The Black Mamba is Africa’s deadliest snake.They grow 14 feet in length, and can travel at speeds of up to 12 mph. They have a head shaped like a coffin. The Black Mamba is not actually black. They have a brownish-gray body with a light belly and brownish scales along its back. It gets its name from the color of the lining of its mouth, which is purple-black, and which it displays when threatened.It has been coined super-fast, super-intelligent, and shrewd and magical abilities have even been attributed to it, which has added to the myth and mystery of the black mamba. Untreated, its bite has a fatality rate of 100 percent, making it a killer among killers on a continent where it is thought that nearly 20,000 people die of snake bites each year, and the residents of Swaziland in southern Africa have suffered losses for generations. With essentially no access to anti-venom, many people turn to traditional healers for help, but their herbal remedies always fail, leaving Swazis feeling fearful and defenseless against one of their nation’s most infamous killers.The bite of the black mamba is known by South African locals as the “kiss of death.” A single strike can deliver enough neurotoxic venom to kill 15 grown men. The fictions abound, yet they are sprung in many ways from the facts about this graceful, alert and often unpredictable, but mostly deadly poisonous snake.The black mamba is named for the colour of the inside of its mouth, which is black. This is clearly displayed when it is threatened. The snake has a matt, brownish-gray body with a light belly. Its preferred habitat includes termite mounds, hollow tree trunks, granite hillocks and moist savannah and lowland forests.
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