National Geographic News


This Mozambique spitting cobra is one of several species of snakes that can spray venom on a foe. The venom is ejected through holes near the ends of their fangs. This is purely a defensive maneuver—cobras never hunt by spitting on prey. The venom is usually aimed at the eyes and can cause inflammation and blindness. They can spit venom up to eight feet (2.4 meters).

Photograph by Rod Patterson, Gallo Images/CORBIS

Close this Window

© 2002 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved.