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Pronunciation: ko'bra

Definition: Snakes generally of the highly venomous snake genus, Naja (family Elapidae); six species are recognized, all African except for the Asiatic cobra; typical behavior includes spreading of the neck (hood), rearing one third of the body off the ground, and, in some species, the spitting of venom, which is primarily neurotoxic. There are also cobras that belong to the genera Pseudohaje, Hemachatus, and Ophiophagus.

[Port. snake, from L. coluber, snake]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.