New Horrifyingly Large, Poison-Spitting Snake Discovered

Update: This snake was actually discovered by Roygan Taylor working for Bio-Ken in Kenya. He has his own fantastic blog, which in addition to providing a lot of fascinating information about the enormous snake in question, covers all sorts of other interesting snake related issues in Africa. Check it out here http://www.wildlifedirect.org/blogAdmin/savingsnakes

Researchers have identified a new species of spitting cobra in Kenya, one that is over nine feet long and has enough venom to "kill twenty people" according to an "expert" on the subject in this article on nationalgeographic.com.

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I'm your huckleberry.

The new cobra has been dubbed the Ashe cobra, after the late tennis champion Arthur Ashe who once...

...spit a mouthful of Gatorade into the eyes of a line judge for calling a baseline shot out. Just kidding, it's named James Ashe, a herpetologist who started a research center/snake farm in Watamu, Kenya.

Experts used to link this brown cobra with its black spitting cobra cousins, but thanks to lab analysis of blood and tissue, they now have classified it as its own species. According to the National Geographic article, spitting cobras eat "eggs, carrion, snakes, lizards, birds, human babies, water buffalo, giraffes, and leopards."

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Say it, don't spray--ok that was too stupid a caption to keep writing. Sorry.

WildlifeDirect Chairman Richard Leakey, whose organization announced the finding, said, ""A new species of giant spitting cobra is exciting and reinforces the obvious...There have to be many other unreported species--but hundreds are being lost as their habitats disappear under the continued mismanagement of our planet." He later added, "Oh, my god. Oh, my god. My eyes. My eyes. Oh god it burns. It feels like someone is putting needles into my eyes. Please, kill me. Oh dear lord, please kill me now."

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I like this study from a couple of years back where some scientists showed that the spitting cobra really does aim for the eyes, by provoking the snakes while standing behind a plastic visor. I also like that it was a grad student project - "Keen, you say? Well how about you show me how keen you are by getting this massive lethal serpent to shoot poison at your eyes? That's a good lad."

This is just brilliant - I saw Richard Leakey 2 days ago, he's still alive, but yes, his eyes are still burning. You got the quote wrong tho... he's an athiest. Hey, this discovery was first reported on www.wildlifedirect.org by Royjan Taylor who is a mad snake man - you have to check out his blog and amazing photos of this and more freaky snakes

Cute Snake

By Laura Taylor (not verified) on 13 Oct 2008 #permalink

Cute Snakes

By Laura Taylor (not verified) on 13 Oct 2008 #permalink

I wonder why people are afraid of snakes.

OOOOOOOOH I WANT ONE!!!!!

By Theeanrda little (not verified) on 31 Oct 2008 #permalink

this snake is freakin awsome i want to get one

By Richard Dye (not verified) on 14 Jan 2009 #permalink

WE HAVE IT IN OUR SNAKE PARK IN BARATON UNIVERSITY.
I LOVE TO WORK OVER THERE.LOVELY

By FRANK OGETO (not verified) on 31 Jan 2010 #permalink

This Cobra is Awesome! I want one. Whatta beautiful snake. How strong is the venom? I would like to know more about this Beautiful Creature. I just love this snake. Any inforemation would be appreceated. Thank you for this. There is also a new viper they found in Mosambeak Africa. I think I spelled that wrong? Well Thanks Again. Kaya Young from Millsboro Deleware U.S.A. See Ya.

By Kaya Young (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

essa cobra é muito perigosa.

By karine e karen (not verified) on 22 Jun 2010 #permalink

Bunları yaparken hiç bir sorunla karÅılaÅmadım hiç bir uyarı almadım yanlız hala sitede reklamlar gözükmüyor.Acaba biraz beklemek mi lazım?

Beautiful creature :)