Follow US:

Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Cameras Capture the Birth of 14 Black Mambas

Difficulty: 0

NARRATOR: Mercury, the black mamba,

has found the ideal snake nursery.

But this is not a private birthing ward.

This custom-built termite mound is

rigged with surveillance equipment

and delicate lighting.

She will be depositing her precious cargo live

on television.

The vigil at Mercury's nest site continues

for four long days and nights.

And then, the true purpose of her mission emerges.

One by one they appear, not hard like a bird's egg,

but soft, pliable and leathery to the touch.

The parchment-like eggshell is permeable,

allowing gases in and out so the embryo can breathe inside.

Over the next 90 days, the eggs will

continue to swell in size and weight

while the embryos develop.

24 hours later, exhausted, Mercury has

deposited all of her 14 eggs.

It's now time for her to restore her depleted energy,

drink fresh water, hunt, and survive.

Safe in their secret chamber, 14 new supersnakes

are coming to life.

Three Moons have waxed and waned since Mercury laid her eggs.

Inside each of the leathery shells,

a miniature mamba has been rapidly developing.

The embryo extracts calcium from the shell and nutrition

from the yolk sac.

And lengthens rapidly, gradually reassembling

a long, slender snake.

Three months later, a new generation of mambas

is ready to enter the world.

The young snakes don't exit immediately,

preferring to move around in the egg

and absorb the remainder of the egg yolk, which will sustain

them until their first kill.


These tiny mambas have fully developed

venom glands, deadly enough to kill a man just

minutes after birth.

One by one, the baby mambas emerge from their nursery.

20 inches long, independent, and already capable of catching

prey the size of a small rat.

The Description of Cameras Capture the Birth of 14 Black Mambas