Dendroaspis polylepis also known as the Black Mamba is the world’s fastest snakes, and it is also one of the most venomous. The reptile has an average lifespan in the wild of eleven years or more. The snake can reach heights up to fourteen feet, and can weigh up to three and a half pounds.
The Black Mamba is shy in nature, and will usually try to escape if it is confronted. However, if the snake is threatened it will raise its head up spreading its cobra-like neck flap open. It will then display its black colored mouth and hiss. The snake then strikes repeatedly injecting large amounts of potent neuro- and cardio toxin with each strike. The Black Mamba has the ability to lift a third of its body off the ground to attack if needed.
The black mamba project
The Black MambaNichole Fields (Dendroaspis polylepis)Biology 101Professor Robert Swatski (Grall, n.d)
Dendroaspis polylepisalso known as the BlackMamba is the world’sfastest snake, and it isalso one of the mostvenomous (“BlackMamba Snakes” 1). Thereptile has an averagelifespan in the wild ofeleven years or more(“Black Mamba Snakes”1). The snake can reachheights up to fourteenfeet, and can weigh upto three and a halfpounds (“Black MambaSnakes” 1). (Hargis, 2009)
(Kibuyu , 1986)The snake is not black at all, but instead a grey to olivetone (“Black Mamba Dendroaspis polylepis” 1). Its namerefers to the black color in its mouth that it displays as adefense mechanism when threatened (“Black MambaDendroaspis polylepis” 1).
(Vasenka, 2010)The Black Mamba is a diurnal snake that hunts actively during the day,uses venom to paralyze its prey (Black Mamba Snakes 1). The snakespends its nights in holes in the ground, and if it is left undisturbed,it will remain living in the same lair for a long period of time(Black Mamba Snakes 1).
The carnivorous snakefeeds on rodents, bats,small mammals, birds, andlizards. The snake is able toswallow its prey whole,and digest it within a fewhours, unlike some other snakes. (Arensmeier, 2007)
Its breeding takes place in the late spring to early summer, and aftermating the male returns to its own lair (“Black Mamba Snakes” 1).The female will then lay between 10 to 25 eggs (“Black Mamba Snakes” 1).The female’s nest usually consists of decomposing vegetation, which givesoff heat to keep the eggs warm, and speeds up the hatching time(“Black Mamba Snakes” 1). The egg shell allows water and oxygen throughto reach the developing embryos (“Black Mamba Snakes” 1). (Coomber, 2008)
The Black Mamba’s habitatranges from Eastern Africain southern Ethiopia toSouthwest Africa (“BlackMamba Snakes” 1). Newport Geographic
The Black Mamba dwells in the savannas and rocky hills ofsouthern and eastern Africa (“Black Mamba Snakes” 1). Itspends its nights in burrows, or deep among rocks and timber(“Black Mamba Snakes” 1). The cold blooded snake relies onexternal heat to maintain its body temperature, so it basks inthe sun during the day on low tree branches and rocks (“BlackMamba Snakes” 1). (O. Taillon, 2005)
The world’s fastest snake, the Black Mamba, can travelspeeds up to 12.5 miles per hour (“Black Mamba Snakes”1). This speed is normally not used to hunt prey, but toescape danger (“Black Mamba Snakes” 1). ( Jaszlics, 2008)
The Black Mamba is shy in nature, and willusually try to escape if it is confronted(Black Mamba Dendroaspis polylepis 1).However, if the snake is threatened it willraise its head up, spreading its cobra like-neck flap open (Black Mamba Dendroaspispolylepis 1). It will then display its blackcolored mouth, and hiss (Black MambaDendroaspis polylepis 1). The snake thenstrikes repeatedly injecting large amountsof potent neuro- and cardio toxin witheach strike (Black Mamba Dendroaspispolylepis). The Black Mamba has theability to lift a third of its body off theground to attack if needed (Black MambaDendroaspis polylepis). (Sloss, n.d.)
The snake can deliver up to400 milligrams of venom, butonly 10 to 15 milligrams isneeded to kill an adult human(“Black Mamba Snakes” 1).The venom is injected throughtwo hollow fangs, which remainflat until the snake bites, andmovable mouth bones erectthem (“Black Mamba Snakes”1). (Leitenbauer, 2006)
The Black Mamba’s biteis 100% fatal and can causedeath within 20 minutes(“Black Mamba Dendroaspispolylepis” 1). (Patterson, n.d)
Symptoms Include: Pain in the area bitten Tingling sensation in the extremities Drooping eyelids(Eyelid Ptosis) Tunnel Vision Sweating Excessive Salivation Lack of Muscle Control …………without medical attention the symptoms rapidly progress to: Convulsions Respiratory Failure Coma And death due to suffocation from paralysis (“Black Mamba Snake” 1)(Brad, 2008)
The Black Mamba is a fast, highly aggressive, and lethally venomoussnake when it is threatened. The snake has been blamed for numeroushuman deaths, and has become more than an African myth, but a legendbased on its capabilities as the world’s deadliest snake.
National Geographic’sBlack Mamba vs. Animal Kingdom May 15,2009
The Jeff Corwin Experience Black Mamba Clip May 29, 2010