The black mamba is the second longest venomous snake in the world after the king cobra. Just one drop of venom is enough to kill a person but are they powerful enough to take down a giant animal like an elephant?
Black mamba vs elephant, who would win in a fight? Elephants are enormous compared to a black mamba, so could they survive a battle with a black mamba? Read on as we compare these two animals’ physical features and traits. For accuracy, we will use the African elephant in this article as they live in Africa along with the black mamba and may occasionally cross paths.
Black Mamba vs Elephant Animal Fact Sheet
|Size||weight 2.5 – 4 kg|
length 3 – 4.5 m
|weight 4700 – 6000 kg|
length 5.5 – 6.4 m
height 3.2 – 4 m
at the shoulder
|Speed||12 mph||25 mph|
|charge with tusks|
|Defence||appears bigger to |
lives in a herd
good sense of smell
good sense of smell
savanna, woodland, rocky hills
|Lifespan||11 years||60 – 70 years|
|Predators||birds of prey||humans|
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Black Mamba vs Elephant Size
When one animal has a size advantage over another, it can have a higher chance of winning. Black mambas weigh only 2.5 – 4 kg (5.5 – 8.8 lb) and can grow 3 – 4.5 m (10 – 15 ft) long. Elephants on the other hand weigh 4700 – 6000 kg (10,360 – 13,230 lb). Be 5.5 – 6.4 m (18 – 21 ft) long and stand tall at the shoulder at 3.2 – 4 m (10.5 – 13.1 ft).
The elephant has the advantage in size.
Black Mamba vs Elephant Speed and Agility
The speed and agility of an animal can help an animal land the first attack and escape danger. Elephants can sprint at up to 25 mph (40 kph) but take a while to build up to that speed. They stroll along and aren’t that agile. The black mamba on the flat open ground can move as fast as 12 mph (19 kph) and are agile predators due to their slim build.
It’s a draw. The elephant has the speed advantage, while the black mamba has the agility advantage.
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Black Mamba vs Elephant Attacking Power
Black mambas strike their prey with a quick succession of bites with their 6.5 mm (0.26) long fangs. They can strike up to 40% of their body length. Each bite delivers, on average, 100 – 120 mg of venom. Venom is a neurotoxin that targets the nervous system and brain, stopping the prey’s lungs from working and causing the animal to enter cardiac arrest.
One bite is enough to kill a human. If a human is bitten and does not receive an antidote, they will collapse within 45 minutes and die 7 – 15 hours later. Once the black mamba has bitten an animal, it bides its time while its venom does its work. They wait for the animal to become paralysed and then die before swallowing.
Elephants have huge tusks that average around 2 m (6.5 ft) long. They use them for fending off predators and rival males. Elephants are strong enough to flip cars over with their tusks, so a pride of lions does not cause much of a risk to them. Elephants can stomp on smaller threats, quickly crushing them under their tremendous weight.
It’s a draw on attacking power.
Black Mamba vs Elephant Defence
An animal’s defence capabilities can turn the tide in a battle. A black mamba’s first line of defence is to escape from any animal it deems a threat. If it can’t escape, it will make a stand by raising its head off the ground, spreading its neck hood, and loudly hissing to intimidate the animal.
Elephants have skin that is 2.5 cm (1 in) thick in most places on its body. Small teeth would have trouble penetrating their thick hide. African bull elephants are so big all predators give them a wide berth. Only a foolish predator would try and take them on.
The elephant has the defence advantage.
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Black Mamba vs Elephant Animal Senses
Black mambas have good vision, able to gauge distances well and strike their prey from over 1 m (3.2 ft) away. Their sense of smell is also good, helping to locate prey and find a mate.
Elephants have the strongest sense of smell known to man, able to smell their favourite food from 12 miles (19 km) away. They have excellent hearing, able to tell elephants apart even from their long-distance calls.
Elephants are one of the most intelligent mammals capable of displaying human emotions like anger, love, loss and compassion. Their memory is one of the best able to recognise other elephants they have not seen for years.
Black Mamba vs Elephant What Are The Differences?
The difference between two animals can give one of them the edge over the other animal in a fight. The two most significant differences between the black mamba and the elephant are size and the fact that the elephant has legs and the snake does not.
The black mamba is a venomous reptile that lays eggs. The elephant is a warm-blooded mammal that gives birth to live young. Black mambas are carnivorous, while elephants are herbivores.
Black Mamba vs Elephant Who Would Win In A Fight?
An elephant would win in a black mamba vs elephant fight. An elephant can trample the black mamba using its heavy weight or knock it back with a swipe from its muscular trunk or tusks. The black mamba may have potent venom and agility on its side, but elephants are way larger than a person, so they would need to bite the elephant several times to administer enough venom.
But elephants have the advantage of having thicker skin than the black mamba’s fangs, so they would have trouble injecting the toxin into the elephant’s bloodstream to take effect. In the meantime, the elephant would have probably stomped on the snake.
In reality, though, a black mamba would get out of the way if an enormous bull elephant was soon heading towards it.
Can a Black Mamba Kill an Elephant?
While the black mamba is one of the most venomous snakes in the world, it cannot kill an adult elephant. The amount of venom a black mamba can produce is insufficient to take down an animal as large as an elephant. Also, an elephant’s skin is too thick for a black mamba’s fangs to penetrate.
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