Cobra (Family: Elapidae, Genus: Naja) - Wiki
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[Photo] Indian cobra, Naja naja. Photograph by Renaud d'Avout d'Auerstaedt (http://renaud.davout.org/), registered wikipedian (rdavout). Date taken: 2005-08-24. Place taken: India - Delhi - New Delhi. Description: Indian cobra raised and spreading its hood. Keywords: cobra; naja naja; snake; hood. source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Indian_cobra.jpg
Naja is a genus of venomous elapid snakes. They are the most recognized, and most widespread group of snakes commonly known as cobras, though there are several other genera which also make use of that common name. The genus Naja consists of 22 generally accepted species, but has undergone several taxonomic revisions in recent years, so sources vary greatly. They range throughout Africa, the Middle-East, India, southeastern Asia, and Indonesia.
Anchieta's Cobra, Naja anchietae (Bocage, 1879)
Snouted Cobra, Naja annulifera (Peters, 1854)
Naja ashei W??ster & Broadley, 2007
Chinese Cobra, Naja atra (Cantor, 1842)
Egyptian Cobra, Naja haje (Linnaeus, 1758)
Monocled Cobra, Naja kaouthia (Lesson, 1831)
Mali Cobra, Naja katiensis (Angel, 1922)
Mandalay Spitting Cobra, Naja mandalayensis (Slowinski & W??ster, 2000)
Black and White Cobra, Naja melanoleuca (Hallowell, 1857)
Mozambique Spitting Cobra, Naja mossambica (Peters, 1854)
Indian Cobra, Naja naja (Linnaeus, 1758)
Black-necked Spitting Cobra, Naja nigricollis (Reinhardt, 1843)
Cape Cobra, Naja nivea (Linnaeus, 1758)
Nubian Spitting Cobra, Naja nubiae (W??ster & D.G. Broadley, 2003)
Central Asian Cobra, Naja oxiana (Eichwald, 1831)
Red Spitting Cobra, Naja pallida (Boulenger, 1896)
Philippine Cobra, Naja philippinensis (Boulenger, 1896)
Andaman Cobra, Naja sagittifera (Wall, 1913)
Peters' Cobra, Naja samarensis (Peters, 1861)
Indo-Chinese Spitting Cobra, Naja siamensis (Laurenti, 1768)
Indonesian Cobra, Naja sputatrix (Boie, 1827)
Golden Spitting Cobra, Naja sumatrana (M??ller, 1890)
Naja species are long, relatively slender snakes. Most species are capable of attaining lengths of 6' or more. All have a characteristic ability to raise the front quarter of their body off the ground and flatten their necks to appear larger to a potential predator.
All species in the genus Naja are capable of delivering a fatal bite in a human. Most species have strongly neurotoxic venom, which attacks the nervous system, causing paralysis, but many also have hemotoxic features which causes swelling, necrosis and has a significant anticoagulant effect.
Several Naja species, referred to as spitting cobras, have developed a specialized venom delivery mechanism, in which their front fangs, instead of releasing venom through the tips, as a hypodermic needle, have a rifled opening in the front surface, which allows the snake to propel the venom out of the mouth. While typically referred to as spitting, the action is more like squirting. The range and accuracy with which they can shoot their venom varies from species to species, but it is used primarily as a defense mechanism. Once sprayed onto a victim's skin, the venom acts as a severe irritant. If it is introduced to the eye, it can cause a severe burning sensation and temporary or even permanent blindness if not cleaned out immediately and thoroughly.
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