The Black Mamba Snake is a normal looking snake. It can be long but it doesn’t have the impressive and intimidating rattle of the Rattle Snake nor is it thick like a Boa Constrictor. Yet, they are considered the world’s deadliest snake.
Its classification name is Dendroaspis Polylepis and it is a venomous snake found in parts of southern and eastern Africa. Its first name Dendroaspis is from ancient Greek and means “snake with a shield” while the second name, Polylepis, also from ancient Greek, means “many scales”.
The snakes are grey or dark brown in colour. When they hatch and begin their lives they are lighter in colour and darken with age. The Black Mamba Snake is venomous from birth and hatch at a length of already two feet long on average. They can live to be older than 11 years old. The snake got its common name from the black colour inside its mouth. They will show this black oral cavity when they feel threatened. The Black Mamba Snake will raise its head and a third of its body will come off the ground while it spreads its neck flap ( like a Cobra) opens its mouth and will hiss. It will strike several times. The venom from a Black Mamba will kill you within 20 minutes if you do not have the anti-venom. Unfortunately, the anti-venom is not regularly available in the rural areas of Africa. This and the fact that the snake becomes very aggressive when it feels threatened have earned it the title of the deadliest snake in the world. (2017, nationalgeographic.com)
Black Mamba snakes are the longest snakes found in Africa measuring about six feet long, some snakes have been up to 13.5 feet in length but they are extremely rare. Well, thank goodness for that.
The Black Mamba prefers lairs in terrestrial habitats such as forests, grasslands, deserts, shorelines and wetlands. They generally stick around rocky slopes, woodlands and forests.
They are “diurnal”, meaning active only during the day, and are ambush predators. They prey on Hyrax, young primates and birds.
So, with that knowledge I am going to add this little tidbit, this snake is known to slither at a speed of 12.5 MPH. Yup, it has an almost instantaneously deadly bite and it is fast too. This will now be a new subject for my nightmares.
The Black Mamba snake is not endangered but encroachment on its territory puts pressure on it and risks more human contact.
Bill and the Other Half