Myanmar Snake

Myanmar Snake, Poisonous Cobra Bite &Venom.

 

Deadly cobra bite venom, coral, copperhead snake and other. The country has the highest mortality rate from their bites in the world the venom is deadly. An American expert–the first scientist ever to survey all reptiles in this isolated region happens to be in the village in his quest for new species. He races toward cries indicating one, tailed by a throng of curious villagers. Inside a hut, the woman’s family stands rooted in fear. Coiled near the back wall, a 3-foot-long arches with a hiss, poised to strike.

Stealthily, the he approaches the creature. With a few awkward thrusts of a “grab stick”–an aluminum pole with two 6-inch fingers or tongs–he grasps at the lightning-fast, poisonous animal, and snags it. Elated villagers crowd around to shake the hand of herpetologist Joe Slowinski.

 

Now the hunter

has good reason to be excited. The one he nabbed turns out to be aspitting version that only inhabits the arid terrain of the central region. Named the “Burmese spitting cobra” (Naja mandalayensis), it’s the first new species to be discovered since 1922. Surprisingly, they are usually shy and nonaggressive, deadly only when threatened or hunting prey. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved them,” Slowinski says. “I got bit by a rattlesnake when I was 15, and that didn’t stop me.”

Myanmar snakes
Myanmar snake whisky

The local people

have a somehow different approach to them, they do it like the Chinese, they eat them! What is it about this reptiles that mesmerize us? For thousands of years, these slithery creatures have inspired religious myths, fanatical fear, and endless curiosity. Streamlined to the bare essentials–mouth, belly, brain, spine–snakes manage to slink over desert sands and rocky slopes as well as swim in rivers and glide through the rainforest canopy. In more than 100 million years on earth, they’ve evolved to elegant perfection. “The way they move, through sleek body curves, light shining off its scales, is one of the most impressive sights nature has to offer,” says expert Wolfgang Wuster at the University of Wales, who collaborated with Slowinski in naming the new reptile. Apes climb with powerful anus and hands; frogs swim with webbed feet; falcons seize prey with sharp talons. They merely with a backbone doing all these things. Sheathed in smooth or rough scales, the limbless body contains a long string of 100 to 600 vertebrae (backbones), which provide spectacular flexibility without sacrificing strength.

Each vertebra features a pair of ribs that curve and attach to the inner surface of a broad scale on a snake’s under-belly. Essential for snaky locomotion, these belly-side scales run crosswise like bulldozer tread; a snake’s skeleton and belly scales are linked by muscles in complex overlapping layers, letting snakes crawl, climb, zigzag, caterpillar creep, coil, and crush.

 

cobra have a bod image
Restaurant Cobra cage

Do they have a bad image?

To many people they are the most typical of reptiles and are also largely responsible for giving the whole class of a bad name. It is true that they are venerated by certain primitive communities and a few people keep them as pets: nevertheless, man’s altitude to them is generally a hostile one. Not all kinds are harmful to mankind, only a comparatively small number are dangerous to man and few if any will attack human being without provocation.

To the unprejudiced eye many are creatures of great beauty and charm, and they all show fascinating adaptations to the various biological riches in which they work out their evolutionary destinies. The group includes some of the most expert burrowers, swimmers and climbers among the higher vertebrates. The wonderful agility and their ability to swallowing large objects and the means to killing their prey swiftly and surely have also helped to bring about their evolutionary success. The family has been in existence for some 60 million years and certainly most are known today, here they are in the cage.

Of all they are probably the nastiest and play a sinister role in many Jungle tales. They are famous for their habit of flattening their necks into a hood (when annoyed) by raising their long neck ribs. This species is common in both Africa and Asia. ‘ The Indian species, or naga, has spectacles like markings on the back of the hood very poisonous bites and the ability to spit twin jets of venom into the eyes of an aggressor several feet away.

This species is all over Myanmar, with a length of up to around 2 meters, males are longer. They are of is brown or dark color. It is normally found in the open in the evenings and early in the mornings. In old thatched roofed houses, it has been seen tinder the roof where it goes in search of its prey. In very old buildings it has been noticed to remain in crevices presumably in dark cool places where rats are also available. It may be noted here that the presence in and near houses is an indication that it has come for its food rats, frogs and birds. If these are kept away they may not come.

Cobras are worshipped in India, taken from house to house offered milk and money. Whenever a person is bitten it is often taken for granted that it must be one of them. The local charmers then gather in a temple and the victim supposed to be possessed by thereptil is made to lie down. The patient froths from the mouth and is often given neem leaves or chillies to chew and his face sprinkled with cold water. However it is significant to note that in all temples of the villages a spell is cast only for cobra bites, other Myanmar poisonous ones are coral snake, copperhead, and banded craft.

 

getting ready for the oven
Getting ready for the oven

The characteristic of them

They normally raise the hood about 50% of the length from the ground and the striking range comes to a radius of about the same length. If one keeps still beyond this range it is quite likely the creature will retreat. But if one moves or runs, it is also likely that it will give a chase for some distance. Due to fright the speed is reduced and accidents do happen, the speed is far less than that of man.

They mate during the rainy season by lying down and get coiled up above ground swaying. It has been seen that these are both males and the phenomenon is probably a fight between the two.

