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On 23 April 1906, on the Serengeti Plains, an intentionally provoked black mamba was recorded at a speed of 11 km/h (6.8 mph), over a distance of 43 m (141 ft).
It is diurnal and chiefly an ambush predator, known to prey on hyrax, bushbabies and other small mammals, as well as birds.It is also a pursuit predator; in this it resembles other long, speedy, highly venomous species with well-developed vision.Over suitable surfaces it is possibly the fastest species of snake, capable of at least 11 km/h (6.8 mph) over short distances. In a threat display, the mamba usually opens its inky-black mouth, spreads its narrow neck-flap and sometimes hisses.In ancient texts, aspis or asp often referred to the Egyptian cobra (Naja haje), in reference to its shield-like hood.Thus, "Dendroaspis" literally means tree asp, reflecting the arboreal nature of most of the species within the genus.
Also, the size of the black mamba, plus its ability to raise its head well off the ground, enable it to launch as much as 40% of its body length upwards, so mamba bites in humans quite often are on the upper body.