Bhubaneswar, August 12 (Odisha.in) For the first time in the history of Nandankanan six Monocellate cCobras are born from the single clutch of eggs, official said Sunday.
The six baby snakes are hatched from the clutch of eggs of a captive Monocellate Cobra of the reptile park of Nandankanan Zoological Park. Monocellate Cobra (Naja kaouthia) differs from spectacled cobra in having only a single yellow or orange “O” shaped mark on the hood.
All the six young are healthy and active. This is a major breakthrough for the park. There were three Monocellate Cobras in the reptile park with the new addition the number is increased to 9.
The number of the Monocellate cobra in wild is declining because of the fear psychosis about the Cobra in the mind of the people and is normally killed at the first sight. Nandankanan is also planning to start a well designed education programme on snake to generate awareness about the conservation of snake.
This is the common cobra of eastern India. Found in heavy jungle open cultivated land, in populated areas, the old masonry constructions forms ideal refuge. Termatorium, hole in the ground, thatch house roof are particularly favored.
Usually not aggressive and often exceedingly timid, but occasionally fierce and aggressive when disturbed. Young are very active and are much dangerous than adults, being more easily excited and ready to strike repeatedly and with determination.
When alarmed, it adopts the well known pose with erect fore body and spread hood. The height to which the fore body is raised is approximately one third of the total body length. Feeds principally on rats, frog and toads.
This is why it hangs around the populated areas in search of rats. Usually more active during night, however hunts for food in the late afternoon and early morning. Breeding season is January with a gestation period of 62 days.
The eggs hatch in 48-69 days. The parents cohabit before pairing and the eggs are guarded by both the parents. Both parents also incubate. The poison glands are active from the birth. They measure about 1.5 m in length.
They are nocturnal and live near human habitations, cultivated fields and in forests. They feed mainly on rodents, small birds and amphibians, but rarely on fish. The female guards a clutch of 10-25 eggs for about 2 months but do not incubate them.
Eggs hatch within 60-70 days. These snakes have a pair of fixed poison fangs at the front end of the upper jaw. Each fang is connected to a venom gland.
Certain specialized muscles work to open the mouth and pressurize the glands to send a jet of venom through a groove over the fang. Its venom is neuro-toxic that attacks the nerves, leading to paralysis of the lungs and heart failure.