Monday, March 29, 2010
Danger in Green....
The black mamba (D. polytheism) is the longest venomous snake in Africa, with a potent neurotic venom that attacks the nervous system, and Cardiod toxins which attack the heart; the bite is often fatal to humans without access to proper first aid and subsequent ant venom treatment, because it shuts down the lungs and heart. Prior to the availability of antivenin, envenoms by members of this genus carried a high fatality rate. However, with ant venom being much more available today, fatalities have become much rarer.
The black mamba is not named for the color of its body (which is usually a shade of Grey or charcoal), but for the highly pigmented interior of its mouth, which it will display to the predator in hopes it will leave it alone. Many people believe that the black mamba will actually chase and attack humans. This is a myth, and is probably fueled by the great speed with which this species can move — although the black mamba uses this speed to escape from threats rather than for hunting. Humans are actually their predators, rather than their prey. For that reason, mambas generally avoid contact with humans. However, if a mamba feels threatened or trapped, it may defend itself fiercely, and it has the ability to attack repeatedly.