Venomous Snakes

 

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King Cobra
Albino Cobra
Monocled Cobra
Pakistani Cobra
Forest Cobra
Egyptian Cobra
Red Spitting Cobra
Black Spitting
Puff Adder
Waglers Viper
Palm Viper
Gaboon Viper
Rhino Viper
Mamba E. African
Tropical Rattlesnake
W. Rattlesnake
E. Rattlesnake
Timber Rattlesnake
Copperhead
Cotton Mouth

 

Venomous snakes have a bad reputation world wide. The fact is that only 20% of the snakes on earth are venomous.  This leaves approximately 80% who hunt using something other than venom to subdue their prey.  Snake venom is a cocktail of proteins that perform a wide range of functions. 

Some snakes are hemotoxic, meaning they break down blood cells and cause extreme coagulation of their victims blood.  Other snakes are neurotoxic. A neurotoxic snake uses a powerful venom to block the messages the nerves are trying to send to the muscles; this generally leads to prey items suffocating as the central nervous system shuts down and prevents the animals lungs from functioning!  A nasty way to go!

RainForest Adventures is home to some of the most beautiful and deadly snakes on earth.  Almost no other animal is as widely recognized as a Cobra. The "hood" of the majestic snake will literally spread out and warn potential predators that he means business.  RainForest is home to almost a dozen species of Cobra, they range in size from small snakes like the Red Spitting Cobra to the true giant of the venomous world, the King himself...the King Cobra!

 

King Cobra

Albino Cobra
Monocled Cobra
Forest Cobra
Egyptian Cobra
Red Spitting Cobra
Black Spitting Cobra  
Puff Adder
Wagler's Viper
Rhino Viper
East African Mamba
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake  
Timber Rattlesnake
Copperhead
Cotton Mouth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Albino Monocled Cobra

Range: Asia

Habitat:  Grasslands and human farming areas.

Natural Diet: Small mammals, birds, and snakes

Diet at Rain Forest: Pre-killed rodents.

Size: 5-7 feet

RainForest Facts: Like all Cobras the Monocled Cobra lays eggs, the typical clutch is based largely on the size of the adult female.  The average size clutch of eggs is 12-18.  60-75 days is the average incubation time for this species. 

Status in Wild: Not a naturally occurring color phase of the snake. An estimated 1 in 10,000 animals of all types are born as albinos, in the wild the animals lose the ability to hide from predators due to their lack of naturally occurring skin pigmentation.  Predators have a very easy time finding these aberrantly colored animals and generally kill the albino animals before the creatures have a chance to mature and pass along the genetic fingerprint for albinism.

High Resolution Pictures Available

 


Monocled Cobra

Range: Asia

Habitat: Grasslands and human farming areas

Natural Diet: Small mammals, birds, and snakes

Diet at Rain Forest: Pre-killed rodents

Size: 5-7 feet 

Rain Forest Facts: This species of Cobra is often found near human habitation due to its preference for rodents. Human farming and food storage has brought this species into close contact with native people.

Status in Wild: Not Threatened

 


Forest Cobra

Range: Africa

Habitat: Heavily forested regions of western Africa.  Sierra Leone and surrounding regions.

Natural Diet: Small mammals, birds, and snakes

Diet at Rain Forest: Pre-killed rodents

Size: 6-8 feet 

Rain Forest Facts: The Forest Cobra is the second largest species of Cobra on earth.  The Rainforests of western Africa are home to this large predator. Reaching lengths of over 7 feet, this Cobra can deliver a very powerful bite to any would-be predator.  Not afraid to stand their ground, the Forest Cobra is often regarded as an aggressive species in captivity. 

Mating behavior of the African Forest cobra includes male ritual combat.  Two males will literally "dance" with each other to determine who wins the right to mate with the female cobra. Death or serious injury rarely occurs from such ritual behavior. Juvenile cobras, however, must beware of large adults; the cobra is cannibalistic.

Status in Wild: Recent data suggests this species is declining rapidly near and around expanding human habitations as well as agricultural areas. 

 


 

Red Spitting Cobra

Range: Africa

Habitat:  Grasslands and rocky outcroppings

Natural Diet: Small mammals, lizards, & snakes

Diet at Rain Forest:  Pre-killed rodents

Size: 3-5 feet 

RainForest Facts: A small cobra ,the Red Spitting Cobra, rarely reaches four feet in length.  The venom can be directed up to 6 feet and is generally aimed at a predators eyes. The keepers at RainForest Adventures use welders masks to ensure our cobras do not cause any injury to our keepers.  The venom causes intense pain and if not immediately washed from the eyes can cause permanent tissue damage that may lead to loss of sight.

Status in Wild: Vulnerable, small natural range. 

High Resolution Pictures Available


 

African Black Spitting Cobra

Range: Africa, south of the Sahara

Habitat: Savannahs and Grasslands. Human farming areas.

