following statements about the venom of the king cobra is true?|
It can be used to treat arthritis. The venom of the king cobra can be used to make anti-venom. It also is used in the preparation of medicines that are useful in treating arthritis. Its medicinal value is as a pain reliever. Even in alternate medicinal systems, such as homeopathy, it is used in the treatment of diseases including cardiac ailments.
|The king cobra is venerated and worshipped in some places.|
t. While the king cobra is feared and avoided by people, it is also worshipped by many, particularly those who belong to the Hindu religion. Snakes in general and cobras in particular are worshipped and a special festival called 'Nagar Panchami' is observed by Hindus where snakes are worshipped. The king cobra is known in India as the 'Kalinga Sarpa' and there are many legends about the snake guarding a precious gem. In modern times, many people have been bitten to death after going to a king cobra's nest to search for gems!
|Which of the following interesting facts about the king cobra is true?|
It is the only snake that builds nests for its eggs. The king cobra is the only snake that builds a nest for its eggs. During the breeding season, the king cobra builds a leafy nest and lays around 20-50 eggs.
The king cobra is not the only snake to eat other snakes, there are other snakes of the same genus which eat other snakes. Like most snakes, it sheds its skin and has a scaly body.
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