As we said in our last article on King Cobra facts that we were not quite done. There’s an awful lot more to learn and we intend to do it here in this article on facts about King Cobra. Before we start, let us take a glimpse at what we are going to learn here in this article:
- Venom of King Cobra.
- Physical characteristics of King Cobra.
- Breeding habits of King Cobra.
- Predators of King Cobra and other threats.
- How does a King Cobra swallow a snake longer than or equal to its own body length?
So, now that we know what to expect from this article, let us start with our list of facts as promised by the title of this article.
King Cobra Facts: 1-5 | Venom of King Cobra
1. Do you know that the King Cobra’s venom is not as potent as other poisonous snakes? For instance, Black Mamba is far more venomous! This may lead you to think that its venom will not really kill anything.
2. You are absolutely wrong! The King didn’t just get its name for no reason. The King is capable injecting large volumes of venom in a single bite. The sheer amount is capable of killing.
3. Here’s a stunner. A single bite from a King Cobra can kill a full-grown Asian Elephant within just one to three hours. And… one bite from a King Cobra can kill 20-30 humans at once. Yes, that is the amount of venom it injects in a single bite.
4. Wondering how much venom it injects in a single bite? It can usually range between 200 and 500 mg but it can ramp up the amount to 7 ml. Wondering, what 7 ml means? 7 ml is equivalent to 7,000 mg.
5. The venom of the King is primarily composed of neurotoxins. These neurotoxins are known as haditoxin. Once the snake administers the venom, it hits the central nervous system and causes immense pain, blurry vision, drowsiness, vertigo and then paralysis. Then comes cardiovascular collapse, followed by coma and then death by respiratory failure.
King Cobra Facts: 6-10 | Physical Characteristics of King Cobra
6. Did you know that of all the poisonous snakes that roam our planet, the King Cobra is the longest one? The average length of a King Cobra is within the range 9.8 feet to 13.1 feet. The longest one till date was stored in London Zoo and measured a whopping 18.8 feet. That captive King Cobra was eventually euthanized when World War II broke out.
7. Wondering about the weight of a King Cobra? The average weight is 13 lbs or 6 kg. However, the heaviest King Cobra till date was the one that was at New York Zoological Park. It weighed a whopping 28 lbs or 12.7 kg.
8. In terms of size, King Cobras are sexually dimorphic. This means that the males and the females are different in size. Usually in case of snakes, females are larger in size than males but in case of King Cobra, males are larger compared to females.
9. In terms of color, the King Cobras can have different colors depending on the region they belong to. The color is either black or tan or olive-green. Irrespective of the base color, all of them will usually have pale yellow cross stripes or cross bands across their entire length but some of them may eventually lose the yellow bands. The underside of the body, i.e. the belly will either have pale yellow or cream color.
10. The juvenile King Cobras will have this narrow yellow bands across but the base color will be shiny black, giving them the appearance of a banded krait but it is their expanded hood that allows proper identification.
King Cobra Facts: 11-15 | Breeding Habits or Reproduction in King Cobras
11. The breeding period for the King is between January and March. It is this time when the male King Cobra will follow pheromone (chemicals) released by female King Cobras and try to find out a potential mate.
12. Once a male finds a potential mate, he will rub his head on the female’s body as courtship. This courtship may last for 5 minutes to a couple of hours. The female may resist and she may show actions like butting or nudging.
13. Just in case multiple males find the same female, a competition ensues. The two or more males will then compete and try to push the head of the opponent on to the ground. There is no fight-to-death criteria here. The loser will simply leave.
14. The victorious male will then copulate with the female. The champion of the duel and the female in heat will then intertwine their bodies together and stay in the position for several hours. Mating can continue for several days in which the pair will copulate several times.
15. Once the male plants his seeds into the female, the male will leave. The gravid female on the other hand will find a spot for building a nest. For building nests, females will usually find a place that is close to trees and has ample shade.