Black Mamba - Fastest Snake in the World
Video: Watch this black mamba kill a rodent!
Danger! Deadly Venomous Snake!
Do you know what the world's fastest snake is? Most snake experts agree that it is the black mamba, which can glide through the grass at 10-12 mph. I did a little research, and some people say that the average human can run only 7 mph. At this speed, some people cannot even run away from black mambas if they came after them!
Some people say it is also the most deadliest snake in the world. Although I do not know on what grounds people grade the "deadliness" factor, I would tend to agree that the black mamba is among the most dangerous snakes in the world.
Besides this snake being fast, it is also very, very poisonous. In one strike, the this snake can inject enough venom to kill ten to twelve people!
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What does this snake look like?
As you've probably already noticed, the black mamba isn't really black. The only thing that is black is the inside of its mouth, which is why it's commonly called the black-mouth mamba. The actual color of this snake varies from a dull, metallic gray to a yellowish-green. The reason for the variation in color is that at birth, these snakes have a very light hue, which gradually becomes darker as they grow older.
The snake's head is shaped like a coffin, which is fitting for an animal so deadly. Its eye color are usually a beady black, although it is not rare to find some to have a brown tinge to them.
These snakes can grow up to 8 to 10 feet long, which makes them almost the largest venomous snake in the world. They are topped only by king cobra snakes, which can grow anywhere from 9 to 13 feet in length when they reach adulthood.
Where does it live?
This snake lives mostly in the southern and eastern part of Africa in countries such as Ethiopia, Uganda, and South Africa. There have been a few unproved sightings of the snake in some more northeasterly countries, such as Rwanda, Burkina Faso, and Gambia. Aside from Africa, the Black Mamba does not live naturally on any other continent.
The Black-mouthed mamba can survive in many different habitats. They have been found in swamps, dense forests, and even on farmlands. Although the species are very adaptable to almost any climate, they prefer to live in dry regions. These snakes can usually not be found in altitudes of over 3000 feet, although they sometimes are found in altitudes of over 5000 feet.
What are its feeding habits?
When looking for prey, the black mamba usually slithers along with it head fairly high off the ground. When it finds the perfect meal, it strikes its hapless victim, injects the lethal venom into the bloodstream, and in a few seconds, it is over.
When striking larger prey, it will usually release it after the first strike. Standing by just in case it needs to strike again. With smaller prey, like rats, birds, and voles, it hang on until the venom has done its work. Once the victim stops struggling, like most snakes it will swallow the meal with one big gulp!
Mamba Venom - A Painkiller?
When you get bitten by a black-mouthed mamba, you'd better be prepared to experience some very excruciating pain. As I said before, one snake bite can inject enough venom to kill ten people if left untreated.
Ironically, scientists have also found that this snake's venom contains an ingredient that could be used as a very potent painkiller. This particular pain killing compound is called mambalgins, and according to tests, have similar painkilling effects as morphine.
Basically, the compounds works by inhibiting the natural flow of the electrical charge when our pain receptors are ticked off. Although morphine may still be commonly used, this new kind of painkiller could be a great alternative for those who have developed tolerance for the more traditional morphine painkiller