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Friday, August 12, 2011

The Philippine Cobra

The Philippine Cobra (Naja philippinensis) or "ulupong" in Tagalog is listed as "near threatened" in IUCN due to heavy persecution in some areas and widely trading of this species. They are endemic in Philippines, in Luzon, Mindoro, Masbate, and Marinduque which typically found in low level areas in moist forest to agricultural and urban areas.

The Philippine cobra is a stocky and very toxic snake. Its average length is 1.7 m and some grows up to 2 m. Its color is light to medium brown while the young cobra's color is a darker brown, sometimes a dark band behind the throat. They have 23 to 27 scale rows around the neck, 21 just above the middle part of the body, 182-193 ventrals, 36-49 subcaudals, basal pairs sometimes undivided . They prey upon mice, frogs and small mammals. The female lays eggs in clutches of ten to twenty with an incubation time of sixty to seventy days.The venom is a neurotoxin which affects cardiac and respiratory function and can cause neurotoxicity and respiratory paralysis and death in thirty minutes. The bite causes only minimal tissue damage. The Philippine cobra is capable of spitting their venom up to three meters.

These species is widely persecuted. collected for exotic food trade, for pet trade and collected for anti-venom production by Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM). At present to conservation moves are made by any organization to protect the decreasing population of Philippine Cobra.
Philippine Cobra (Naja philippinensis)
Philippine Cobra prepares fro an attack
Philippine Cobra shows a builded muscle on the neck 
Philippine Cobra on ground
Philippine Cobra on ground
Naja philippinensis
The cobra's skeleton co-opted for display

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