Snakes and Ladders: The deadly world of Black Mambas

Snakes, the cold-blooded egg-laying vertebrates often grouped in the class Reptilian, are possibly the most feared creatures among people.

That is despite the fact that it is the hippos that usually kill more humans than any other species of wildlife.

It is being estimated that there are over 3000 types of snake slithering around the globe at the moment.

Out of the many snakes existing in the world today, it is only about 13 percent of the serpents that happen to be venomous.

Essentially there are about 375 snake species that spew out poisons.

Now, it should also be noted that, deadly snakes need not be poisonous; some, especially giant ones, are the deadly constrictors, notorious for squeezing their prey to death.

Scary as they are, many snakes won’t attack humans just like that; in fact they also try as much as possible to avoid confrontation with people who are deemed to be the most dangerous creatures on earth.

In Most cases any snake will slither away from humans and other creatures upon perceiving an approaching danger.

And they are extremely sensitive at that, their receptors can perceive the vibration of an approaching thing from as far as 5 meters away and get out of the way in time.

It is only when stuck or cornered with no escape route that snakes get poised for attack in self-defense.

For the Eastern Africa region the deadliest poisonous snake is the ‘Koboko.’

A Koboko is known as ‘Black Mamba,’ or referred to by its biological name of Dendroaspis Polylepis.

Black Mambas are found in 20 countries in Africa, south of the Sahara, including Tanzania.

Featuring the longest body, Black mambas may not be necessarily ‘black,’ but usually dark brown, though their shiny and scaly skins can give the impression of black color.

It is actually their inner mouths that happen to be black, which is probably the last thing one wishes to encounter.

The other thing is that the name ‘Mamba,’ is also the Kiswahili term for ‘Crocodile.’

But while the crocs stay mostly in water, the Mamba snakes usually inhabit the bushy and warm savannas and rocky hills of Sub-Saharan Africa though also have the ability to live in forest and water ponds.

Their lenght if stood vertically can act as a slithering ladder to any tall building (pun intended).

Black Mambas usually extend to 14 feet long.

The snakes mostly inhabit the bushy and warm savannas and rocky hills of Sub-Saharan Africa though also have the ability to live in forest and water ponds.

Black Mamba’s poison can be lethal; a single bite from the reptile will cause death in less than 3 minutes if the victim is not attended promptly.

During their hunt for food, they will bite the prey and wait until the victim gets immobilized, that is paralyzed, before starting to swallow them wholly.

A female Koboko snake is capable of laying between 10 and 25 eggs which they conceal in hideouts where they remain until incubation period.

Other than being one of the largest venomous snakes in the world today, the Mamba is also among the fastest, slithering at up to 25 kilometers per hour, almost as fast or faster than a human.

Mambas can produce up to 120 milligrams of poison. They are also capable of attacking up to ten people at a go.

The potent, induces great pain to the victim killing the brain slowly but at first impairing their sight, paralyzing the muscle and inhibiting breath.

Once bitten, a person must be given rapid medical attention before the poison spreads throughout the body.

Black Mambas have their own predators though, usually the slender mongoose and large birds such as the eagle.

However the real danger facing the snake is the destruction of their habitat through human activities.

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