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Black Mamba

Name

Black Mamba [Dendroaspis polylepis]

Appearance

The Black Mamba is a large, sleek snake with a thin, coffin-shaped head. The snake has smooth scales. The snake’s back is not black but differs in colour from an olive-brown to gunmetal.  The belly can contain dark spots but is usually pale grey-green. The snake gets its name from the black lining in its mouth.

Diet

Black Mambas tend to feed on dassies and rats but it also feeds on nestling birds.

Distribution

Black Mambas are present in the northern parts of the subcontinent (apart from the desert), stretching south down the coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal to Port St. Johns and elsewhere, to Senegal and Somalia.

Breeding

Eggs are laid in clutches from 12-17 in termite nests and decaying vegetation. Baby Black Mambas hatch in 80-90 days. Baby Black Mambas can reach 2 meters in length during the first year after birth.

Venom

Black Mambas are equipped with neurotoxic (This venom attacks your nervous system and it reduces brain activity) and cardiotoxic (This venom attacks your heart and reduces blood flow to your body) venom, on average a bite from a black mamba can deliver 100-120mg of venom. It only takes 10-15mg of venom to be fatal to humans.

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