Black Mamba Bite Effects


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The black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) is an elapid within the genus Dendroaspis. Although it had been known to missionaries and residents, before 1860, by the name "mamba", which was already established in the vernacular and taken from the Zulu word "imamba", the first formal description was made by German-British zoologist Albert Günther in 1864. A single specimen was one of many snake species collected by Dr John Kirk, a naturalist who accompanied Dr David Livingstone on the Second Zambesi expedition. In 1873, German naturalist Wilhelm Peters described Dendraspis Antinorii from a specimen in the museum of Genoa, which had been killed by Orazio Antinori in what is now northern Eritrea. This was subsequently regarded as a subspecies, and is no longer held to be distinct. In 1896, George Albert Boulenger combined the species (Dendroaspis polylepis) as a whole with the eastern green mamba (Dendroaspis angusticeps), a lumping diagnosis that remained in force until 1946, when FitzSimons split them again into separate species.