The black mamba is one of the world’s deadliest snakes— not only are they the fastest land snake, but their venom contains both neurotoxins and cardio-toxins. Before the creation of black mamba antivenin, a bite from this fearsome serpent was 100 percent fatal, usually within about 20 minutes.
Unlike their name suggests, black mambas are actually a brownish color with olive or grey undertones. Their name comes from the coloration of the inside of their mouths, which is a deep, inky black.
These snakes are native to savannas, rocky hills and woodlands in South and East Africa. They are Africa’s longest venomous snake, reaching up to 14 feet in length.
Did You Know?
National Geographic says that black mambas use their incredible speed to escape threats, not to hunt prey.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Reptilia
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Elapidae
- Genus: Dendroaspis
- Species: D. polylepis