Mark O'Shea

Mark is Professor of Herpetology at the University of Wolverhampton and Consultant Curator of Reptiles at West Midland Safari Park – both in the UK. With over five decades’ experience working with reptiles, both in the wild and in captivity, his career has taken him to 40 different countries across six continents. To date, Mark has authored six books, including The Book of Snakes (2018), which discusses 600 of the 3,700-plus species of snake. Mark is also a wildlife TV presenter, with 40 documentaries, including four seasons of O’Shea’s Big Adventure for Animal Planet and Channel 4 (UK).

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Longest venomous snake

The longest species of venomous snake is the king cobra or hamadryad (Ophiophagus hannah), native to India and south-east Asia. Adult examples average 3.7–4 metres (12 feet 1 inch–13 feet 1 inch) in length and weigh about 6.8 kilograms (14 pounds 15 ounces). The longest specimen on record – captured in April 1937 near Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, and put on display at London Zoo in the UK – had attained a length of 5.71 metres (18 feet 8 inches) by autumn 1939.