The egg laying takes place about nine to ten months after mating. We have seen 56 eggs laid in three days. The female sits on them which are mixed with the soil and vegetation. The female does not leave them alone, they hatche after 58 days. The young one has a properly formed hood and strike in the same fashion as the adult. By four years it becomes about 1.5 meters long. It probably matures after 3 years. The poison is primarily neurotoxic, there is less pain slight swelling, irritation and death is due to respiratory failure. They are found all over the world, except the Arctic New Zealand and Ireland, it is estimated that there are about 2.500 species in the world and they predominate in the warm climate and lush regions of the tropics around 216 species are found in India of which only about 52 species are poisonous; about 200.000 people are annually bitten, and about 15.000 succumb to snake bites every year and that would make a death rate of about 0.004 % during a period of 5 years.

 

Slowinski sleuths cobras,

by cruising roads at nightfall is one way since the species he’s after tend to be nocturnal, or active at night. They are nocturnal because the rodents they love to eat scurry around at night; although they can overheat and die in intense tropical sunlight.

Since they are cold-blooded, or ectothermic, external sources–sunlight, air, water, or warm blacktop roads, heat their bodies. When they need to conserve heat, they coil into a compact mass. Some scientists think they bask on warm blacktops after they’ve eaten to heat their bodies and speed up the digestive process.

For many people they have some spiritual aura, as you can see in the snake temple in Penang, they have mainly Burmese python and some smaller poisonous snakes around the altar.

 

Venom is deadly

One night in a rural spot , Slowinski came upon a spitting cobra lying on a road. As he moved to bag the snake, the animal reared, hissed, and spit at him. Wearing protective glasses,he didn’t back off. With his grab stick he snatched it behind its head and wrangled it into his cloth sack, trying to avoid a vicious bite. But he miscalculated: “Suddenly it bit me right through the bag!” The fang sank into his finger, and Slowinski sat down and waited for the pain which never came. “I got lucky. The bite was dry.” In other words, it released no venom, a poisonous saliva used to kill prey. If it had injected venom, Slowinski’s finger would have swelled within minutes. His muscles would have weakened and his eyelids drooped; he would have drooled and slurred his speech. Breathing would have become laborious, then impossible. In 12 to 24 hours, he could have died. “But the last thing they want to do is waste venom on animals they can’t swallow whole, like people,” he says.

There are far to many around in the country, so? Eat them!

ground; the vibrations also resonate in the inner ear. In a flashit is sinking its fangs into the prey and quickly releasing it’s deadly venom. If the prey is large, it bites down several times to inject a lethal dose. A snake’s eight teeth-bearing jaw bones are connected by a stretchy ligament (a band of tissue that connects bones).

This ligament lets them swallow food whole. “That’s what they are best at, swallowing enormous objects, a three-foot animal can easily swallow a rabbit that outweighs it.”

Even wilder, these jaws continue to work even when it is dead! A freshly decapitated rattlesnake will try to attack objects–like human hands waved in front of it for up to an hour after death. Some (rattlesnakes, for instance) “see” with heat-sensing pit organs, located between the eyes and nose or around the mouth.

 

Pit organs can detect heat even after it dies.

Although cobras don’t have pit organs, Slowinski says he’s not taking any chances: “Dead or alive, we take a lot of caution with them.” The mystical shimmy they sometimes do isn’t a dance at all. In Myanmar, India, and Pakistan they catch a healthy one (usually in rat holes) and keep it cool under a lid in a basket or clay pot. The “dance” begins when the charmer lifts the lid, letting bright light stream into the container. Startled, the shy reptile rises through the opening to defend itself. The charmer teases it, waving the flute in front of it and follows the motion, but not the music. The animal can’t hear airborne sounds well, since they lack external ears. Is it dancing’ not really, but it sure is smooth.

TRY THIS: Feel how it hears. Strike a tuning fork on a hard surface and press the fork’s stern to your chin. What happens’ They lack external ears, but sound waves travel through the jaw and vibrate bones in its inner ear.

innards and snake blood
Skinned innards and snake blood

cooking the cobra
Cooking the cobra snake

Out of 3,000 known species of snakes more than 500 are venomous. The 10 most lethal  in the world belong to the elapids family, their venom kills via neurotoxins, proteins that paralyze an animal’s nervous system and diaphragm, abdominal muscles used to breathe. It metes out the exact amount of venom needed to suffocate the prey, then swallows its catch, headfirst.

Many Myanmar’s have different ideas with them, they skin and eat this lethal enemy. Fried or boil into the soup, see the blood in the glass left, it is mixed with with wine and jup….. we go. Mainly Chinese and Russian -yes you heard right- like this, does this need any more explanation. Actually the country has the highest rate of killings due to bite, they try to get read of them in this elegant way through the stomach.

 

How the function

They like small animals, frogs, birds, rodents, and other of the same species, wet a hungry’ appetite. They track prey using senses of smell, sight, and hearing. As the animal hunts, its forked tongue flicks in and out through a notch in the upper lip; odor particles from the air and ground stick to the extended tongue. Inside the mouth, the tongue transfers scent particles to the Jacobson’s organ, two pits on the mouth roof; the organ sends complex signals to the brain, which analyzes the scent chemicals.

Because the tongue is forked, it detects the direction of an odor–left or right; it also sniffs through its nostrils. With this double-barreled sense of smell, the animal can easily pursue the trail of a rat, for example. If the rat wanders close by, it might see the rat, the long body, stretched along the earth, feels vibrations of the rat’s paws on the

Did You Know?

* Worldwide, venomous snakes kill an estimated 10,000 to 50,000 people a year. Of those deaths, fewer than five occur in the U.S.
* Snakes breathe with one lung: they have an elongated right lung, but the left one is a useless nub.
* The small-sealed taipan, an Australian elapid, has the most toxic venom of any snake. The most aggressive snake is Russell’s viper, which is prevalent in the country.