After the king cobra, the black mamba is the longest venomous snake in the world. It is also the fastest-moving snake in the world, reaching up to 23km/h.

Food and hunting

Black mambas travel quickly across rough ground or along low tree branches when hunting. They are able to hold their heads up to 1m above the ground when striking and can hold them 50cm above the ground even when moving. They have very good eyesight and can strike their prey - rodents, bats, birds and lizards like lightning, leaving their powerful venom to finish off the kill.

The venom is injected through two hollow fangs at the front of its mouth which lie flat until the snake bites something, at which point small, movable mouth bones erect them. The venom causes rapid paralysis. Enzymes in the snake’s saliva start to digest the prey before it even reaches the stomach and most prey is digested within a few hours.

Read More: Breeding

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