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Thursday, 4 August 2011

One Of The Fastest Snake's In The World

The Black Mambas (Latin: Dendroaspis polylepis) name refers to the blue-black coloration of the inside of the snake’s mouth, which it displays when threatened rather than the actual color of the skin which varies from olive to grey with white bellies. It is known to live in the savannas and rocky hills of southern and eastern Africa.

The Black Mamba is presumably Africa’s most feared snake, and with good cause! It is a fast, nervous and highly aggressive animal, armed with venom that can potentially kill a human within 20 minutes, though death generally occurs after 30 to 60 minutes, sometimes taking up to three hours. Raising a large portion of its body off the ground, black mouth agape, the Mamba charges. It is known to be capable of reaching speeds of about 20kph (12mph), making it one of the fastest land snakes in the world. The Black Mamba is shy and will almost always seek to escape, but it will try to protect itself at the least sense of danger. It cannot tolerate close encounters so it will lash out at anything coming too close.

The Black Mamba hunts by day using its excellent eyesight. It is an ambush predator that waits for its prey to get close. If the prey tries to escape, the Black Mamba will follow up its first bite with a series of strikes. The Black Mamba will release larger prey after biting it. The stricken animal may make it off but in a short time it is paralyzed by the snake’s toxins. Smaller prey, such as rats, are held onto until the prey's muscles stop moving. They have been known to prey on birds and small mammals such as bushbabies, bats, small chickens, etc.

Source: wikipedia
Image: national geographic

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