Egyptian cobra Introduction
The Egyptian cobra is a species of venomous cobra located in most of North Africa in counties like, Kenya and Tanzania. It is one of the largest cobras of the African continent. The head of this snake is large and depressed and slightly distinct from the neck. The neck has long cervical ribs capable of expanding to form a hood, like all other cobras. The snout of the Egyptian cobra is moderately broad and rounded. The body is cylindrical and stout with a long tail. The most recognizable characteristics of this species are its head and hood. The color is highly variable, but most specimens are some shade of brown, often with lighter or darker mottling, and often a “tear-drop” mark below the eye. Some are more copper-red or grey-brown in color. Egyptian cobras from northwestern Africa (Morocco, Western Sahara) are almost entirely black. Egyptian cobras are terrestrial and solitary creatures. These snakes are mainly nocturnal, however, they may be seen basking in the sun at times in the early morning. They make their shelters in abandoned animal burrows, termite mounds or rock outcrops. Egyptian cobras are active foragers sometimes entering human habitations, especially when hunting domestic fowl. Like other cobra species, they generally try to escape when approached, at least for a few meters, but if threatened they assume the typical upright posture with the hood expanded, and strike.
Keywords to learn
Forager: a person or animal that searches widely for food or provisions
Hey Kids, my name is Eden the Egyptian cobra and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species @ http://www.kids.nationalgeographic.com
- Lifespan:20-30 years.
- Scientific Name:Naja haje.
- Mass:20 pounds.
- Length:3-7 feet.
- Region found:North Africa.
- Population Status:Not evaluated.
- Current population trend:Unknown.
- Sexual maturity:2 to 3 years.
As you have just learned, Egyptian cobras are known for their magnificent hood and aggressive nature, their are deadly snakes and should always be left alone and never approached!
Now that you know more about the Egyptian cobra by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.
Download questions about the Egyptian cobra here: Egyptian Cobra (answers are on this page)
Teachers. For more in depth work sheets on snakes. Click on Kidskonnect Worksheets
Cobra Fun Facts for Kids
- # 1. Egyptian cobras like to eat toads, but will also prey on small mammals, birds, eggs, lizards and other snakes.
- # 2. The venom of the Egyptian cobra is mainly neurotic, meaning it affects the nerves.
- # 3. Envenomation causes local pain, severe swelling, bruising, blistering, necrosis and variable non-specific effects which may include headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, collapse or convulsions along with possible moderate to severe flaccid paralysis.
- # 4. Egyptian cobras are important for their ecosystem as they help to maintain the balance of prey species and control agricultural pests such as rats and mice.
- # 5. Most ancient sources say that Cleopatra and her two attendants committed suicide by being bitten by an aspis, which translates into English as “asp”. The snake was reportedly smuggled into her room in a basket of figs. This “aspis” was likely to be the Egyptian cobra.
# 1. Where can the Egyptian cobra be found?
# 2. What order does the Egyptian cobra belong to?
# 3. At what age does the Egyptian cobra sexually mature?
# 4. Name two things Egyptian cobras like to eat?
# 5. Name three symptoms of an Egyptian cobra bite?