10 Interesting Facts about the Black Mamba

These following facts about the Black Mamba should probably give you much information about this snake. The Black Mamba is a highly venomous snake of the genus Mambas, and is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa. It was first described in 1864 by Albert Gunther. It is the longest species of venomous snake in Africa, and the second-longest venomous snake in the world after the King Cobra. It is also the fastest moving snake in Africa, and one of the fastest moving snakes on the planet, capable of moving at 11 km/h over a distance of 43 m. Furthermore, to get you to know more about this snake, below are some facts about the Black Mamba you might be interested in.

Facts about the Black Mamba 1: Venomously Dangerous

Black mambas are fast, nervous, lethally venomous, and when threatened, highly aggressive. They have been blamed for numerous human deaths, and African myths exaggerate their capabilities to legendary proportions. For these reasons, the black mamba is widely considered the world’s deadliest snake.

Facts about the Black Mamba 2: Independent

Black mamba hatchlings are around 51cm long, and greyish-green in colour. They are independent immediately and can catch prey the size of a small rat. Within a year, they reach 2m. Young mambas are eaten by mongooses, and even adult mambas are eaten by the secretary bird and larger species of eagle.

Facts about the Black Mamba - Black Mamba

Facts about the Black Mamba – Black Mamba

Facts about the Black Mamba 3: Bite

Black mambas usually bite their prey once or twice and then allow it go off to die before attempting to eat. They may however, bite and hold when eating birds. Their venom is mainly based on neurotoxins that are absorbed quickly by the prey. The venom will cause a blockade at the neuromuscular junction which blocks every signal from the brain passing through the nervous system to the muscles which causes systemic paralysis. The prey will die from suffocation due to paralysis of the muscles of respiration.

Facts about the Black Mamba 4: Venom

Although there are other venomous snakes that exhibit higher LD30 toxicity scores, its venom is one of the most rapid-acting. In cases of severe envenomation, it is capable of killing an adult human in as little as 20 minutes. Two such cases have been documented in the medical literature.

Facts about the Black Mamba - Climbing on a tree

Facts about the Black Mamba – Climbing on a tree

Facts about the Black Mamba 5: Aggressive

Its combination of speed, unpredictable aggression, and potent venom make it an extremely dangerous species. Though the black mamba has a reputation for being very aggressive, like most snakes it usually attempts to flee from humans unless threatened.

Facts about the Black Mamba 6: Etymology

The snake’s scientific name is Dendroaspis polylepis: Dendroaspis meaning “tree asp”, and polylepis meaning “many-scaled.” The name “black mamba” is given to the snake not because of its body colour but because of its ink-black mouth.It displays this physical attribute when threatened.

Facts about the Black Mamba - Habitat, Zimbabwe sugarcane

Facts about the Black Mamba – Habitat, Zimbabwe sugarcane

Facts about the Black Mamba 7: Habitat

The black mamba has adapted to a variety of climates ranging from savanna, woodlands, rocky slopes, dense forests and even humid swamps. The grassland and savanna woodland/shrubs that extend through central, eastern and southern Africa are the black mamba’s typical habitat.The black mamba prefers more arid environments such as light woodland, rocky outcrops, and semi-arid dry bush country.

Facts about the Black Mamba 8: Behavior

The black mamba uses its speed to escape threats, not to hunt prey.It is shy and secretive; it always seeks to escape when a confrontation occurs.If a black mamba is cornered it mimics a cobra by spreading a neck-flap, exposing its black mouth, and hissing.If this endeavor to scare away the attacker fails, the black mamba may strike repeatedly.

Facts about the Black Mamba - Head details of the Black Mamba

Facts about the Black Mamba – Head details of the Black Mamba

Facts about the Black Mamba 9: Toxin

The black mamba’s venom is dendrotoxin. The toxin disrupts the exogenous process of muscle contraction by means of the sodium potassium pump. In an experiment, the death time of a mouse after subcutaneous injection of some toxins studied is around 7 minutes. However, a black mamba venom can kill a mouse after 4.5 minutes.

Facts about the Black Mamba 10: Attacking

The black mamba is regarded as one of the most dangerous and feared snakes in Africa due to various factors.Nevertheless, attacks on humans by black mambas are rare, as the snakes usually avoid confrontation with humans and their occurrence in highly populated areas is not very common compared with some other species.

Facts about the Black Mamba - Painting of Black Mamba

Facts about the Black Mamba – Painting of Black Mamba

Hope you would find those Black Mamba facts really interesting, useful and helpful for your additional reading.

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