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King Cobra Snake

Written By macky on Thursday, February 24, 2011 | 12:46 AM

king cobra snake animal wallpaper species
Cobra
King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is considered the longest venomous snake in the world, reaching 18 feet (5.5 meters) in length. They can “stand up” to one third of their length (that’s 6 feet) and still confront an attacker. They will only do this when they are cornered, and are, in general, tend to avoid humans.

Although king cobras are not the most venomous of cobras (some say that title belongs to the Philippine cobra, Naja philippinensis), they make up for it by delivering more venom per bite—up to seven milliliters—good for 20 people or an elephant, which they inject through fangs up to one and–a–half inch long. Their venom has various neurotoxic (deadly to nerve cells), cytotoxic (deadly to cells in general), and cardiotoxic (deadly to the heart) effects. One very painful bite from a King Cobra can lead to blurred vision, drowsiness, and paralysis before death (as early as 30 minutes after the bite). But your mileage may vary. One out of two, or three out of five (depending on the study), people live after being bitten by a King Cobra if the bite is left untreated.

If a King Cobra does bite you, tough luck. There are only two kinds of King Cobra antivenom—one is made in Thailand and the other in India—and both are hard to come by. You might stand a better chance if you drink a shot of whiskey mixed with powdered turmeric root, as commonly used in Thailand to boost one’s shot against dying from a King Cobra bite.

Now for the good part. The King Cobra’s venom may be a source of dread for most people, but it is also a source of interest for medicine makers. Scientists in Singapore discovered a unique toxin, haditoxin, in King Cobra venom that could have useful medicinal properties. But cobra venom has been used as medicine for hundreds of years before that discovery—mainly in treating painful ailments like arthritis.

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King Cobra
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