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Spitting cobras may have evolved unique venom to defend from ancient humans

By Taline Kazandjian, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Harry Greene, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology , Cornell University
Nicholas Casewell, Director of Centre for Snakebite Research & Interventions, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Wolfgang Wüster, Reader in Zoology, Bangor University
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Cobras are fascinating and frightening creatures. These snakes are most well known for their characteristic defence mechanism called hooding, when the sides of their neck flare out in a dramatic display.

However, hooding isn’t the only defensive behaviour in a cobra’s arsenal. Some species of cobra have modified fangs with small, front facing orifices. These allow them to forcibly eject venom as a spray or “spit”, which can hit the eyes of a target up to 2.5 metres

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