Black Mamba is regarded as the fastest moving land snake, which can travel up to 12 mph in short distances. While the speed of this serpent is often exaggerated, it can outrun any average person once it has locked you in its sight.
Even though they do not have any feet, Black Mambas are regarded as quick runners. It has an average of 8 miles per hour, which is the average pace of a person jogs. However, this snake can slither in rapid bursts of 12 miles per hour on a firm and level ground. With that, if in case you need to outrun this snake, you would better sprint or else it can reach you.
But, for the longest time, the speed of the Black Mambas has been overplayed in legends and myths. While they are fast, of course, they would be able to catch up with a galloping horse. Believe it or not, some rumors such as that still exist today.
Truth to be told, the snake has only been included in tales, just so that children would not get close to them. They are known for speed, but they are also one of the deadliest of their kind. They are massive and very venomous, and their bites are fatal. A bite can make a human collapse within 45 minutes and die a few hours later.
Do not worry, though, as these snakes are relatively shy and tend to keep themselves. They spend much of their time avoiding any confrontation with people. Just make sure that you do not provoke them as they start to go aggressive when trapped or cornered.
Most people think that the snake derived its name from being an all-black breed. However, this is not the case. Most of them have tan, brown, or gray color. There are no defined patterns found on the Black Mambas, but there are some individuals that possess a cross pattern close to their tails. Their bellies are often whitish to a very light gray. They have big eyes and ‘coffin-like’ heads. Their offspring tend to be of a paler color, typically light brown, or light gray, which then darkens as they grow.
When it comes to their length, they can grow between 6.5 feet to 9 feet. There are some Black Mambas recorded at being 14 feet, but it is only a rare occurrence. Nevertheless, this makes the snake not only the fastest moving land snake but also the second-longest venomous snake on the planet.
Although they can grow 9 feet long on average, most of the Black Mambas only weigh around 3 pounds. This, in turn, makes them thin and aids in their agility. But, do not let their narrow bodies fool you as they can still consume relatively large animals, such as rodents, birds, and small monkeys.
Black Mambas are typically found in Africa, mainly in the southeastern part of the continent. They thrive in the Sahara regions, as they love wooded areas, rocky terrains, and savannas. You can find these snakes burrowing into the ground, hanging from trees, and hiding in stumps. They do not like to spend much time on the water and much fonder of warmer, drier climates.
These snakes are not nocturnal and will normally sleep throughout the night. However, as the dawn comes, they start to go hunting and go back to the same location, where they had spent the night.
A great thing to note is that Black Mamba still has a decent number in the wild and is not considered as an endangered species. What poses a threat to them, however, is the destruction of their natural habitats, as certain regions continue to experience advancement.
Humans have not domesticated Black Mambas in any way. They do not make good pets as their highly toxic venom can kill a person with just a single bite. Only zoos and research facilities keep them for educational purposes and for venom collection to create anti-venom serums.
But, while the Black Mamba appears to be a powerful snake, they often fall prey to larger snakes who eat young ones. Moreover, they are also being consumed by birds of prey, such as eagles and large hawks. Even the Mongoose eats the Black Mamba from time to time, due to its immunity to the venom and its innate agility.
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