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Cobra

naja snakes snake africa

Cobra, venomous snake (family Elapidae) that rears up and spreads the ribs of the neck to form a “hood” when alarmed. Cobras are found in Africa and southern Asia. The ringhals, or spitting cobra, of Africa defends itself by spitting venom over a distance of 10–12 ft (3–3.7 m). If venom enters the eye it can cause blindness. The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is the longest of all poisonous snakes, reaching a length of 18 ft (5.5 m). The Egyptian (Naja haja) and Indian (Naja naja) cobras are the traditional snakes of the snake charmer. Like all snakes, they are deaf to airborne sounds and are reacting to the snake charmer's swaying movement, not to the music.

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