Natural Diet: Small mammals and snakes

Diet at Rain Forest: Pre-killed rodents 

Size: 5-7 feet

RainForest Facts: One of Africa's largest Cobras, the African Black Spitting Cobra, can reach up to 7 feet in length.  This predator feeds primarily on snakes and rodents.  As is the case with all cobras, the female lays eggs; one clutch per year is deposited in rotting vegetation.  75-80 days is the average incubation time for this species.  Monitor lizards as well as other predators exact a heavy toll on the eggs in the nest.  Baby cobras posses powerful venom to protect themselves, at birth the cobra is ready to kill it's first meal.  The first meal is actually not consumed for almost a week though as the snake completes absorbing the nutrients from the egg, a "post natal shed" occurs approximately one week after hatching.

Described as aggressive in the wild, the Black Spitting Cobra is a dangerous animal when cornered. 

Status in Wild: Disappearing in the wild, hunted for human consumption as well as the skin trade.

 


 

King Cobra

Range: Asia and India

Habitat: Bamboo thickets and grasslands, favors tea plantations

Natural Diet: Snakes

Diet at Rain Forest: Rodents scented with snake 

Size: Worlds largest venomous snake, may reach 16 feet in the wild

Rain Forest Facts: By far the largest of all living venomous snakes, the King Cobra is capable of reaching lengths of over 18'.  A highly intelligent animal the King Cobra will actually build and defend a nest for its eggs.  A large clutch of King Cobra eggs may be 18-24!  The babies hatch sporting a  beautiful stripped pattern that fades with time.  There are several recognized sub-species of the King Cobra. Each sub-species is highly variable in its natural color patterns. Almost all of the King Cobras in the wild are faced with loss of habitat. The numbers of wild animals is declining at an alarming rate. Experts disagree as to whether or not the King Cobra was ever found in great concentrations; such apex predators rarely are densely populated even under ideal conditions. 

The Latin name for the King Cobra is Ophiophagus hannah, literally translated this means snake eater.  The King Cobra lives almost exclusively on other snakes, including venomous snakes. 

Status in Wild: Numbers declining due to over collection as well as habitat destruction, may never have existed in large numbers in the wild.

 


Egyptian Cobra

Range: Egypt

Habitat: Found near water sources in the desert.

Natural Diet: Small mammals & birds.

Diet at Rain Forest: Frozen rodents 

Size: 5-7 feet

RainForest Facts: The Egyptian Cobra is a heavy bodied snake that reaches up to 7 feet in length.  A highly venomous snake the toxicity of the venom is one of the highest of the Cobras.

Status in Wild: This snake is rapidly disappearing in the majority of its former range due primarily to over collection and loss of habitat

 


 

East African Green Mamba 

Range: Africa

Habitat: Strictly arboreal in nature, prefers dense forests

Natural Diet: Small mammals & birds.

Diet at Rain Forest: Pre-killed rodents

Size: 5-7 feet

Rain Forest Facts: One of the most feared snakes in Africa, the Green Mamba is capable of delivering a powerful neurotoxic venom to both prey items and would-be predators.  This highly arboreal animal is thinly built to allow for ease of movement in the trees.  A bright green coloration helps the animal to hide in the foliage of its native Africa.  An egg layer, the Green Mamba, has been observed feeding on birds, mammals, and the occasional reptile.   Once anti-venom was produced, the death rate from Mamba bites has gone down but still remains a serious threat to humans as this animal and the growing human population come into contact with each other.  

Four species of Mamba are currently recognized by the scientific community. They include: the Black Mamba, the East African Green Mamba, the West African Green Mamba, and the Jameson's Mamba.  All species of Mambas live in Africa. The Black Mamba is widely recognized as the most dangerous of all African snake species to encounter in the wild; the Black Mamba is capable of reaching lengths of over 9 feet and will travel both on the ground as well as in the trees.  All species of Mambas are egg-layers.

Status in Wild: Numbers are stable in parts of range, habitat destruction is beginning to take its toll

 


 

West African Green Mamba 

Range: West Africa

Habitat: Arboreal in nature, usually found very high in trees

Natural Diet: Small mammals & birds.

Diet at Rain Forest: Pre-killed rodents 

Size: 7-8 feet 

Status in Wild: Declining


Puff Adder

Range: Africa, south of the Sahara

Habitat: Terrestrial animal found in varied dry habitats

Natural Diet: Small mammals

Diet at Rain Forest: Pre-killed rodents 

Size: 3-5 feet, very heavy bodied 

Rain Forest Facts: Noted for having some of the most virulent hemotoxic venom of any snake, the Puff Adder can deliver large volumes of strong venom into deep bites with its exceptionally long fangs.  The bite of this creature to native peoples of Africa is a very serious issue.   In captivity the Puff Adder is known to retain a very nasty disposition, although the snake does exceptionally well in captivity due to its strong appetite and seemingly strong ability to adjust to its environment. Noted as the species that holds the world's record for live birth, the Puff Adder has produced as many as 156 live babies!  Now that is a lot of little snake diapers to change!
 

