Most cobras feed on different varieties of the snake’s species like the pythons, rat snakes and kraits. Of these, the most common prey is the rat snake. In case of food scarcity, the snake also feeds on rodents and lizards. The other preys that the king cobras feed on are eggs, fishes, birds, chicks, toads, frogs, rats, rabbits and other small mammals and snakes.
Since the king cobras primarily feed on snakes, ‘Ophiophagus Hannah’ is the scientific term used for this species where in the word ‘Ophiophagus’ means 'snake eater'. King cobras often transfer large amounts of venom into their prey through their strong fangs. The poison directly affects the nervous system of the prey and is fatal.
Once, the venom kills the animal, they directly swallow the prey as a whole and rest under sunlight sun to digest it. Sunlight increases the temperature of the body and facilitates the digestion process. During this time, they are quite vulnerable to their enemies as they are hardly agile.
King cobras can survive without much food intake for a long time as they are not very active and use very little energy after digesting the food. The tissues store additional fat which they burn up once they do not take in food.
When the cobra feeds on eggs, the long spines located within the throat and the vertebrae of the neck pierce and crush the cell. The spines in the vertebrae do not allow the shell to pass through and once the content is ingested, the king cobra spits the shell out from the mouth.
Other cobras tend to eat eggs and also chicks by entering into poultry house. Also, you will find other species of cobra consuming small mammals, birds, fish, toads, and frogs. The small mammals that the cobras eat include rats as well as rabbits.
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