Some animals don’t need limbs to be quick, and we are talking about some of the fastest land snakes today. It is true that a scared human can outrun the fastest snakes sometimes, but it is not always the case. So we want to let you know about these swift serpents so that you know what to avoid. Let’s see what those fast land snakes are along with their top speed in the list below.
Speed: 6.4 km / 4 miles per hour
Small in size while agile in speed, coachwhips are the nonvenomous snakes native to Mexico and the United States. Coachwhips are common in open habitats with sandy soils, and they like to live in coastal dunes, old fields, open pine forests, etc. With their curious nature, coachwhips sometimes raise their heads above the grass or rock levels to see what is around them. They have large eyes with excellent vision, helping them to spot both predators and prey.
These snakes have slender bodies with lengths of over 244 centimeters (8 feet), making them one of the longest snakes. This body feature also allows coachwhips to move fast at a speed of 4 up to 6.4 kilometers (4 miles) per hour. The fast speed of these fast snakes sparked a myth that they chase and whip people; hence the name whip snakes. The thing is that although they are not aggressive, they will strike and inflict painful yet harmless bites if cornered.
4Southern Black Racer
Speed: 16 km / 10 miles per hour
The name of this snake species already gives the hint of its speed as one of the fastest land snakes. Southern black racers are large nonvenomous snakes with jet black dorsal side, gray belly, and white chin. These serpents have long, slender, and smooth bodies that allow them to slither effortlessly on the ground. This snake species lives in a wide range of habitats including fields, forests, wetlands, and other vegetation where they hunt.
When threatened, they will shake their tail in the grass like a rattlesnake. They prefer to flee than strike most of the time, but southern black racers will inflict harmless bite if cornered. Because of their color and size, people often mistake them as dangerous snakes like water moccasin that lives in the same range. This is why they are killed both on spot and on the road, but their population is still doing good.
Speed: 19 km / 12 miles per hour
There are many interesting things about king cobras, one of the most venomous snakes on Earth to avoid. Large and deadly, king cobras can literally stand up and look at a grown person in the eye. While lifting one-third of its body up, this cobra can still move forward to attack which is scary. At the same time, they will also flare out the hood and let out a hiss that sounds like a growling dog. The good thing is that king cobras are shy, so they usually avoid people.
On top of that, king cobras can reach the length of 18 feet which makes them the longest venomous snakes. Large and long body does not stop them from being one of the fastest land snakes. Even more interesting, king cobras are also great climbers and decent swimmers which expands their hunting range. Their population is declining due to human activities such as deforestation and illegal hunting for their meat, skin, and medical purposes.
Speed: 19 km / 12 miles per hour
Being one of the fastest land snakes with venomous bites, black mambas are one dangerous snakes to keep distance from. Even baby mambas are born with the ability to attack since day one, so these are not the snakes to mess with. These serpents live in rocky hills and the savannas of eastern and southern Africa where they are the longest venomous snakes there. More than that, black mambas can also swim and their speed also makes them move smoothly in the water.
Black mambas are neither social nor territorial animals, and they live carefreely in the wild. Sometimes they live on land in burrows or termite mounds while other times they climb the tree and stay there. These snakes are very impressive for so many reasons, and their strength is also among those. A black mamba is strong enough to hold a fight with larger animals if they need to. Plus with the venom that is stronger than that of a king cobra, it is better to leave them alone.
Black mambas are shy, and they usually escape from humans when confronted. Once cornered, they will raise their heads, spread their neck-flap, open their mouth, and hiss just like the king cobras do. If the attacker does not move away, they will strike repeatedly and inject a large amount of potent venom in every strike. Their venom is almost always fatal within 20 minutes, and the antivenom is not available in rural parts of their range.
Speed: 29 km / 18 miles per hour
A sidewinder is a relative of a rattlesnake that is also known as “horned rattlesnake” due to the horns on their heads. Sounds like an unusual name for a snake but this title describes the movement of these snakes perfectly. Instead of moving forward, a sidewinder moves sideways by shifting its middle ahead first then head and tail at the same time. Because of this peculiar movement, these snakes leave odd tracks in the sand that look similar to the letter J.
Along with that, this unique movement also makes them being the fastest land snakes in the world. Sidewinders can travel quickly regardless of the types of surface such as loose gravel, or sand in the southwestern deserts of North America. Just like rattlesnakes, sidewinders live in hot and dry desert areas where they hunt at night when it is less hot. Sidewinders are venomous, but their bites are usually weak and not fatal to humans