Status in Wild: Stable

High Resolution Pictures Available


 

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake 

Range: Deserts of the S.W. United States

Habitat: Terrestrial animal found in varied dry habitats

Natural Diet: Small mammals

Diet at Rain Forest: Pre-killed rodents 

Size: 3-5 feet, very heavy bodied 

Rain Forest Facts: An aggressive and defensive snake, the Western Diamondback, is the species that accounts for the majority of bites to humans in the United States. A powerful hemotoxic venom is delivered in large quantities to prey items; death is rapid in even the largest of food items such as a rabbit.  The Diamondback is being hunted both out of fear and for the skin, which is used for leather products.  Sadly, such horrific events as Rattlesnake Roundups are still going on today. In spite of the danger of a bite this animal is an exceptionally important component of the ecosystem.

Status in Wild: Stable


Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Range: Southeast United States including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Southern Alabama

Habitat: Terrestrial animal found in varied dry and wetland habitats

Natural Diet: Small mammals and occasional birds.  A very important predator of rabbits in certain geographical locations.

Diet at Rain Forest: Pre-killed rodents 

Size: 3-5 feet, very heavy bodied.  Holds the world's record for rattlesnakes at 96"

Rain Forest Facts: The largest and most heavy bodied of all North American venomous snakes, the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, is not normally as aggressive as its western cousin.   The record size for this snake is over 8 feet long. All species of Rattlesnakes give birth to live babies. The average size litter for the Eastern diamondback rattlesnake is 8-12 young.  The babies are born fully capable of hunting for their first meal within just a few short days of birth.  The vast majority of births for the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake occurs in June and July. 

Status in Wild: Threatened in majority of previous range due to habitat destruction.  May be expatriated from vast regions of Florida and coastal southern Georgia. 

 


Timber Rattlesnake

Range: Eastern United States, formerly the the widest ranging Rattlesnake in the U.S.  Expatriated from much of it's former range.

Habitat: Terrestrial animal found in varied dry and wetland habitats

Natural Diet: Small mammals and occasional birds. 

Diet at Rain Forest: Pre-killed rodents 

Size: 3-5 feet

Rain Forest Facts: The most highly variable of all rattle snakes when it comes to color patterns.  The Timber rattlesnake can be almost entirely black or in some cases very lightly colored.  Geographical range appears to have a significant influence on the color patterns of the snake. 

Status in Wild: Threatened in majority of previous range due to habitat destruction and over collection for Rattlesnake roundups. 


Copperhead 

Range: Large portion of South East United States, including Smoky Mountains of Tennessee

Habitat: Forested regions as well as human agricultural areas

Natural Diet: Small mammals, fish, and lizards

Diet at Rain Forest: Pre-killed rodents 

Size: 2-3 feet, thin animal with wide head and narrow neck 

Rain Forest Facts: Often killed by humans, this relatively harmless snake is both shy and reclusive.  Often found near a source of water, the Copperhead is a small snake. As a result of its size, the bite to humans is rarely a serious threat.  Many myths and legends exist about this snake; one common myth is that a child had been bitten while playing with a "nest" of copperhead babies that were mistaken for worms!  False on many fronts, this urban legend is often repeated by individuals who claim to actually have been there! Copperheads utilize caudal luring to catch prey.

Status in Wild: Stable

 


 

Eastern Cottonmouth (Water Moccasin) 

Range: Southeast United States (not found in Smoky Mountains)

Habitat: Terrestrial animal found in varied wet habitats, almost always found near water

Natural Diet: Small mammals and fish

Diet at Rain Forest: Pre-killed rodents 

Size: 3-5 feet, very heavy bodied 

Status in Wild: Stable.  Use caution when approaching wild snakes.  This species can be aggressive in defending its territory.

 


Rhino Viper

Range: Africa

Habitat: Wetlands & forested regions

Natural Diet: Rodents and small ground nesting birds.

Diet at Rain Forest: Rodents 

Size: 3-4 feet

Keeper Notes: The Rhinoceros viper has pronounced horns on the nose that give the snake the appearance of being a Rhinoceros.  The coloration pattern allows this animal to do a remarkable job of hiding in the leaf litter of its native rain forest home.  A live bearer, the Rhino viper gives birth to a small number of large young. 

Status in Wild: Stable in most parts of its range

 

 


Wagler's Viper

Range: Asia

Habitat: Wetlands & forested regions

Natural Diet: Birds, rodents, & lizards

Diet at Rain Forest: Rodents 

Size: 18-36"

Rain Forest Facts: Strictly arboreal, the Wagler's viper hunts by using caudal luring, a process where the snake has a brightly colored portion to the rear of its tail that it waves slowly back and forth to simulate the movement of a small insect in the foliage of the trees.  Once the prey item is fooled into coming close to the movement, the Wagler's viper strikes with amazing speed, the strike delivers  powerful venom that the prey item succumbs to rapidly.  Many of the items eaten by the Wagler's viper are birds. Long fangs allow the Wagler's viper to penetrate the feathers and deliver the venom; the snake also has a tendency to hang onto its victims after delivering the venom. 

Status in Wild: Stable in most parts of its range