THESE 10 DANGEROUSLY ELEGANT LOOKING SNAKES CAN BE FOUND IN YOUR CLOSET

5; RINKHALS:Rinkhals (Hemachatus haemachatus)

Also called the ring-necked spitting cobra, the rinkhals (Hemachatus haemachatus) is not a true cobra despite its flared hood. It gives birth to live young and has a distinct scale shape. This species is endemic to Southern Africa and is found only in South Africa and eastern Zimbabwe. It prefers grassland and fynbos habitats and is common in wetland areas. The rinkhals preys predominantly on toads, but may also target other small amphibian and reptile species. It reaches an average length of 3 feet/ 1 meter, and although colours can vary greatly, light-coloured bands on the throat are diagnostic. Human attacks are rare, as the rinkhals will typically either flee or play dead (lying on its back with its mouth agape) when threatened. However, they can spit venom up to 8 feet/ 2.5 meters. Although very few fatalities have been attributed to this species, its cytotoxic venom causes extreme pain and tissue damage.

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