King Cobra Wildlife Animal – Documentary Movies
The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah, also known as hamadryad) is a species of venomous snake in the family Elapidae. The species is endemic to Asia, and is found predominantly in forests from India through Southeast Asia. This species is the world’s longest venomous snake, with a maximum length (including tail) of 18.5 to 18.8 ft (5.6 to 5.7 m). Despite the word “cobra” in its common name, this snake is not a member of the Naja genus (the “true cobras”), which contains most cobra species, but the sole member of its own genus. It preys chiefly on other snakes and occasionally on some other vertebrates, such as lizards and rodents. The king cobra is a dangerous snake that has a fearsome reputation in its range, although it typically avoids confrontation with humans when possible.
The king cobra is a prominent symbol in the mythology and folk traditions of Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
The king cobra averages at 3 to 4 m (9.8 to 13.1 ft) in length and typically weighs about 6 kg (13 lb). The longest known specimen was kept captive at the London Zoo, and grew to around 18.5 to 18.8 ft (5.6 to 5.7 m) before being euthanised upon the outbreak of World War II. The heaviest wild specimen was caught at Royal Island Club in Singapore in 1951, which weighed 12 kg (26 lb) and measured 4.8 m (15.7 ft), though an even heavier captive specimen was kept at New York Zoological Park and was measured as 12.7 kg (28 lb) at 4.4 m (14.4 ft) long in 1972.
A king cobra, like other snakes, receives chemical information via its forked tongue, which picks up scent particles and transfers them to a special sensory receptor (Jacobson’s organ) located in the roof of its mouth. This is akin to the human sense of smell. When the scent of a meal is detected, the snake flicks its tongue to gauge the prey’s location (the twin forks of the tongue acting in stereo); it also uses its keen eyesight; king cobras are able to detect moving prey almost 100 m (330 ft) away. Its intelligence and sensitivity to earth-borne vibration are also used to track its prey.
Following envenomation, the king cobra swallows its struggling prey while its toxins begin the digestion of its victim. King cobras, like all snakes, have flexible jaws. The jaw bones are connected by pliable ligaments, enabling the lower jaw bones to move independently. This allows the king cobra to swallow its prey whole, and swallow prey much larger than its head.
King cobras are able to hunt throughout the day, but are rarely seen at night, leading most herpetologists to classify them as a diurnal species.
The king cobra’s generic name, Ophiophagus is a Greek-derived word which means “snake-eater”, and its diet consists primarily of other snakes, including rat snakes, small pythons, and even other venomous snakes such as various members of the true cobras (of the genus Naja), and the krait. When food is scarce, they may also feed on other small vertebrates, such as lizards, birds, and rodents. In some cases, the cobra may “constrict” its prey, such as birds and larger rodents, using its muscular body, though this is uncommon. After a large meal, the snake may live for many months without another one because of its slow metabolic rate. The king cobra’s most common meal is the rat snake; pursuit of this species often brings king cobras close to human settlements.