Monday, February 22, 2010

Derek and the Cobra

Friend and colleague, Derek Solomon, with wife Sarah, do some amazing work in South Africa and keep us well-posted. We always delight in his latest efforts - finely done sound recording and splendid photographs. Check out the astonishing photo (which really makes us smile) and the details just received. Now that's intrepid! Here's what Derek had to share:
Photo (c) D. Solomon/ all rights reserved.

"The Snouted Cobra Naja annulifera (previously thought to be a subspecies of the Egyptian Cobra) is a large snake averaging 1.5 to 2m in length, and is a common species of the southern African bushveld. It hunts at night favouring toads, but eats other frogs as well as snakes, lizards and birds and is an unpopular visitor to poultry runs. During the day it is often found sunning itself close to its home in a rocky outcrop or termite mound.

The 'spread-hood' threat display of a cobra is actually a defence behaviour used as a warning signal and may be accompanied by a loud hiss. The hiss, given as the reptile exhales, is different in every species of snake. In the case of the Snouted Cobra the initial hiss may be repeated several times and as it strikes it makes a loud 'pfftt' sound. We made this recording at Khamai Reptile Park in South Africa's Limpopo Province."

For more information contact Derek at