March 22, 2023

King Cobra

King Cobra
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In this episode we talk about the King Cobra! Relax, unwind, and join me in a dense forest in South-East Asia, where we learn all about the world's longest venomous snake.


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everyone welcome back to relax with animal facts I am stuff wolf and today I am going to be learning with you about our furry scaly or possibly even slimy friends and in today's case it is definitely going to be a scaly friend of ours because we are covering the %HESITATION so wonderful king cobra this of course is a very special listener episode dedicated to ram me Josh Benjamin and Amira thank you all for taking the time to request such a cool critter and I hope you enjoy your very own episode for how to request an animal and to to get access to all of the facts that were used in this episode that information is immediately available in the show notes or the description but I will also be going over it's near the end of the episode for more relaxed with animal facts with exclusive content and intro free episodes you can go to patrie on dot com slash relax with animal facts or just click on the patron link in the description all of the tears are exactly the same so for one dollar a month you can get access to all of the content that's been posted thus far and now let us begin to wind down as always I have three things that I would like to encourage you to do the first is to put on some really versatile sneakers or just some boots that you like we are going to be needing that we're we're going today and my second exhortation for you is to notice perhaps where you were carrying tension is it in the head to sit in the neck shoulders the arms everyone in this way is different but my exhortation to you is the same regardless I want you to try to relax those parts of your body that you were tensing you can simply bring up in your mind is mmhm Jello to make it easier and just do your best impersonation really go for the Oscar here and the third thing I encourage you to do is to give your mind permission to wander into journey with me into a dense forest in Southeast Asia with the king cobra resides we're listening to we may call the forest symphony orchestra forests are some of the most noisy places in the world but not noisy in the negative sense it is like one song that continues day and night where the day musicians go to sleep and the night musicians come right in to fill their place so there is never a silent moment quit something like continuous jazz improvisation session with all of the natural world so in this lush greenery we are not just here to listen to the music but rather we are here to look for an amazing creature before we're able to even lay our eyes on one let's first go through some general facts about from the king cobra is the common name of this creature but the scientific name is off the office Hannah the former name offi offer guests doesn't just sound like it was named by Dr Seuss but it is derived from two Greek words that when combined together means something like snake eating the latter word Hannah is derived from the name of the tree dwelling names that are present in Greek mythology so when placed altogether offi offer his Hannah means something like snake eating nymphs or snake eating tree dwelling names and given their environment which is densely forested areas I would say this is a great distinction it is also worth mentioning that Hannah in Hebrew means grace or graciousness it seems to have been imported into Greek into Latin and and now into English where we have the name Anna for example so if we were to take the Hebrew sense it could mean gracious snake eater either one for me is fair game king cobras are reptiles they are carnivorous meaning that they do not spend their time eating any sort of plant material but will prefer an exclusive diet of other animals when you have a lot of king cobras together they are known as quivers a quiver like that on the back of an archer I may make some speculation as to why but it would be pure speculation they will live to be about twenty years of age around thirteen feet long and up to twenty pounds and the reason we are here in this forest in particular in Southeast Asia is because the king cobra is endemic to Asia so it prefers those thickly forested areas and can be found from India all the way throughout Southeast Asia and the king cobra is of course a venomous snake now it is not the most venomous but it is indeed the longest venomous snake many many species of snakes are venomous in the animal kingdom but the king cobra doesn't take the silver or the bronze medal for this one it is actually first place as regards length an adult snake can be between ten to twelve feet in length and weigh up to twenty pounds and when the cobra performs its characteristic posturing where it stands up right it will be hi level to the average human of course we're speaking about averages here but the longest king cobra ever recorded was eighteen feet if we compare that to a creature we have covered previously the python that long is the king cobra would come in close as the python can grow to be twenty feet long but the python is not venomous those other larger nonvenomous snakes will rely on other things to secure their prey in the case of the anaconda for example instead of using venom they will simply use construction so the king cobra seems to have the best of both worlds not with construction necessarily but rather with its very long length of fully grown king cobra can be a few different colors usually yellow green brown or black and they will often have yellowish or white cross bars or chevrons as their call their bellies may be one in color but sometimes they may also be decorated or a dorm with those same cross bars their throat is often a light yellow or cream color now keep in mind that while we are walking through this forest we have the privilege of seeing the colors that are on the underside of the king cobra while also maintaining safety if you ever run into