The black mamba is a snake belonging to the Elipidae family . This family is characterized by being the one of poisonous snakes, being, the black mamba, one of the most poisonous species of the African continent. But this one has many more features that surprise most people.
Description of the black mamba: main physical characteristics
The color of its skin is dark green or gray on the back and whitish or cream-colored on the back, while the inside of its mouth is bluish- black , a characteristic from which it owes its name.
The black mamba is one of the longest snakes in Africa, being the average length of an adult specimen of 2.5 meters and can reach 4.5 meters. In addition, another feature of this species is that its head is narrow and elongated.
The black mamba is indigenous to the African continent , found in southern countries such as Congo, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Kenya.
It inhabits and adapts to numerous ecosystems, although it is true that it tends to prefer dry environments such as deserts or savannas, located at an altitude of less than 1,000 meters. However, it can also be found in forests and jungles with higher humidity and at altitudes that reach 1,600 or 1,800 meters.
It is considered a terrestrial species, found among vegetation, holes, burrows or rocks, although, on occasions, it can be arboreal, especially if it is found in ecosystems with a lot of vegetation.
Feeding the black mamba
The black mamba hunts during the day, its prey being mainly mammals, birds and small reptiles. To capture their prey, they use their powerful bite and lethal venom , so that, after one of their bites, the prey can be killed in a matter of seconds.
Following the hunt for its prey, the mamba devours its food without chewing, dislodging its lower jaw , as these reptiles do in general, in order to swallow its prey whole. Its digestive system is the one that is in charge, later of disintegrating and digesting the animal completely.
It is a snake of daytime activity and very agile, in fact, it is one of the fastest snakes in the world , being able to move at a speed of 20 km / h, a quality that it uses to its advantage for hunting.
It is a shy and lonely behavior snake . However, it is also very territorial , so it is aggressive when a stranger invades its territory or feels threatened. The posture that it adopts in these cases consists of raising its head as high as possible and unfolding a hood that it has on the sides of its head, similar to cobras, to simulate that its size is greater. In addition, he opens his mouth and hisses, being able to attack at any time if he deems it necessary.
The black mamba does not attack just once , but attacks several times in a row and quickly depending on the size of its prey, injecting its lethal venom into each bite until the individual is paralyzed or killed. It is worth mentioning that the black mamba has been the cause of the death of several people.
The reproduction of the black mamba takes place once a year, the mating season coinciding with the beginning of spring. The males compete with each other for the females, intertwining their bodies to try to immobilize their opponent and raising their head above their opponent. Once a winner has been proclaimed, he sniffs the female and mating occurs.
They are oviparous animals , so after mating, the female can lay between 6 and 17 eggs in her burrow, without offering them any kind of care or protection, so that at three months, when the new individuals are born, already they are prepared to find their own food, develop and grow.
Venom of the black mamba
The venom of the black mamba is very toxic . It contains very powerful neurotoxins and cardiotoxins that act at high speed, affecting both the nervous system and the cardiac system, respectively.
In each bite, it is capable of injecting 100 mg of venom, the lethal dose for an adult man being just 10 or 15 mg. However, despite being considered one of the most dangerous snakes in the world , due to its speed, toxicity and aggressiveness, it should be noted that it does not occupy the first place, but it is the inland taipan that occupies this position.