Cobras are venomous snakes of the familys Elapidae, of several genera, but particularly Naja. (Non-cobra elapidae include the taipans, brown snakes, tiger snakes, fierce snakes, coral snakes, mambas and sea snakes.) Cobras generally inhabit tropical and desert regions of Asia and Africa. When feeling threatened, cobras can rear up and flatten their heads into an instantly recognisable warning posture. The rest of the time their heads are symmetrical and they look much like any other snake bites.
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L. Brent Vaughan Hill's Practical Reference Library Volume II (NewYork, NY: Dixon, Hanson and Company, 1906)