King Cobra

on December 16, 2011

When the king cobra is scared or excited, it spreads the loose skin on its neck into the shape of a “hood.”


King Cobra

When the king cobra is scared or excited, it spreads the loose skin on its neck into the shape of a “hood.” There are false eye spots on the hood, which probably serve to fool and/or scare potential predators. The female can keep the sperm of her mate for years, using it to impregnate herself several times. This design ensures that these animals can reproduce even if adult males are sparse. Right after the young hatch, the female king cobra abandons them.


  • The adult king cobra is black, brown, green, or yellow with its throat being a lighter creamy color. The young are usually black with white or yellow markings.
  • This species is most recognized by its hood that fans out when the snake is threatened or attacked.

Fun Facts

  • The king cobra can “hear” sounds even though it has no external ears or an eardrum. Sounds travel from the skin to the jaw muscle to the quadrate bone next to the ear bone, then to the inner ear. Its tongue brings odor molecules to its sensory Jacobson’s organ.
  • The king cobra is the largest venomous snake in the world.

Created Kind Members

Coral snake

CLASS: Reptilia (reptiles)
ORDER: Squamata (amphisbaenians, lizards, and snakes [scaly])
FAMILY: Elapidae (cobras, coral snakes, and kraits)
GENUS/SPECIES: Ophiophagus hannah

Average Size: 13 ft long (4 m)
Weight: Up to 20–40 lbs (9–18 kg)
Original Diet: Plants
Present Diet: Lizards and other snakes
Habitat: Grasslands and forests of India, southern China, and southeast Asia

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