Classic Battle: Cobra vs Mongoose

Throughout history, fewer epic brawls in the animal kingdom have gained more renown than the classic battle between the cobra and the mongoose. In ancient Egyptian and Indian civilizations, cobras were feared for their venom and worshiped as deities, and mongooses were revered for their ability to dispatch venomous snakes.

Now, of course, cobras are not all lumped into a single species or family of snakes, but they are ALL venomous. Similarly, mongooses are an entire family of mammals, although one of the most renowned snake-fighters is the Indian gray mongoose.

Pavan Kumar N, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Yet, while cobras are not interested in devouring mongooses, mongooses can and do devour cobras and other venomous snakes.

While the cobras have very potent venom, this is unfortunately not enough to stop a hungry mongoose. This is because many species of mongoose are extremely agile, have thick fur coats, and possess specialized acetylcholine receptors that render them resistant or immune to snake venom. So, in a battle between cobra and mongoose, it is incredibly lopsided in favor of the mongoose.

Frank Finn, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Nevertheless, this does not make the battle any less fascinating. When the cobras and mongooses flourish and parry, they are graceful and crafty.

Watch them in action in the video below.

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