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The Big, the Bad and Beautiful

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 3

Despite their sinister occupation, there are just a few snakes that aggressive towards man. Big snakes like the Pythons, Boa and others may eat medium sized animals and the occasional human being, but most snakes have nothing to gain by confronting man.

Of the estimate 3000 snake species in the world, there are approximately 300 types in South Africa. About 70% of them are non-venomous snakes while the other 30% give all the snakes a bad name.

The most famous poisonous in South Africa is the black mamba. Growing to a length of 3 – 4 meters, it is widespread in warm areas in South Africa. It is one of the most aggressive and fastest snakes with rigid fangs. The venom is a fatal powerful nerve poison witch is fatal as I mentioned and if left untreated the victim would die in minutes.

The fangs of the black mamba are surprisingly small. The victim may escape a full dose of venom if it bites through clothing or hit your shoe.

The green mamba is a bit smaller, usually 2 meters in full length and less poisonous and lives mostly in tree tops.

There are about 10 species of Cobras here by us. The Cape cobra, Egyptian cobra, Angolan cobra and Forest cobra is the common ones. Like the mamba, cobras have short fixed fangs, with venom flowing down exterior groves.

The rinkals or South African spitting cobra is a short snake and differs from true cobras in that it produces live young rather than eggs. This snake can spit its venom accurately and with force and can spray up to 4 meters. Its effects in eyes and open wounds can also be fatal unless treated.

Most bites in South Africa come from the adder family. These snakes are not aggressive but it strikes when trampled on. Adders have hinged fangs, larger than cobras and mambas making them most efficient biters, but their venom are slow acting making time to allow treatment.

Many experts feel that the boom slang is the deadliest of all in Africa. It grows up to 2 meters and varies in color, green, brown or black. Their poison acts in the blood and nervous system. The fangs of a boomslang sits in the back of its mouth making it hard for them to bite a human, unless they get hold of your toe or finger. During breeding season, in spring, boomslangs congregate in large numbers. Professional snake catches found as many as 400 in one tree!


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Comments

Jan 2, 2010 2:35pm
ethelsmith
I know some people love snakes but they scare the Hell out of me.
Jan 4, 2010 8:22am
Pelser
me too... but I really admire them
Jul 10, 2010 11:58pm
jcmayer777
Snakes give me the willies. Thank goodness most of them aren't poisonous.
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