Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Elapidae
Genus: Dendroaspis

The Dendroaspis genus contains only four species, but is relatively famous because of the risk that these snakes pose to man. Members of this genus can be found wild only in tropical and southern Africa. The Dendroaspis genus contains, of course the mambas

Common Characteristics
All snakes of this genus are large, but the adult size does vary considerably. The green mambas (and Jameson's Mamba which is green) may reach lengths of 2 metres (6 ft. 6 in.), but the black mamba can be up to 4 metres (13 ft.) long in exceptional cases. Although these snakes are long they are quite slender, and do not have bulky heads.

The green mambas are primarily arboreal, but the black mamba lives on the ground. Mambas have fairly short fixed fangs which deliver a neuruotoxic venom. This is used both in offence, to kill the birds and small mammals that are prey species, and in defence, when threatened. An alternate defensive tactic is to flee, which is particularly suitable, becuase mambas are the fastest of all snakes. Within arboreal locations green mambas also have the defensive advantage of being well camoflauged.

Despite being reasonably common mambas tend toward the solitary, usually coming together only to mate. All mamba species lay eggs (are oviparous} rather than bearing live young.

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