Snake pretends to be a ᴅᴇᴀᴅʟʏ cobra
Some snakes pretend to be other snakes to keep ᴘʀᴇᴅᴀᴛᴏʀs from harming them. Like this Eastern Hognose snake, who decided to turn Cobra on a wildlife expert. Don’t hate me because I’m ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs. Cobras are ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs snakes related to taipans, coral snakes, and mambas, all members of the Elapidae family. Snakes in this family cannot fold their fangs down, as vipers can, so the fangs are generally shorter. They ᴋɪʟʟ their ᴘʀᴇʏ by injecting ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍ through their fangs. The ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍ is a ɴᴇᴜʀᴏᴛᴏxɪɴ that stops the victim’s breathing and heartbeat. A cobra only ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋs a human if it feels ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛᴇɴᴇᴅ. As with any ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs snake, a ʙɪᴛᴇ from a cobra can be ᴅᴇᴀᴅʟʏ if not ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴇᴅ properly. The snake looks pretty believable to a non-expert. Their ʙɪᴛᴇ does include ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍ but rarely causes any serious symptoms in humans.
Cobras come in varying colors from black or dark brown to yellowish white. They have specialized muscles and ribs in the neck that can flare out when the cobra feels ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛᴇɴᴇᴅ. Cobras are able to raise their body up, spread the hood, and hiss loudly to scare off most ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛs. When they get ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛᴇɴᴇᴅ, the neck is flattened and the head is raised off the ground, like a Cobra. They also hiss and will sᴛʀɪᴋᴇ, but they do not attempt to ʙɪᴛᴇ. They will often roll onto its back and play ᴅᴇᴀᴅ, going so far as to emit a foul musk from its cloaca and let its tongue hang out of its mouth. “Spitting cobra” refers to any one of several cobra varieties that have the ability to spit or spray ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍ from their fangs in defense. Some include the red spitting cobra, the Mozambique spitting cobra, and the black-necked spitting cobra. The venom, although not generally fatal on contact, can cause permanent blindness if it gets into the eye and/or skin, scarring if left unᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴇᴅ.
What ᴘʀᴇᴅᴀᴛᴏʀ would even try to ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ a cobra? The snake’s biggest ᴇɴᴇᴍʏ is the mongoose, which is quick enough to dart in and ʙɪᴛᴇ the back of the cobra’s neck before the snake can defend itself. Now, I’m sure for us non-snake experts, we’d run like ᴄʀᴀᴢʏ as soon as we saw this snake. What would you do? Let us know in the comments.