My general feeling has always been that serpents are mostly powered by instinct. Lizards, such as monitors, however seem to have a bit more going on upstairs.
I can't really think of any instances where I can recall anything that would be considered cognitive thought in snakes.
If you put a snake in a sealed box resembling a lobster trap, it would go around and around and probably take some time for it to get out, but it would eventually simply by trial and error, but they wont sit still and first observe the enclosure for exits.
They could possibly detect air movement through the entrance, or follow scent molecule streams from outside to the point of entry,and this could assist in escape, but that would be instinctual use of built in chemistry rather than problem solving.
It's an interesting question, and snakes certainly do have different mannerisms,and respond to "conditioning" and I hesitate to say some almost seem to have eek "personalities" for lack of a better word, but intelligence, the ability to reason.....Humm I don't know about that.
I wish they'd figure out that keepers fingers aren't food,even if they smell like food, and that it's not safe to sun bathe on the road right next to a squashed carcass of a relative. But then I guess there are lots of mammals that haven't figured that out either
If snakes are doing much thinking it certainly isn't immediately obvious by human standards of measurement.
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