Saturday, September 5, 2009

"Creature of the Month"

The Black Mamba

The most feared snake in southern Africa!! With an average length of 2-3 metres (max. 4,2) it's the second longest venomous snake in the world (the king cobra is the longest venomous snake in the world).

It is highly nervous and spreads a hood, gaping to reveal the jet black interior of its mouth. The venom is a potent neurotoxin, before the advent of antivenin, during the mid sixties, the bite of the black mamba was 100% fatal. Mambas are one of the fastest moving snakes in the world can slither along at an amazing 12 mph.
The black mamba is found throughout KwaZulu Natal ( and can also be found in my back garden!).
The actual naming of the black mamba is inaccurate. Most black mambas are an olive greenish, grayish brown, or metallic gray color. The reason they are called "black" mambas is because the interior lining of their mouth is jet black in color. Younger black mambas are light gray or light green in color but they will noticeably darken as they get older.

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