King Cobra | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

King Cobra | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

King Cobra Overview

Appearance

The King Cobra, Ophiophagus hannah, is one of the world's largest venomous snakes, renowned for its imposing appearance. It boasts a sleek, glossy body that can grow up to 18 feet (5.5 meters) in length. Its coloration typically consists of olive-green scales with distinctive black and yellow bands that run the length of its body.

Origins And Evolution

The King Cobra, scientifically known as Ophiophagus hannah, has ancient origins tracing back to the early evolutionary history of snakes. It belongs to the Elapidae family, which includes some of the world's most venomous species.

This snake's lineage likely diverged from other cobras millions of years ago. Over time, it evolved unique traits such as its exceptional size, potent venom, and ability to rear up and display its hood. The King Cobra's evolution reflects its adaptation to a predatory lifestyle, preying primarily on other snakes.

Behavior and Lifestyle

Ophiophagus hannah is a solitary and highly territorial snake known for its secretive and elusive behavior. It is primarily diurnal, actively hunting during the day. These snakes are excellent climbers and swimmers, often found near water sources.

King Cobras primarily feed on other snakes, including venomous species, and occasionally on small mammals and birds. Their venom is extremely potent, used both for hunting and defense, and they are known for their impressive ability to rear up and display their hood when threatened.

King Cobra Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Elapidae
  • Genus: Ophiophagus
  • Species: Hannah

King Cobra Locations

  • Southeast Asia
  • Indian subcontinent
  • Southern China
  • Thailand
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Bangladesh
  • Sri Lanka

Fast Facts

  • Name: King Cobra
  • Scientific Name: Ophiophagus hannah
  • Habitat: Forests, Grasslands
  • Diet: Snakes, Small mammals
  • Physical Features: Large size, Hooded appearance
  • Nocturnal: Mostly diurnal
  • Solitary: Mostly solitary
  • Unique Order: Squamata
  • Lifespan: 20-30 years
  • Conservation Status: Vulnerable
  • Fun Facts: Venomous, Largest venomous snake

Physical Characteristics

  • Color: Olive-green, Black
  • Skin Type: Scaled, Smooth
  • Top Speed: 20 km/h
  • Lifespan: 20-30 years
  • Weight: 6-9 kg
  • Length: 3-4 meters
  • Age of Sexual Maturity: 3-4 years
  • Age of Weaning: Not applicable

King Cobra FAQs

What is a King Cobra?

It is a highly venomous snake known for its striking appearance and potent neurotoxic venom.

Where is the King Cobra found?

King Cobras are primarily found in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, including countries like India, Thailand, and Indonesia.

How long can a King Cobra grow?

King Cobras can reach lengths of up to 18 feet (5.5 meters), making them the longest venomous snakes in the world.

What is the coloration of a King Cobra?

They typically have olive-green scales with distinctive black and yellow bands running the length of their body.

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