The black mamba snake is the most feared and respected snake in Africa. It is for a good reason – it is among the most poisonous snakes in the world. A dose of its poison can kill a person within minutes of attack. Its agility and aggressive instincts make it more dangerous. Below are more 10 mind-blowing facts about black mamba snakes.
1. Lethal Venom
The venom of a black mamba is dendrotoxin whose chemical effect is to block the potassium channels which causes an uncontrolled release of neurotransmitters. This results in collapse of nervous system. The victim loses control of basic functions like breathing or walking. With passage of time, the victim experiences seizures and paralysis, eventually leading to death.
Soon after the bite. The victim experiences tingling sensations, drooping eyelids, and nausea.
Without treatment, the mortality rate is 100 percent, the highest among all poisonous snakes in the world.
2. Black Mamba Bite
The bite of a black mamba injects 100 to 120 milligrams in an average bite. Just about 10 to 15 milligrams of black mamba venom is fatal for humans. It is also capable of injecting upto 400 milligrams of venom. A person can die within 20 minutes of black mamba’s bite if no treatment is given.
Usually the black mamba bites only once, but on further provocation, it can bite several times, killing its victim within a few seconds.
3. Swift and Agile
Black mamba is one of the fastest snakes in the world. It can reach speeds upto 20 kilometres per hour. This speed is more often used to escape from danger rather than attacking. They hunt during the day and can be seen basking early morning before diving for their breakfast.
4. Aggressive Attacking
The black mamba snake is the most feared snake in Africa for a reason. When cornered, it makes violent and sharp whistle sound that is scary enough to make anyone run away. It can rise up to one-third (3-4 feet) of its body length and is quick at attacking.
It is especially good at catching its prey mid-air by rising its head. Using this technique, it can catch birds, or bats, or even some insects.
5. Longest Venomous Snake
Black mamba is the longest poisonous snake in Africa. Its can reach 4.5 meters in length and a weight up to 1.5 kg.
6. Black mamba can eat prey upto 4 times the size of their head
Birds, lizards and small mammals upto the size of 4 times the head of black mamba can fall prey to it. A black mamba can dislocate its own jaw to eat a large prey. Unlike as we expect, the digestion of black mamba is fairly quick, despite the fact that it is cold blooded.
7. Where to find black mamba?
Black mamba can be found are the savannas and in the rocky hills of South and East Africa. Congo, Namibia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia, Somalia, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Uganda have good population of black mamba snakes.
They can be found living in burrows, hollow trees, or empty termite mounds.
8. Black mamba is not black in color?
The name, black mamba is not given to it not due to its skin color. It is called black mamba because of the black colored insides of its mouth. In fact, many black mambas are even yellow or gray in color.
9. How long does black mamba live?
Black mamba can live up to 11 years in the wild, while it can live up to 15 years under captivity/ human care. They become capable of reproducing at the age of 3.
Black mambas are shy and elusive
10. Black mamba reproduction
Female black mambas can deliver 6 to 25 eggs, which are usually laid in a warm and damp burrow.