Hot! Indian Cobra(නයා)

Highly Venomous

Indian Cobra (Naja naja) or Spectacled Cobra is a species of the genus Naja found in the Indian subcontinent and a member of the “big four”, the four species which inflict the most snakebites in India.This snake is revered in Indian mythology and culture, and is often seen with snake charmers. It is now protected in India under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972).

On the rear of the snake’s hood are two circular ocelli patterns connected by a curved line, evoking the image of spectacles. Hindus believe them to be the footmarks of Krishna, who danced on Kāliyā, the hundred and ten hooded snake’s head. An average cobra is about 1.9 meters (6 feet) in length and rarely as long as 2.4 meters (nearly 8 feet). The most distinctive and impressive characteristic of the Indian cobra is the hood, which it forms by raising the anterior portion of the body and spreading some of the ribs in its neck region when it is threatened. [3] The spectacle pattern on the hood varies greatly, as does the overall colour of the snake.

The Indian cobra is native to the Indian subcontinent which includes present day Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It can be found in plains, jungles, open fields and the regions heavily populated by people. Its distribution ranges from sea-level up to 2000m. Cobras normally feed on rodents, toads, frogs, birds and other snakes. Its diet of rats leads it to areas inhabited by humans including farms and outskirts of urban areas. Indian cobras are oviparous and lay their eggs between the months of April and July. The female snake usually lays from 10 to 30 eggs in rat holes or termite mounds and the eggs hatch 48 to 69 days later. Newborn cobras measure between 8 and 12 inches (20–30 cm). The young when hatched are exact replicas of the parents and have fully functional venom glands.

The Indian cobra’s venom mainly contains a powerful post-synaptic neurotoxin [7] and cardiotoxin.[7][8] The venom acts on the synaptic gaps of the nerves, thereby paralyzing muscles, and in severe bites leading to respiratory failure or cardiac arrest. The venom components include enzymes such as hyaluronidase that cause lysis and increase the spread of the venom. Envenomation symptoms may manifest between 15 minutes to 2 hours following the bite and can be fatal in an hour in severe cases of envenomation.

In mice, the SC LD50 values of this species are 0.45 mg/kg—0.565 mg/kg The average venom yield per bite is between 169 —250 mg. Mortality rate for untreated bite victims is approximately 15-20%.

The Indian Cobra is one of the Big four snakes of South Asia (mostly India). The “Big Four” are the four snake which are responsible for the majority of human deaths as a result of snakebites in Asia. Polyvalent serum is available for treating snakebites caused by this species. Zedoary, a local spice with a reputation for being effective against snakebite, has shown promise in experiments testing its activity against cobra venom.

The venom of young cobras has been used as a substance of abuse in India, with cases of snake charmers being paid for providing bites from their snakes. Though this practice is now seen as outdated, symptoms of such abuse include loss of consciousness, euphoria, and sedation.

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Family: Elapidae




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