A “Cobra” as most people use the word, is any snake that can flatten it’s “neck” area, the section behind the head, into a kind of hood and stand upright to raise the head off the ground. This definition works for most people and makes the snake below, the King Cobra, a “Cobra” in their thinking. But Cobras are not all alike, not all from the same snake family, not equally venomous or even, in some cases, very closely related. Cobras

A. Monocled Cobra- Naja kaouthia
B. Shield Nosed Cobra- Aspedelapas scutatus
C.King Cobra- Ophiophagus hanna
D. Ringhals- Hemachatus haemacatus
E. Egyptian Cobra- Naja haje
F. Coral Cobra- Aspedalapas lubricus

 The word “Cobra” is short for a Portuguese phrase “cobra de capelo,” which simply means, snake with a hood.   k This iconic painting was done by Charles Knight, the artist that painted many dramatic Dinosaur scenes in the early 20th century.

In reality, this is usually a stand off, with neither tiger nor Cobra interested in trying to test itself against the certain death of the other’s attack.  forestjungleorth00barnrich_0176 The secretary bird of Africa, in search of a meal, uses its long legs to keep away from being bitten and it’s powerful feet to stamp the Cobra to death.  tIn spite of their reputation, Cobras are not especially aggressive snakes. They have been kept in captivity for over a hundred years and the number of bites from captive Cobras is extremely small. Much smaller than for others, like rattlesnakes. They often take pre-killed rodents as food and become docile very quickly.

This is not to say that anyone reading this should consider one as a pet!

  va Some snake charmers sew the Cobras’ mouths closed or the brake off teeth with a pliers or file, but some work with the Cobras so much they become used to handling and will not bite. These are Indian Cobras.  Cobra Facts This has become a common sight in India and Indonesia. Obviously all these people are not Cobra experts with decades of handling experience to protect them from Cobra bites. Therefore the reverse must be true, the Cobras are not interested in biting. Cobra Facts The European colonization of southest Asia brought agribusiness, like coffee and cotton plantations, to areas that had never known it. These specialized farms created places where rats and mice could live close to people, both on the farms and in the settlements set up for their workers. And with the incomming rodents came the snakes, both venomous and non-venomous by the hundreds. Suddenly snakes like Cobras could be found living right under foot, literally! The numbers of bites and deaths skyrocketed.

When anti-venoms were produced they still had to get to the people bitten, in a world without refrigerators. The solution was to make the anti-venom right where the snakes were biting the people.  
 Cobra Facts The author of The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling, also wrote a book about a mongoose protecting a boy from 2 evil cobras. Riki Tiki Tavi has delighted and frightened English speaking children all over the world since 1894. The story states clearly that the Cobras were the ones invaded upon by the humans and their mongoose protector, yet it is with the humans and the mongoose that the story’s sympathy lays. Eventually both Cobras and their unborn eggs are destroyed and justice is seen to be done in the conclusion.
This story and hundreds like it laid the psychological ground work for the destruction and hatred of snakes all over the world, including the rattlesnake round-ups in the US.  uThis type of fiction was common for decades in magazines, books and movies. You can still find similar examples today. As entertainment I have no problem with it, but people believe it as fact and think Cobras are evil creatures out to get us!
 Author Bill Boesenberg 
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210Caspian Cobra 212Indian Cobra 209King Cobra 213Ringhals- Spitting Cobra

87Shield Nosed Cobra & Coral Cobra


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