A king cobra caught and attempted to devour a colossal monitor lizard, and it was caught on video.
King cobras are the world’s longest snakes, and can reach a staggering 18 feet in length; even so, this lizard is quite an ambitious meal for the snake, who seems to struggle to swallow the creature.
Their prey of choice is usually other snakes — its genus name Ophiophagus means snake eater. Favorite meals for the reptile include other cobras, kraits, rat snakes, and pythons. They’ll also track down pit vipers by following their odor trails. In this instance, however, a monitor lizard was on the menu.
King cobras incapacitate their prey with a bite, which contains a potent neurotoxin that stops the prey’s breathing and heartbeat.
After devouring a large meal like this, the cobra will likely go without eating for months because of its slow metabolic rate.
While attacks like this look pretty gruesome, king cobras aren’t generally aggressive toward humans. In fact, they’ll generally avoid confrontation and will usually only attack when cornered or defending a nest. Their defensive strategy is actually quite incredible to witness.
When threatened, the cobras will rear up, raising the front part of its body and extending their neck hood. They’ll display their fangs, hiss loudly, and hold their ground. If a threat continues to move closer, the snakes will lunge forward, often biting multiple times.