elapid


elapid
/el"euh pid/, n.
1. any of numerous cosmopolitan snakes of the family Elapidae, having permanently erect fangs in the front of the upper jaw and including the New World coral snakes, the cobras, and most Australian snakes.
adj.
2. belonging or pertaining to the Elapidae.
[1880-85; < NL Elapidae, equiv. to Elap- (s. of Elaps name of genus Gk éllops a sea-fish) + -idae -ID2]

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Any of about 200 species of venomous snakes (family Elapidae) that have short fangs fixed in the front of the upper jaw.

Elapids are found in the New World, Africa, southern Asia, Pacific Islands, and Australia. Slender and agile, most are small and harmless to humans, but they include the largest and most lethal of snakes. Their venom is primarily neurotoxic but often contains substances that damage body tissues or blood cells. The relatively painless bite may cause a swift death from paralysis of the heart and lungs. See also black snake, cobra, coral snake, mamba.

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snake
      any of about 300 venomous species of the snake family Elapidae, characterized by short fangs fixed in the front of the upper jaw. Terrestrial elapids generally resemble the more abundant colubrids, whereas aquatic elapids may possess paddle-shaped tails and other structures adapted to marine environments. Most species lay eggs; a few, chiefly in Australia, bear living young.

      Elapids tend to be slender and agile. Most are small and inoffensive to humans, but the family also contains some of the largest and most lethal of snakes. An elapid strikes with a downward stab, followed by chewing. The venom is primarily neurotoxic but often contains substances that damage the body tissues or blood cells. The bite is relatively painless, but death from paralysis of the heart and lungs may be swift. Elapids occur in America, Africa, southern Asia, Pacific Islands, and Australia. About 60 species of elapids live in Australia.

      For further information about elapid species and groups, see bandy-bandy; black snake; brown snake; cobra; coral snake; krait; mamba; sea snake; taipan; tiger snake.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • elapid — n. a venomous snake of the family {Elapidae}, including the . [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • elapid — noun any of numerous venomous fanged snakes of warmer parts of both hemispheres • Syn: ↑elapid snake • Hypernyms: ↑snake, ↑serpent, ↑ophidian • Hyponyms: ↑coral snake, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • elapid — noun Etymology: New Latin Elap , Elaps, genus of snakes, from Middle Greek, a fish, alteration of Greek elops Date: 1885 any of a family (Elapidae) of venomous snakes (as the cobras and coral snakes) with hollow fangs …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • elapid — 1. noun Any of many species of snakes, of the family Elapidae, including the cobras, mambas, and coral snakes 2. adjective Characteristic of these snakes …   Wiktionary

  • elapid — Any member of the snake family Elapidae. * * * el·a·pid (elґə pid) 1. any snake of the family Elapidae. 2. of or pertaining to the family Elapidae …   Medical dictionary

  • elapid — n. any of a number of poisonous snakes of the Elapidae family …   English contemporary dictionary

  • elapid — el·a·pid …   English syllables

  • elapid — el•a•pid [[t]ˈɛl ə pɪd[/t]] n. ram any venomous snake of the family Elapidae, having erect fangs in the upper jaw and including coral snakes and cobras • Etymology: 1880–85; < NL Elapidae=Elap , s. of Elaps a genus (« Gk éllops a marine fish)… …   From formal English to slang

  • elapid — /ˈɛləpɪd/ (say eluhpid) noun 1. any snake of the family Elapidae, of warm regions, characterised by fixed venomous fangs at the front of the jaw, and including many Australian snakes, as the taipan and tiger snake, as well as cobras, mambas and… …   Australian English dictionary

  • elapid snake — elapid (def. 1) …   Medical dictionary


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