Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Cobra is the Portuguese (and old Galician) common name for a snake; it came from late Latin colobra (from the classical Latin coluber, colubra). When Portuguese navigators arrived on the coasts of Africa and South Asia in the 16th century, they named the cobra "cobra-capelo", or "hood-snake"; from this compound, the name entered Spanish, French, English, and other European languages. Today, mainly in Brazil, cobras are known basically as najas.

They kill their prey by injecting a neurotoxin through their hollow fangs. The neurotoxin blocks the synaptic communication between the victim's neurons and muscles, thus stopping movement and muscle control.

The cobra's predators include the mongoose and some raptors.

Here in the Philippines, cobras are abundant. There are several cases of snake bites that often resulted to fatality of the cobra's victim. For the record, only cobras that are found in the Philippines are spitting. Beware of them. They are the silent killers from the grass.