one of these in the wild it is best not to approach and trying to see just what kind of color the sport when they do their posturing now if we were to see a juvenile or a younger king cobra that is not fully grown they will often be a check black color with cross borders that are yellow or white the two overly their body and their tail as well as on their head and their fans are about half an inch long ranging from between eight to ten millimeters a lesser known fact about these fans is that they are angled backwards so when the king cobra swallows its prey those fans are going to assist in pushing the parade deeper into their stomach now with the king co uber is best known for is its defense posture in which it will produce this really unique hood that will encompass source around its face now with the loans the king cobra to do this flaring posture is not just its skin it is a combination of rib bones and the muscles that move and flex and so when there is a threat it can make itself appear bigger and more scary as they spread apart these ribs and fan out there who would as it hisses and looks you deep in the ice it's I. site is better than most snakes snakes will rely often times on their sense of taste which is a form of smelling for them in which they flick their tongue out and gather information about their environment in the king cobras case it of course still does that but it's I. site is better than the majority of snakes you can see a human being from over one hundred meters or about three hundred and thirty feet away and this good eyesight will serve a dual purpose for one it will allow them to be more proficient hunters and two it will allow them to escape danger before they even need to now while we are able to see the king cobra very clearly here they often spend their time in places with obscured vision what I mean by that is tall vegetation or in trees basically where it is difficult to spot them this is also what makes them particularly dangerous is because somebody who is just working on their fields are on their property can certainly get bitten from somewhere in the tall grass but as we shall find out the king cobra usually doesn't prefer to buy at all but in addition to enjoying the tall grass they can enjoy water as they are very good swimmers they can use it to escape dangerous situations or where to cross somewhere to find food and you can also find them in trees because they can climb hence the latter part of their scientific name Hanna which refers to treat willing Memphis in Greek mythology they are in fact tree dwellers now there may be some warning signs before you get too acquainted with the king cobra they will use different tactics to defend themselves and the vast majority of the time the king cobra will prefer to simply run away rather than engage the only strike when they truly feel threatened now in addition to flaring their hood and standing up making themselves look bigger they will also let out a unique sound that is something like a grown snakes in general are mostly known for their hissing sounds and the cobra will indeed that of hiss but in addition to that Carone the grown just means get away or I am going to strike quickly there his is said to also be of a deeper kind so much so that it may be compared to a dog's growl rather than to the majority of other snakes the Philip their lawns and slowly exhale and that air is pushed through these tiny holes in the trachea that are being resonated by the lawns and it produces that low pitched noise that sounds like a dog growl and so if you are in the area of India or some forest in Southeast Asia hearing something that sounds like a dog growling may be a sign that you ought to get out of there now in the case where the king cobra feels truly threatened and it actually does lash out it will bite and it will bite with those fangs that deliver venom the venom comes from glands that are actually attached to the things themselves there is a small muscle buckle flex and actually force the venom through the hall of fame's into whatever it has bitten we can imagine that small muscle working something like if we had a strong full of liquid and we were to pitch the straw and move it to the end as all the liquid is forced out of that hello little container and so it is with the fans of the king cobra now their venom contains neurotoxins which will stun the praise nervous system now a neurotoxin is anything that directly affects the nervous system this is over again something like a hemo toxin which affects mainly the blood stream and are found in many kinds of rattle snakes and vipers and their venom is so toxic that even an animal like an elephant can die in several hours after being bitten it acts like a paralytic for breathing and so when prey is bitten by the king cobra it will take only a couple of minutes for them to stop reading completely the toxins will then begin to digest the paralyzed victim and it will allow the cobra to swallow their prey whole without much trouble now while their venom is indeed a deadly neurotoxin it is not all bad researchers in the United States have been really studying the cobra's venom and they have made remarkable pain relievers that are used for severe arthritis or for other such conditions now the former Latin name or scientific name is off the office which means snake eating or snake eater and the reason they are called this is because they are indeed cannibalistic their diet consists mainly of other snakes whenever they happen to come past a bird road in some kind of small animal they will eat that too but they much prefer more of their own kind like most other snakes their jaws have the ability to really open and stretch wide to swallow their prey whole they have no ability of doing any kind of mechanical digestion by means of teeth and grinding down food they will simply swallow things hold and allow their digestive system to do the rest one interesting fact about the cobra that is an interesting fact about many other snakes is that they can go months to years without eating anything they do not even need to drink water to