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(vertebrate zoology)
A family of poisonous reptiles, including cobras, kraits, mambas, and coral snakes; all have a pteroglyph fang arrangement.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a family of snakes, closely related to the grass snake, from which they differ by having grooved, poisonous teeth in the anterior upper jaw. All Elapidae are very poisonous. Their poison acts primarily on the nervous system; it is used in medicine. The bite of large snakes of the family Elapidae, such as the cobra, is often fatal to man. There are 41 genera, including 181 species; they are found in Australia, southern Asia, Africa, and South and Central America. They live on the ground or, less frequently, in trees. They feed on Muridae, lizards, other snakes, and frogs. The majority are carnivorous. The best-known genera are the cobra (Naja) in Africa and southern Asia (there is one species in Turkmenia, USSR), the krait (Bungarus) in Asia, the black snake (Pseudechis) in Australia, the mamba (Dendraspis) in Africa, and the coral snake (Micrurus-Elaps) in tropical and subtropical America.


Terent’ev, P. V. Gerpetologiia. Moscow, 1961.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Due to the major differences between viperid and elapids, suggestion of these mechanisms for elapid venom at best remains speculative and needs to be investigated for N.
In another study, a greater variation was found in the total length of the cytochrome b gene of elapids than was reported by Campbell, with the gene ranging between 1101 and 1122 bp long (Slowinski and Keogh.
Dentitional phenomena in cobras and other elapids with notes on adaptive modifications of fangs.
Walterinnesia aegyptia a monotypic, elapid snake found in Africa and as well as in the sandy areas of Kuwait, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, and Egypt (Russell, 1991).
Reverse thermoregulatory patterns in nocturnal snakes have been recorded in a small temperate boid, the rubber boa (Charina bottae), and in a nocturnal elapid from southeastern Australia, the broad-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides).
Like in vipers and other hydrophiine elapids, but not elapines, the palatine of Acanthophis has no connections to the maxilla, choanal passage, or snout, potentially allowing greater excursions of the jaw apparatus.
Family: Elapidae The elapid family: poisonous snakes with round pupils, fast-acting neurotoxic venom and a pair of short, fixed fangs in the front of the upper jaw.
[2] Prevalent species include the Mozambique spitting cobra (Naja mossambica) and puff adder (Bitis arietans), an elapid and viperid respectively, both of which have a potent cytotoxic venom.
Patients bitten by elapid neurotoxic snakes may present with pain at the bite site and varying degrees of minor local swelling.
* The small-sealed taipan, an Australian elapid, has the most toxic venom of any snake.