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Old 02-24-19, 03:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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brain of snakes

People say snakes are dumb. But how dumb?
Snakes are clever enough to survive tens of millions of years.
Do you have smart behavior with your snakes?
I have.
My carpet python lives on branches. There is a heating pad, placed into a cardboard box, on branches too. Cardboard has a notch.

I have was a witness at least 3 times when my snake was sleeping in the cardboard box then she's hanging her tail through the notch and urinating.
That kinda behavior, I suppose, is a smart action to prevent her place from being wet.

What do you say?
Do you have a similar experience to call snake smart?
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Old 02-24-19, 07:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: brain of snakes

There were gaps just under the doors of Lincoln's 20-gallon cage before he died (without access to the outside area). On occasion, he would use the branches to climb up there and squeeze his whole body in so he was as close to the screen as possible. I wish I had a picture of him up there as an example.
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Old 02-25-19, 04:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: brain of snakes

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Originally Posted by ClockwerkBonnet View Post
There were gaps
I don't know what Lincoln's cage is. But it definitely mustn't have gaps to let a snake stuck there or escape that way.

And sorry but I don't think escaping can be a sign of "smart" behavior. I think it's more instinct thing.
And too bad your pet has died
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Old 02-25-19, 01:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: brain of snakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by kazz View Post
People say snakes are dumb. But how dumb?
Snakes are clever enough to survive tens of millions of years.
Do you have smart behavior with your snakes?
I have.
My carpet python lives on branches. There is a heating pad, placed into a cardboard box, on branches too. Cardboard has a notch.

I have was a witness at least 3 times when my snake was sleeping in the cardboard box then she's hanging her tail through the notch and urinating.
That kinda behavior, I suppose, is a smart action to prevent her place from being wet.

What do you say?
Do you have a similar experience to call snake smart?
No, I say they're not smart at all. At least, not in the way that humans typically think of intelligence. I think sometimes we see behavior, and attribute the behavior to human-like thoughts.

But, usually, there are other explanations. For example, what if your snake was in the warm box, digesting food on her warm spot, then began to climb out of the notch in the box, up onto the branches? The vertical orientation of her body helps get the feces moving rearward, and she defecates while her tail is still in the box. Not a particularly surprising event, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it happen multiple times.

Also, what is "smart" about defecating in your warm hide?
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Old 02-25-19, 01:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: brain of snakes

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Also, what is "smart" about defecating in your warm hide?

Hmmm... I took Kaz's statement to mean the snake hung her tail through the notch to the outside of the box to defecate, as if to intentionally avoid pooping in her hide. Though, it is still not what I would consider a sign of intelligence or being smart.

Both of my snakes leave their hides before defecating. Am guessing that is just an instinct. Though the kingsnake has the odd habit of defecating in random places in his enclosure, including near the entrance to his hide or on top of his hide such that it sometimes drops down by the entrance. That means he has to go through the poop to use his hide entrance.
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Old 02-25-19, 06:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: brain of snakes

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Originally Posted by eminart View Post
hat if your snake was in the warm box, digesting food on her warm spot, then began to climb out of the notch in the box, up onto the branches? ?
The vivarium of my snake is next to my table. So I watched what she did and how. She laid and sleep or having rest digesting her meal then she uncoils, hung her tail and urinated. I saw it 3 times at least.
I have to say at the beginning, right after I placed her heat pad on branches, she urinated on the heat pad. But later she started hanging her tail while urinating.
Besides, take a look at the picture. Her heat pad is on the upper branch.
Quote:
The vertical orientation of her body helps get the feces moving rearward
Not really. My python girl can very easy, being on the flat ground, just up her tail and defecate or urinate.
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and she defecates while her tail is still in the box.
Quote:
what is "smart" about defecating in your warm hide?
No. She hung her tail out of the notch for 7-10 cm. So her cardboard box and heat pad stay dry.
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Old 02-25-19, 06:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: brain of snakes

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Originally Posted by kudzu View Post
Am guessing that is just an instinct.
My snake didn't leave her warm hide to urinate before.

Quote:
Though the kingsnake has the odd habit of defecating in random places in his enclosure, including near the entrance to his hide or on top of his hide such that it sometimes drops down by the entrance. That means he has to go through the poop to use his hide entrance.
Perhaps smartness depends on species and personality.
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Old 02-26-19, 07:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: brain of snakes

Never listen to people who have never had or don't like snakes because they don't know anything about them. Snakes are intelligent species not as intelligent as us but they are modestly intelligent.
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Old 02-26-19, 07:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: brain of snakes

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Originally Posted by herp nerd View Post
Never listen to people who have never had or don't like snakes because they don't know anything about them. Snakes are intelligent species not as intelligent as us but they are modestly intelligent.

