King cobras live in the southern parts of Asia in swamps, farm fields, forests, and grasslands. King cobras are part of a group called reptiles, like all snakes. King cobras are cold-blooded creatures, but that does not mean the snake is cold. It means its body temperature is the same temperature as its environment.
King cobras smell their prey with their forked tongue instead of a nose like a human. When a king cobra is about to attack, it will rise up and strike downward on its prey. The king cobra is the fastest snake in the world and it can move 17.6 ft (5.4m) per second! That means that king cobras can move 12 mph (19 km)!
King cobras eat snakes, small lizards, eggs and mammals as their main prey. Its most common food out of those four are snakes. The top and bottom jaws of a king cobra have stretchy ligaments so it can swallow wider animals that normally don’t fit in a human’s mouth. Like every snake, they swallow their prey whole. Snakes can’t chew food so when they swallow their food it gets digested by strong acids in the snake’s belly!
When king cobras are hidden from a predator, they will stay motionless. King cobras come in many different colors that help them camouflage in their habitats. King cobras can inject very deadly venom that can kill an elephant in one bite. Venom is a poisonous substance secreted by the cobra. King cobras lift their head and their hoods and hiss while they go up and down. They do this as a warning sign. They will flare out their hoods and make a bone chilling hiss that sounds like a growling dog. Humans are not a normal enemy of a king cobra, but their main predator is a mongoose. A mongoose will bite the neck of the king cobra before he can attack. King cobras scaly, tough scales protect them from rocks, tree branches and more.
King cobras talk through vibrations and low, consistent sounds. They also use body language. For example, they perform a kind of dance to communicate. King cobras can also smell chemicals that mark an area and signal mating.
Male cobras do not bite when they fight for mates. They do bite, but only when they are hunting. They try to push each other to the ground. King cobras are the only snakes that build nests for their eggs. King cobras can lay 20 to 50 eggs. Each newborn king cobra can be 15 to 20 inches long. When a baby king cobra is born, it will be able to mate when it is five to six years old. The average length of an adult king cobra is 13 feet to 18 feet long. They can weigh 15 to 20 pounds. A king cobra’s life span is about 20 years.