World’s Largest Spitting Cobra Identified
The world’s largest spitting cobra has been identified. The cobra was discovered in Kenya in 2004, but only recently classified as a distinct species. It was initially identified as a brown variation of the black-necked spitting cobra (Naja nigricollis).
The world's largest spitting cobra was determined to be a different species than previously imagined
The new species was finally verified through blood and tissue samples by Wolfgang Wuster at the University of Bangor in Wales and published earlier this year in the scientific journal, Zootaxa by Wuster and Donald Bradley.
The Naja Ashei was named after the Bio-Ken Snake Farm founder, James Ashe
Naja Ashei, was named after James Ashe who founded the Bio-Ken Snake Farm, Watamu on the Kenyan coast. The cobra has produced 6.2 ml of liquid venom in one milking. Naja ashei can reach almost 9 feet and has enough venom to kill 15 to 20 people in a single bite.
The venom in one bite is enough to kill a dozen humans, but antivenom can now save the lives of those bitten
The implications of this newly identified species go beyond scientific discovery. Snake bite treatment depends entirely on having the right antivenom. Until now, bites from this snake have not been treated as effectively as possible due to inaccurate dosage. Specific antivenom for this snake can now be produced and lives can be saved.
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