I guess to really discuss this, we'd have to define what we mean when we say "intelligent." I've watched my eastern indigo, which is a species often considered one of the most intelligent snakes, struggle to find his way out of an opaque tub with no lid on it multiple times. I'm just saying, they aren't geniuses.

Can they learn certain simple things? Sure. Do they have in-depth thought processes? I don't think so. A lot of anecdotal "evidence" gets cited to prove that snakes are "intelligent." But like I said in my original post, I think, oftentimes, it's just people attributing human emotions or motives to instinctive or random actions by snakes.
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Old 02-26-19, 08:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: brain of snakes

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Originally Posted by kazz View Post
The vivarium of my snake is next to my table. So I watched what she did and how. She laid and sleep or having rest digesting her meal then she uncoils, hung her tail and urinated. I saw it 3 times at least.
I have to say at the beginning, right after I placed her heat pad on branches, she urinated on the heat pad. But later she started hanging her tail while urinating.
Besides, take a look at the picture. Her heat pad is on the upper branch.

Not really. My python girl can very easy, being on the flat ground, just up her tail and defecate or urinate.


No. She hung her tail out of the notch for 7-10 cm. So her cardboard box and heat pad stay dry.
I misunderstood your first post. But, I think it's a common instinct among most animals not to defecate/urinate in their hiding spot. Some snakes still do it, especially if the hide is large. But, I don't think the snakes actively think, "Hey, I'm going to go outside to poop, so I don't soil my hide." I think it's instinct. The snakes that had that instinct were more likely to survive because they weren't laying in fecal matter and therefore having skin problems or diseases. The smell of feces/urine can also attract predators, so doing it outside the hide also benefited snakes in that way, and helped their survival rate.
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Old 02-26-19, 08:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: brain of snakes

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Originally Posted by kudzu View Post
Though the kingsnake has the odd habit of defecating in random places in his enclosure, including near the entrance to his hide or on top of his hide such that it sometimes drops down by the entrance. That means he has to go through the poop to use his hide entrance.
My king poops with no rhyme or reason. Anywhere in her enclosure seems to be fair game. The milk snake tends to poop on the right 1/3 of the enclosure. The gopher snake is another story...I've had that snake since August 2015 and he's been in three separate enclosures and has pooped in his water bowl EVERY TIME with one exception, when it was right next to the bowl. Not saying this has anything to do with intelligence, just things I've noticed.

Now as for escaping, some of you will remember that my king snake escaped a while back. She has since been moved to a new enclosure, but still is always trying to force her way out of the same corner that she broke out of in her old enclosure. I rarely see her trying at other corners, it's almost like she remembers that it was that front right corner where she could get out. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it's odd nonetheless.

Like Eminart said, I don't think snakes are intelligent in any comparable way to humans. I do think that they are smarter than most people give them credit for (and by "most people" I mean those that haven't owned/worked with/observed snakes for some time).
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Old 02-26-19, 04:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: brain of snakes

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The snakes that had that instinct were more likely to survive because they weren't laying in fecal matter and therefore having skin problems or diseases. The smell of feces/urine can also attract predators, so doing it outside the hide also benefited snakes in that way, and helped their survival rate.
perhaps you are right, but maybe you are not )
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Last edited by kazz; 02-26-19 at 05:05 PM..
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Old 02-26-19, 04:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: brain of snakes

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I've had that snake since August 2015 and he's been in three separate enclosures and has pooped in his water bowl EVERY TIME with one exception
That's awesome. Your chore of cleaning snake's viv is so simple

Quote:
She has since been moved to a new enclosure, but still is always trying to force her way out of the same corner that she broke out of in her old enclosure. I rarely see her trying at other corners, it's almost like she remembers that it was that front right corner where she could get out. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it's odd nonetheless.
I think that is a sign of intelligence.
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Old 02-26-19, 05:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: brain of snakes

Guys. Nobody studies a snake's brain. Only two years ago humans found out a parrot's brain has as many neurons as a human's brain has.
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Old 02-27-19, 09:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: brain of snakes

This question is an interesting one and it depends greatly upon what one would quantify as "intelligence" and where the line were to be drawn between "intelligence" and "instinct/biological function".

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perhaps you are right, but maybe you are not )
Reptiles tend to avoid their own waste. That is a fact, no maybe about it. I don't personally quantify that as being a sign of intellect.
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