The Crowing Crested Cobra – A Cryptozoological Cockatrice?

Posted by: Karl Shuker on July 30th, 2014

The legendary basilisk was originally described in Western folklore as resembling a relatively small, unspectacular serpent in basic form. Down through subsequent ages, however, reports of it changed during the endless retellings of myths until it eventually became much larger, and acquired a cockerel’s coxcomb and wattles, as well as the ability to crow like a cockerel too. This marked the beginning of the basilisk’s gradual transformation into a much more dramatic-looking yet equally fictitious monster – the cockatrice. In Africa, however, there are many modern-day reports of a supposedly real yet still-unidentified species of snake that allegedly bears a very striking resemblance to this serpentine pre-cockatrice. It is called the crowing crested cobra.

Crowing crested cobra, colour, Dr Karl Shuker

(c) Dr Karl Shuker

Said to measure up to 20 ft long, the crowing crested cobra ranges from buff-brown to greyish-black in body colouration, but its face is bright scarlet, and, despite its cobra appellation, it has no hood. Instead, this exceptional serpent reportedly bears a prominent bright-red crest resembling a forward-pointing coxcomb, and the male is also said to sport a pair of red facial wattles. Most astonishing of all, however, in further parallel to a cockerel this bizarre snake can reputedly give voice to a loud crowing cry.

Further details can be found here on my ShukerNature blog.

Karl Shuker About Karl Shuker
My name is Dr Karl P.N. Shuker. I am a zoologist (BSc & PhD), media consultant, and the author of 25 books and hundreds of articles, specialising in cryptozoology and animal mythology. I have a BSc (Honours) degree in pure zoology from the University of Leeds (U.K.), and a PhD in zoology and comparative physiology from the University of Birmingham (U.K.). I have acted jointly as consultant and major contributor to three multi-author volumes on cryptozoology and other mysterious phenomena. I am the Life Sciences Consultant to The Guinness Book of Records/Guinness World Records (Guinness: London, 1997-present day), and was consultant to Monsters (Lorenz Books: London, 2001), as well as a contributor to Mysteries of the Deep (Llewellyn: St Paul, 1998), Guinness Amazing Future (Guinness: London, 1999), The Earth (Channel 4 Books: London, 2000), and Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained (Chambers: London, 2007). I appear regularly on television & radio, was a consultant for the Discovery TV series Into the Unknown, and a question setter for the BBC's quiz show Mastermind. I am a Scientific Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, a Member of the Society of Authors, and the Cryptozoology Consultant for the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ). I have written articles for numerous publications, including Fortean Times, The X Factor, Paranormal Magazine, FATE, Strange Magazine, Prediction, Beyond, Uri Geller's Encounters, Phenomena, Alien Encounters, Wild About Animals, All About Cats, All About Dogs, Cat World, etc. In 2005, I was honoured by the naming of a new species of loriciferan invertebrate after me - Pliciloricus shukeri.

Sorry. Comments are closed.

|Top | Content|

Connect with Cryptomundo

Cryptomundo FaceBook Cryptomundo Twitter Cryptomundo Instagram Cryptomundo Pinterest


Creatureplica Fouke Monster Sybilla Irwin


|Top | FarBar|

Attention: This is the end of the usable page!
The images below are preloaded standbys only.
This is helpful to those with slower Internet connections.