King cobras are active by day and night, but are rarely seen. They hunt by smell, 'tasting' the air with their forked tongues to track their prey.

 Print

King Cobra Habits

Daily Life: King cobras are active by day and night, but are rarely seen. They hunt by smell, 'tasting' the air with their forked tongues to track their prey. When they get close, they use their eyes to pinpoint their victim before striking, injecting a massive dose of venom. They are then able to swallow their victims whole while they are still alive. They have no limbs with which to rip their prey apart, so their lower jaws are independent, and are only loosely attached to their skulls. By using alternate movements of the lower jaws, they are able to drag their prey into their mouths. Large victims can take several hours to swallow, but after a large meal a king cobra will not have to eat again for a few weeks.

Toxic venom: King cobra venom is very toxic. A single bite can kill an Indian elephant in three hours, provided a vulnerable spot is bitten. The fangs of the king cobra are around 15mm long, but can deliver more venom than any other snake except the gaboon viper. When threatened, the king cobra can raise itself up to one third of its length - in some cases this is taller than a human. It is also able to flatten the ribs of its neck into an intimidating hood to make itself appear larger. However, the king cobra is not an aggressive snake, and is much more likely to glide away than to attack.

 

Read More: Breeding

Related Resources

Please donate £1 to help YPTE to continue its work of inspiring young people to look after our world.

Donate £1 X