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 Post subject: Borneo Dispatches #74: Stray Cats vs. Spitting Cobra
PostPosted: September 25th, 2013, 6:12 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
The following photos and videos were taken by an expat family here in Kuching. Luckily, these people are true nature enthusiasts, so instead of grabbing the AK-47 from the pantry and turning the poor snake into naja satay, they fetched their electronic recording gear and captured how the Equatorial Spitting Cobra (Naja sumatrana), flushed out from under her shady bush by three passing stray cats, beat a dignified retreat into the nearest storm drain. The cats are a first-class hoot - check out those angry ears and bristling pelts that completely neutralize their whole pseudo-defiant stance ("I know it's a kitty-eating demon from inner hell, but I just GOTTA give its tail a good whap anyway!")

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"Now what the hell was that thing? Oh well. Never mind. Let's go harass the neighbor's poodle, boys!"
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PS: Special thanks to the Brabbs family, in particular their ten-year-old son Thomas, co-herper and Alfred-Wallace-in-the-Making. Gotta love a kid who puts tiger leeches on his arm just to see what they do, and, more importantly, how they do it!


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #74: Stray Cats vs. Spitting Cobra
PostPosted: September 25th, 2013, 9:13 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 1:15 am
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Location: Austin, TX
Great stuff, Hans! (as usual) I've got to ask the obvious question......any idea why the snake didn't open fire on his feline opponents?


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #74: Stray Cats vs. Spitting Cobra
PostPosted: September 25th, 2013, 4:33 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Thanks, Mark! From my experience with this species (limited to three individuals) and the experience of others, N. sumatrana is either loathe or too lazy to spit at all. Their behavior is surprisingly timid, and you really have to mess with them to even get them to hood up. And when they do spit (which I've never witnessed), it seems to be an anticlimactic affair wherein the snake aims for your eyes, but hits your ankles. Indraneil Das thinks they should be called "dribbling cobras" :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #74: Stray Cats vs. Spitting Cobra
PostPosted: September 25th, 2013, 6:47 pm 
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Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm
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Location: San Francisco, California
I couldnt help but fiddle with locality and imagine an ancient egyptian kids show. Saterday Morning Cult of Bastet Funhouse Special.


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #74: Stray Cats vs. Spitting Cobra
PostPosted: September 26th, 2013, 1:47 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Yeah, The Three Little Bastets :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #74: Stray Cats vs. Spitting Cobra
PostPosted: September 26th, 2013, 1:56 am 
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Location: Austin, TX
Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:
Thanks, Mark! From my experience with this species (limited to three individuals) and the experience of others, N. sumatrana is either loathe or too lazy to spit at all. Their behavior is surprisingly timid, and you really have to mess with them to even get them to hood up. And when they do spit (which I've never witnessed), it seems to be an anticlimactic affair wherein the snake aims for your eyes, but hits your ankles. Indraneil Das thinks they should be called "dribbling cobras" :-)


That's hilarious, Hans! Makes you wonder what evolutionary benefit is derived from apparent ineptitude.


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #74: Stray Cats vs. Spitting Cobra
PostPosted: September 26th, 2013, 2:03 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Apparently, in comparison, African spitters are the real deal - they walk the talk and even get to gob at Sir David Attenborough on TV (Life in Cold Blood). Maybe N. sumatrana is just the runt of the evolutionary litter? Or, if you want to see it more positively, maybe they're currently on their way up to fire hose grade? I've had Chinese cobras (N. atra) spray venom at my camera lens, and those aren't even considered spitters at all. Evolution's a work in progress....


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #74: Stray Cats vs. Spitting Cobra
PostPosted: September 26th, 2013, 2:16 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 1:15 am
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Location: Austin, TX
Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:
Evolution's a work in progress....


Or, depending on where in the US you live, a clever hoax perpetrated by the evil scientists in order to maintain their luxurious lifestyles..... :(


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #74: Stray Cats vs. Spitting Cobra
PostPosted: September 26th, 2013, 2:24 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
lol


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #74: Stray Cats vs. Spitting Cobra
PostPosted: September 26th, 2013, 6:44 pm 
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Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm
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Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:
Yeah, The Three Little Bastets :-)



ah thats Splendid :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #74: Stray Cats vs. Spitting Cobra
PostPosted: September 26th, 2013, 8:12 pm 
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Joined: September 27th, 2011, 9:12 am
Posts: 39
Location: Singapore
Good stuff Hans!


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #74: Stray Cats vs. Spitting Cobra
PostPosted: October 1st, 2013, 5:58 pm 
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Joined: June 9th, 2010, 6:17 am
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:thumb:


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