The king's snake cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), the world's largest venomous snake, is found mainly in forests from India through Southeast Asia to the Philippines and Indonesia. Princess cobra is the only member in its genus. It is classified as part of the family of Elapidae, cobra family.
Princess cobra can reach 5.6m in length, making them the longest of venomous snakes. When faced, they can raise up to one-third of their body straight up from the ground and still move forward to attack. They will also bulge when threatened and emit a bone-chilling squeak that sounds almost like a growling dog.
An adult king cobra is yellow, green, brown or black. The throat is pale yellow or creamy. The baby is jet-black, with yellow or white horizontal streaks on the body and tail and four similar horizontal streaks on the head. King cobra is considered a ferocious snake.
The deadly fangs of the cobra are nearly 8 to 10 mm long. Because they are fixed to the upper jaw, they are very short. If they are longer, they will pierce through its mouth. Fangs lying on the snake's mouth, fangs help push prey from the mouth to the stomach.
King venom's venom is not the strongest among venomous snakes, but the amount of nerve toxins that they can secrete in a bite of up to two-tenths is enough to kill 20 people, or even lice is an elephant. Fortunately, princess cobra is very shy and will avoid humans whenever possible, but they are aggressive when cornered.
King cobra live in northern India, from east to south China, including Hong Kong and Hainan; south across the Malay Peninsula and east to western Indonesia and the Philippines.
They like streams in dense forests, bamboo bushes, adjacent agricultural areas and dense mangrove swamps. They are often near streams where temperature and humidity are relatively stable. Princess cobra spends nearly a quarter of their time on trees or in bushes.
Reproduction usually occurs from January to April. King cobras lay eggs and often lay 20 to 40 white eggs. They are the only snakes in the world to build nests for eggs, protecting them until the eggs hatch.
The female pushes leaves and branches into a pile of nests, where eggs are incubated by high decomposition temperatures. The female is still on the nest to protect the eggs and the male is still nearby to protect the nest. During the care, lord cobra tends to be very aggressive. Eggs of king cobra are hatched in spring and summer, blooming in autumn.
Their lifespan can reach about 20 years in nature.
Princess cobra is an active hunter. It hunts almost exclusively among other snakes, sneaking around in the forest, fields and villages during the day as well as at night. The biggest enemies of lord cobra are humans, humans catch and use certain parts of the cobra cobra to make food, medicine and skin.
Princess cobra is usually not aggressive to humans. They are very hostile and dangerous during the breeding season or when cornered or startled. When threatened, the lord cobra lifted the front of the body so that it stood perpendicular to the ground. They bulged right under its head, and let out a small squeak to threaten the enemy.
In this position, it can move or rush forward to attack its enemies. The reading venom of the king cobra is very abundant and powerful, can kill an elephant within three hours with a bite. In captivity, they are very aggressive with strangers but recognize people who feed and take care of them and anticipate feeding time.
Princess cobra often restricts its diet to cold-blooded animals, especially other snakes. Some specimens develop a rigid diet of a snake and will reject any other type. The snakes that the cobra cobra eat are mostly larger harmless species, such as Asian mouse snakes and pythons about 3 meters long. They can also eat Indian cobra with venom, hot snakes and even small cobra.
When food is scarce, it also eats other small vertebrates, such as lizards, birds and rodents. In some cases, cobra restricts its prey, such as larger birds and rodents, using its muscular body, although this is uncommon. After a big meal, the snake lives for months without eating because of its slow metabolism.
King cobra can be known as the species of choice for snake lovers in South Asia. Many people think that cobra can be heard, but they are really deaf to the noise around, instead feeling vibrations from the ground. Seductive flute drivers draw the cobra by the shape and movement of the flute, not by the music it emits.
Despite the large geographical scope of the Queen Cobra, in 2010, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species designated this vulnerable snake. IUCN's decision is based on the fact that the King Cobra populations have decreased by 30% between 1935 and 2010 and this species faces constant threats of habitat loss and excessive hunting.