One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An African cobra that defends itself by spitting venom from the fangs, typically at the aggressor's eyes.
Genera Naja and Hemachatus, family Elapidae: three species, in particular the black-necked spitting cobra (N. nigricollis)
- ‘A two metre long spitting cobra is believed to have been left behind by two Malawian youths who are traditional healers after checking out of the room as they left for Lusaka.’
- ‘The boys brought the eggs into the office and kept them in a glass container until they hatched out - and they were indeed baby spitting cobras, about a dozen of them.’
- ‘An elegant couple was just about to take their seats when the ‘plastic’ moved and reared up to form a hood - it was a black-necked spitting cobra.’
- ‘And snakes like the African black-necked spitting cobra, which can blind you with a well-aimed snootful of toxin, could conceivably do you in.’
- ‘‘No,’ I said; then, ‘Wait, the spitting cobra, if the venom hits your eyes it'll be absorbed through the capillaries.’’
- ‘We get spitting cobras around our house in Nairobi, and our cats and dogs have all been spat at.’
- ‘What happens when you combine a spitting cobra with a bat?’
- ‘If ever you're confronted by a spitting cobra (common in Africa and Asia) stand back at least 10 feet and protect your eyes.’
- ‘If you're smart, you'll never come within six feet (two meters) of a spitting cobra.’
- ‘Fortunately for me it was not a spitting cobra for it would still be able to spit regardless of the metal tongs holding it down behind its head.’
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