Statistics indicate that people are more familiar with the cobra snake family than with any other species or subspecies in the poisonous or non-poisonous serpent categories. Most cobra snake varieties live in tropical and desert areas, being widely spread in the arid lands of Asia and Africa. These serpents have got so very famous by the threatening posture they assume when sensing danger: a cobra snake, which has a regular symmetrical head otherwise, will flatten the head and rear it up in a menacing way when sensing a possible attack coming. Another thing the cobra snake remains famous for is the snake charming tricks performed by Indian serpent breeders.
The spitting cobra snake is one of the most peculiar variety as it not only has a deadly bite but it also sprays venom in the eyes of prey and aggressors alike. The contact with the eyes can be very painful and even blinding, therefore, if you accidentally get cobra snake venom in the eyes, wash them out immediately so as to prevent permanent damage to the tissues. The King cobra snake also distinguishes itself in this large serpent family by the fact that it feeds almost completely on other snakes, with mice and small birds also falling prey to its venom.
The King cobra snake sets another record in terms of size: it can get up to seventeen feet long, which makes it the largest venomous snake in the world. The most recent discovery of a cobra snake species was made in 2003, when a specimen was identified at a London Zoo as part of an illegal shipment of exotic pets. According to DNA studies this new species is similar to the red spitting cobra snake but different in terms of genes. It apparently originates in an area between Sudan and Egypt, and it was given the name of Nubian spitting cobra.
Though highly dangerous when it senses a threat, a cobra snake will not attack if you leave it in peace. If compared to the strike of a rattlesnake, the cobra is pretty slow in attack, and many bites prove blank, without envenomation. A study conducted on Malaysian cobra snake victims indicates that only 55% of the wounds involved venom release. Yet, the same statistics indicates a mortality rate of 10% for people bitten by a cobra snake, since the toxins eliminated in the blood of the prey are devastating the nerves and inducing respiratory failure half an hour after being bitten.