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Common Cobra (Naja naja) - Asian Cobra, Indian Cobra, Spectacled Cobra


Cobras are one of the most beautiful and striking species of Poisonous Snakes in the World. Belonging to the Elapidae Family of snakes which includes Cobras, Kraits and Sea Snakes, there are over 270 species of cobras ranging throughout the Asian and African continents. One of the most poisonous, revered and even worshipped snake families in the world, Cobras are highly venomous and considered very dangerous snakes. Efficient hunters, quite capable of protecting themselves, Cobras deliver significant amounts of deadly Neurotoxic venom resulting in necrosis and respiratory collapse. This potent, fast acting venom can result in human fatality in as little as 30-60 minutes from time of envenomation, especially in children due to their low body weight. CLICK HERE TO SEE ANIMAL WEBCAMS

Common Cobra
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Common Cobra
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Snakes in the Naja family are clever in venom delivery. Fortunately, many strikes are delivered as "dry bites" with no envenomation. Spitting Cobras are known to have the nasty habit of spitting venom, see Pictures of Spitting Cobras. It is easy to recognize the Cobra's characterizing threat posture when they are about to attack. Cobras extend up to half of their body in a vertical upward position and "hood-out" right before striking with bite or spray. Spitting Cobras usually spray out twin jets of venom from its Fixed Fangs aiming for the victim's eyes with the pin-point accuracy of a skilled bow archer or trained marksman. This is a resourceful adaptation to immobilize the victim, effective from a distance, without the snake having to make direct fang contact. Like the famous King Cobra, the largest venomous snake in the world with specimens known to reach over 18 ft in length, Common Cobras are also very capable of spitting venom.

Medical facilities have a hard time keeping accurate statistics on Cobra bites because villagers seek the help of the local "Witch Doctor" or "Medicine Man" often before seeking professional medical help. Considered a big mistake in this modern age, it is this tradition that often delays a rapid professional medical response. This factor alone significantly increases the human mortality rate for Cobra envenomation with over 10,000 Cobra snake bites recorded in India alone each year. Almost immediately after envenomation, the victim may react with sudden convulsions, drowsiness, headache, limb paralysis, loss of consciousness, nausea, vomiting, intense abdominal pain and excruciating pain around the bite wound. Increased blood pressure and cardiac output is common but by far the greatest danger is respiratory failure. Fang marks may be deep puncture wounds or evidenced only by a series of small lacerations. Cobras are very capable of multiple snake bite strikes from a single snake, or not uncommon with Cobra strike encounters, envenomation from multiple snakes even for those skilled in Wilderness Survival.

Antivenom treatment is the only way to counteract the effects of the Cobra's venom. Scientists have found the Cobra venom so toxic even if only 1/3 of the receptor sites on a human's diaphragm have been blocked by venom, the victim will cease breathing. Administering morphine for pain is usually withheld because it is known to suppress respiratory functions. Actually, the first snake Antivenom discovered in 1895 by Albert Calmette, was born due to the significant number of fatalities resulting from the deadly Indian Naja species of Cobra. Cobras are synonymous with power and speed within our modern day culture and there are many games & sporting good lines named after them, including GI Joe Action figures, a vintage Ford Mustang, Cobra Golf Clubs and Cobra Kayaks and even the U.S. Cobra military helicopter.

Cobras, long time a favorite of snake charmers, are indeed mysterious, beautiful creatures rising and mesmerizing the beholder with a hypnotic swaying motion. Cobras are thought to be one of the most intelligent snakes responding well to visual cues and these charmers specialize in getting the Cobra to rise up and "hood-out" to please the tourists and gathering crowds. Unfortunately, many Cobras often have their fangs extracted or the venomous sacs removed shortening their life span due to mouth rot.

This Cobra species, native to Asia, is also referred to as the Common Cobra, Asian Cobra, Indian Cobra, or Spectacled Cobra (due to the eyeglass shaped pattern on its skin). Locally the Common Cobra is also known as Cobra-de-Capello, named for King Covercapal the Snake God who was converted to Buddhism. This large, highly venomous snake ranges throughout the rainforest, rice fields, and cultivated lands of India, Central Asia and Southeast Asia feeds primarily on rodents, lizards and frogs. The Common Cobra has enemies including the Mongoose and many of the larger birds of prey (Raptors) but also among its own Naja species, especially the King Cobra an "Ophidian" known to feed almost exclusively on other snakes, including the Common Cobra.

Common Cobras are oviparous, laying a large number of eggs, sometimes as many as 40, but usually between 12 to 20 eggs in the hollows of trees, termite mounds or into tunnelled out nests. The female Cobra diligently guards her nest only leaving to feed. Baby Cobras hatch out from their egg nest, deadly from birth, within 50-60 days and have their first molt or skin shed within 2-11 days. Cobras raised by Captive Breeders are often finicky eaters and must be tricked into eating snake food such as "Pinkies" (frozen baby white mice) scented with lizards or frogs.

As always, we hope you enjoyed this article featured as part of TigerHomes Sanctuary's continuing Educational Series. We also hope you will take this opportunity to visit our world renowned Animal Cams. You are invited to take your own snapshots and enter your pictures into our Viewer Gallery Contest for a chance to win monthly prizes! The SANCTUARY is a permanent home to Rare White Tigers, Golden Tigers, Bengal Tigers, Siberian Tigers, African Lions and Lemurs. Our residents are quite the characters and simply amazing to watch in their natural habitats. It is our Mission to preserve and protect these Endangered Species. You can help save Endangered Species right now by visiting our Gift Shop. Become a proud Sponsor! Please help us by sponsoring the animals & our work. TigerHomes Sanctuary welcomes and needs your support!

Common Cobra Scientific Data >

See also:
How to Avoid Snake Bites
| Poisonous Snake Bites Effects | Snake Venom | Snake Fangs
Other Snakes:
Diamondback Rattlesnake
| King Cobra | Spitting Cobra | Kingsnakes & Milk Snakes

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