The most poisonous snakes in the world: the black mamba

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The most poisonous snakes in the world: the black mamba

IUCN ranks the black mamba, the most venomous snake in the world, with the least risk. The species lives preferably in the sub-Saharan savannah, from Somalia to South Africa, and only on rare occasions is it found in the tropical or equatorial forest regions.

In general it tends to avoid environments densely populated by man and this reduces the number of poisonings. The body of the black mamba is rather thin and muscular, characteristics that guarantee a certain agility to an animal capable of moving at a sustained speed of about 20 km / h, for this reason, when compared with other species, it is commonly considered the most common snake.

world's fastest. This snake is also able to move easily on any terrain, and can lift off the ground for a quarter of its length, and is also a skilled climber. Generally, it is a reserved snake that tends to avoid confrontation with man by moving away as soon as it senses the human presence; however, if stepped on, or threatened, or with no way out, it can become aggressive, repeatedly blowing and biting.

Despite this, only rare cases have been reported of specimens with a sense of territoriality so strong as to push them to attack and even chase humans. However, this snake is considered very aggressive and deadly, for this reason it is killed and persecuted by many Africans as soon as it comes to sight.

However, this activity is very dangerous as it exposes people to the risk of being bitten and killed in turn. The black mamba's diet is based on warm-blooded animals, namely birds and mammals, although other snakes are not difficult to find in its stomach.

The hunting technique varies according to the prey: when it is small in size, as for most rodents, the mamba bites the animal and holds it with a quick snap, wrapping it until it dies poisoned. The venom of the black mamba consists mainly of neurotoxins and has an LD50 of 0.25 mg / kg.

One bite usually injects 100 mg. The venom of this snake is so lethal because it contains neurotoxins and cardiotoxins, moreover it is less viscous than the venom of other snakes and this speeds up its introduction into the circulatory system and therefore the effects, this low viscosity is also due to the low molecular weight of the dendrotoxins.

It is capable of killing a mouse in under 20 seconds. The black mamba is commonly called seven steps because the extreme rapidity of the effect of its poison, absolutely lethal, would not allow a man, after the bite, to travel more than seven steps.

Without proper treatment, the lethality rate of one of its bites is 100%. This lethal poison, like that of all members of the elapid family, is neurotoxic, that is, it attacks the nervous system causing paralysis of vital organs and death, which in the case of the black mamba occurs in about 20 minutes and in some cases after a few minutes.

Before the antidote was placed on the market, the lethality of the bite of this snake was total. For some decades, however, an antidote called SAIMR Polyvalent antivenom has been available, produced by South African Vaccine Producers (Pty) Ltd, and whose code is SAfSAI03.

For an adult man 10 mg of his poison is already lethal, but usually he injects about 100 mg and in exceptional cases even 400 mg.