survive as they pass through wet areas that water or moisture will be absorbed through their bellies removing from them the need to actually ingest something through their mouths that is pretty cool now the amount of neurotoxin that they can deliver in one bite which is up to two tenths of an ounce is enough to kill twenty people it is also enough to kill an elephant over several hours that is some strong venom now these snakes are diurnal meaning they're going to be doing the majority of their tasks during the daytime as opposed to nocturnal creatures during the night time and they're going to live about twenty years of age in the wild that is quite an impressive lifespan now if they do meet and earlier fate it might be because of one creature that is the mongoose the mongoose is their biggest predator of course besides humans there basically a medium to the venom of many snakes including the king cobras now the mongoose won't actually hunt a cobra intentionally but if it crosses its path and needs to defend itself it will and it will many times when when the female king cobras lay eggs they will lay from between twenty one to forty wide X. now the female will stay on top of the A. X. as the mail is standing around close by it is even possible that male and female king cobras mate for life something that I did not at all expect no during this time in which the female is on top of the eggs the male and the female king cobra will tend to be extremely aggressive towards any kind of approaching behavior in this case they will usually not try to escape for there is something to defend and so they will stay and deliver venom if need be and before we move on to the name of the animal let's discover something interesting more of a pop culture kind of fact many of you are familiar with the snake charming or snake charmers in which they play this flute and the cobra does what seems to be a little dance what is happening there is not hypnosis the snake charmer is not hypnotizing the cobra that is in the basket but it is rather the result of a rigorous conditioning process in which the snake is taught not to strike the flutist oftentimes with pain inflicted by the trainer and so this cobra after being sort of exhausted with the training process simply sways back and forth as they were put on the defensive suffice to say it is one of those things that simply socks as this article puts it it is more of a con game than anything else in fact the cobra is entirely deaf to the ambient noise is being made by the flute they can sense ground vibrations but they are not responding to any flute music now let us move on to the name of the animal what does its name means or where does it come from so we're going to be covering both the word cobra and the work came as it relates to the king cobra so the cobra is a venomous snake found in India and neighboring regions and it was given this distinction in eighteen oh two it goes back to a Latin word coal Louvre which means a snake or a female serpent and the distinction or adjective of keen was applied at first in natural history to those creatures that were deemed remarkably large or dominant in their environment for example the king crab the United States king snake and the king cobra the word king cobra was really coined in the year eighteen eighty eight and so the reason this is called the king cobra is an intuitive reason it is the world's largest venomous snake so of course it is the king as regards length and now let us move on to the review portion of the show this review is coming from Snowbowl who was writing all the way from Norway I think this is the first review that the show has gotten from Norway I could be wrong but I believe so but snowball rights the host of this podcast is amazing he has such a soothing voice and intonation I listen to this every night before bed and it's actually really improved my sleep thank you senator both for taking the time to write a wonderful review like that I am so glad that you enjoyed the show and that it has legitimately helps you sleep if you wish to leave a review like snowball did it is one of the biggest ways that you can actually help the show grow you can help it get better through critical feedback you can leave your animal request in it if you so choose you can tell me the things that you do like and so they don't change and in addition to helping the show immensely it can also be done in under a couple of minutes for those of you that would like to request your very own animal episode you can do so by going to relax with animal facts dot com and clicking on the animal request have simply sending your request and in the future you could have your very own episode and I've had some questions regarding this so perhaps this is a good time to cover this animals are chosen on a random basis they're not chosen according to chronology with that the oldest animal suggestion is the one that must be chosen all animal requests old and new are equally likely to be chosen that means if you request an animal tomorrow it might be the next episode or it might be an episode in a few months simply enjoy all the episodes and be happily surprised when you see your very own if you want to reach out to the show for any other reason you can do so by sending a message to relax with animal facts on Instagram or to relax with animal facts at G. email dot com for more episodes and exclusive content for only a dollar a month you can go to Petri on dot com slash relax with animal facts the resources used in this episode come from kids talked National Geographic dot com national zoo dot SIA dot EDU treehugger dot com eight to see animals dot com at him online dot com and soo Atlanta dot org all of those resources are in the description without their contributions to the animal facts world this episode would not have been possible what a cool creature we have covered today the single longest venomous snake in the world it certainly earns its name of king cobra thank you all for joining me in this special episode and I hope that you will join me on the next episode with the next animal take care