Friday, June 19, 2009
As far as being the world's most poisonous snake the Black Mamba found in Central Africa wins hands down. Not only is this snake the most poisonous in the world it also has a very bad temper to go with the poison. It has been estimated that the amount of poison released by one bite of this snake is capable of killing 2000 humans. This snake is also one of the fastest snakes in the world, and one bite guarantees almost sure death. Very few humans have survived a bite from this snake.
The Black Mamba is a member of the Cobra family capable of reaching a length of over fourteen feet in length. When disturbed it raises the fore part of its body off the ground in a threatening manner spreading its hood and preparing to strike. Because it is so quick rarely does its victim escape. When it strikes its fangs are short but very close to the front of its mouth giving it an advantage in striking quickly.
The Black Mamba is the longest poisonous snake found in Africa and the second longest poisonous snake in the world after the King Cobra of Southern Asia. When they reach adulthood these snakes can exceed fourteen feet in length but their average length is eight and a half feet in length. They are also the fastest land snake in the world capable of moving at a speed that exceeds 12 mph.
The name Black Mamba can be quite confusing because their body is not black at all they are actually gray or green in color. Their name comes from the black lining of their mouth cavity; an appropriate color considering their deadliness. As the snake ages their body color changes to darker shades.
They are a snake of the Savannah, bushland and outcrops. Occasionally they make a nest inside a termite mound. There have been many times when they are found in peoples homes. A decidedly nasty visitor! They have been known to ambush people in their own homes many times.
The animal can be found ranging from Somalia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo including Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa.
Small animals are the Mamba's main prey that they kill using their powerful neurotoxin that paralyzes the prey. In attacking a human they most often attack the upper body or head because they are able to rear up off the ground as much as a third of their body length to launch this kind of attack. Unlike most snakes that limit their attack to one bite the Black Mamba is capable of striking up to 12 times effectively during one attack. Their venom is not only a neurotoxin but it also is a powerful cardiotoxin as well so their bite not only paralyzes the victim but can cause heart failure as well.
For the most part Black Mambas stay close to their lair that might be an abandoned small animals tunnel or a termite mound. Sometimes they climb trees looking for prey. They usually have a favorite place where they can sun themselves because they are cold blooded animals. At the approach of man they will usually slither away quietly and no attack occurs, but surprise one and they will attack. Any human that doesn't immediately receive antivenom for this snake is sure to die very quickly.
Black Mamba, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_mamba