The King Cobra is a species of venomous snake that is found in the forests of India, in fact all through Southeast Asia. Scientifically it is known as Ophiophagus Hannah, and it belongs to the Elapidae family of deadly snakes. Its special feature is that it is the longest poisonous snake of the world, with a length of about 18 feet!. We have gathered complete information on What do King Cobras Eat and listed down all the animals that are part of King Cobra Diet. You are going to learn about its nature of diet, list of animals it preys, other snakes that form part of its diet, why do they eat other snakes, how much and how often do they eat, diet of baby King Cobras, how do they eat and many other interesting information about King Cobra Diet.
What Do King Cobras Eat- King Cobra Diet
- The King Cobra is a carnivore i.e. it hunts and eats other animals.
- It eats:
- other snakes (both venomous and non venomous species)
- small mammals
- rodents (mostly in captivity)
Do King Cobras Eat Other Snakes?
- Since King Cobras are much larger than other snake species, they tend to predate on them.
- The size range for small snakes can be only a few centimeters long, for example the Barbados thread snake, which is only about 10 cm in length.
- The King Cobra eats large species of snakes including Asian rat snakes, dhamans and pythons which are up to 10 feet long. They also feast on smaller King Cobras, banded kraits and other venomous Indian cobras.
- It hunts the green whip snake, the banded wolf snake, the Blythe’s reticulated snake as well as the Malabar pit viper and the hump-nosed pit viper. It can smell the odor of all these snakes and therefore follow them and hunt them.
- An interesting fact is that when the female lays her eggs, she leaves them at the time of hatching because of temptations to eat her own offspring.
- Even more interestingly, the male can attract the female either to mate or to feed on her. Cannibalism among cobras is common, that is why they are sometimes referred to as the King of snakes.
- The scientific name is from the Greek language and it literally means ‘snake-eating’. The most common form of Cobra cannibalism is male attacking male, though.
Why Do King Cobras Eat Other Snakes?
- This is basically for the fight of resources and competition over females. This toxic masculinity is observed in almost all Cobras.
How Often Do King Cobras Eat?
- King cobras do not eat much often. It actually depends on the size of their previous meal. The bigger it is, the longer they can wait for their next feast.
- A single meal can even last them a month or more.
- Snake digestion get slower with warmer temperatures and they would eat about once in a week. Smaller baby snakes take meals of lesser quantity around twice a month.
What Do Baby King Cobras Eat?
- Baby King Cobras are called hatchlings and they are protected by the nest their mother makes for them.
- They feed on lizards, small mammals and eggs of other animals. They will eat small creatures like rodents as well. They can be called opportunistic predators, consuming whatever comes along their way.
- They leave the protection of their nest and parents as soon as they hatch to ram around by themselves and find their own food. Bay Cobras are just as venomous as adult ones.
Do King Cobras Eat Black Mambas?
- Although the Black Mamba species is famous for its ferocity and fast-acting venom, it does often become prey to the King Cobra.
- That is because the Cobra is the winner in terms of size and strength. Despite having a more deadly kind of venom, the Mamba loses battle.
- It is very rare that these two species cross each others’ paths because they live in different areas. The Black Mamba is native to Southern Africa whereas the King resides in Southeast Asia mostly but can be spotted in whole of Asia and Africa.
Do King Cobras Eat Eggs?
- Although it has not been seen eating these regularly, the King Cobra can devour frogs, fish and steal poultry and chicken from nearby farms.
Do King Cobras Eat Humans?
- Although they are shy and hide away from humans, Cobras will definitely strike if they feel threatened. That is usually when they are guarding their nest and egg.
- A King Cobra has enough venom to kill a large elephant with a single bite. But it is not necessary that they inject venom in every bite.
Do King Cobras Eat Rabbits?
- Cobras can eat small mammals like rabbits and rats as well. These mammals are usually used by humans in labs as their serum is valuable.
- Humans prepare antibodies against the toxins in the Cobra venom. These antibody sera are highly expensive.
How Do King Cobras Eat Their Prey?
- Cobras are usually black, green or brown in color with a whitish underbelly. They are well-camouflaged by the forest floor.
- They keep quiet and usually follow their prey around until the proper time to strike arrives. They go for the base of the victim’s head, injecting a paralyzing cocktail of venoms down the nervous system of the prey.
- Meanwhile, they strangulate the prey by twining their strong bodies around it. They have flexible jaws to swallow their prey as a whole while it is still alive. They don’t have any teeth to chew their food.
- By using alternative movements of their lower jaws, which are almost independent and loosely joined to the skull, they are able to haul their prey into their mouths.
- -Large meals take hours to swallow, but are sufficient to sustain the Cobra for weeks. They basically hunt with their sense of smell, using their forked tongues to taste the air and track their prey.
- Lastly, King Cobras also feed on carrion, which means the decaying flesh of dead animals.
- They have rightly been described as adaptable and cunning, they’ll make do with anything and everything they slither across!