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The puff adder Bitis arietans causes the most human deaths in Africa, with the saw-scaled viper being close behind it.

Black Mamba Snakes

The bottom line: The black mamba is a quick snake with a potent, fast-acting venom that can easily kill an adult human. But, like most serpents, it will make every effort to avoid human encounters if given the chance. This species typically does not strike unless it feels cornered and threatened. This is true for most venomous snakes on the planet, from the slowest to the fastest. Which species has the fastest strike?

Black Mamba Facts | Live Science

Here are some more interesting facts about the world's fastest snake: The black mamba is by far the longest venomous snake species found on the continent of Africa. It can reach average lengths of 2. In some cases, they can exceed 10 ft in length. The longest specimen on record was 4.


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It is the second-longest venomous snake in the world , behind the king cobra. The black mamba is believed to be the most advanced snake species in the world, according to wildlife biologist Dr. Joe Wasilewski. Photos Submit to Our Contest.

Photo of the Day. Video Ingenuity Awards. Smithsonian Channel. Video Contest. Games Daily Sudoku. Universal Crossword. Daily Word Search. Mah Jong Quest. Subscribe Top Menu Current Issue. Book Shop. Like this article? On top of everything else, they hunt exclusively in water. Comment on this Story. Legends associated with the black mamba have earned it the title of "world's deadliest snake. The black mamba's bite is called the "kiss of death," and it's said to balance on the end of its tail, towering over victims before striking.

The snake is also believed to slither faster than a man or horse can run. However, despite this fearsome reputation, many of the legends are false. The black mamba, while potentially deadly , is a shy hunter. Here's the truth about the black mamba.

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This snake's color ranges from olive to gray to dark brown with a yellow underbody. Juvenile snakes are paler in coloration than adults. The snake gets its common name for the inky black coloration of its mouth, which it opens and displays when threatened.

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Like its relative, the coral snake , the black mamba is covered with smooth, flat scales. The black mamba is the longest venomous snake in Africa and the second-longest venomous snake in the world, following the king cobra. Black mambas range from 2 to 4. When the snake rises to strike, it may appear to balance on its tail, but this is simply an illusion created by the fact that its body is so unusually long, as well as the fact that its coloring blends into its surroundings.


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While the black mamba is the fastest snake in Africa and perhaps the fastest snake in the world, it uses its speed to escape danger, rather than hunt prey. In comparison, the average female human runs 6. Both men and women can run much faster for a short distance. A horse gallops at 25 to 30 mph.


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Black mambas don't pursue people, horses, or cars, but even if they did, the snake couldn't maintain its peak pace long enough to catch up. The black mamba occurs in sub-Saharan Africa. Its range runs from northern South Africa up to Senegal. The snake thrives in moderately dry habitats, including woodlands, savannas, and rocky terrain.

Black Mamba Strike