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Old 12-25-03, 09:32 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I think this study is inconclusive. At least the way it's stated. It doesn't say whether the tubs were sterilized after each test. If they weren't, the snakes could've been picking up on scents from previous tests, which would mean they were using instinct, rather than learning. It doesn't state if the holes were moved along with it's markings, or if they used the same hole each time. If they moved the holes and markings, and the snakes consistently went to the marked hole, that would be a sign of actual learning.
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Old 12-25-03, 10:47 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Snakes think the way they are designed to think....the most efficient for their life form survival....I have noticed a basic stimuli response and I fall into the anthropomorphism trap all the time...but they are what they are....would it make a differance to their survival in the modern world...I think not.
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Old 12-25-03, 11:20 PM   #18 (permalink)
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snakes are like most of us.......They think about food , sex, and comfortable rest.... u know the important things.....lol
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Old 12-25-03, 11:44 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I think we have to decide what thinking is. If you mean they philosophies then no they don't think. But they do have problem solving skills and memory. I remember Brian Smith mentioning a cobra that he worked with that remembered him and would make the distinction between him and other people and would be attacking him through the glass while ignoring other people. Is that not a sign of intelligence? If you've ever had a snake escape you'll notice that you have to fix the escape method or they will get out again.
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Old 12-25-03, 11:55 PM   #20 (permalink)
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In my experiences I have seen no evidence that would suggest that snakes are capable of any sort of cognative thought. These organisms have very limited behavioral options. Most of their changes in behavior are due to habituation (ex. in time a cobra will stop hooding when someone walks by it's cage) or conditioned response (ex. every time a keeper feeds his snakes he gets the food out of the same container. After a while the animal begins to associate this container with food (a reward) and it will wait at the door to the enclosure and appear to "beg"). These types of behavior are driven by instinct. Snakes also rely on various taxes and kineses for much of their behavioral patterns. Complex behavior such as O. hannahs nest building would be categorized as advanced fixed action patterns of behavior that are hardwired adaptations (instinct). Very few reptiles are capable of any sort of "intelligent" or "problem solving" behaviors. This is a major difference between reptile and mammal behavior. Mammals are capable of problem solving and behavioral modification. Reptiles are not. I can think of a few species of reptile that appear to show "affection" toward keepers (large tortoise species are the best example) but as Zoe stated anthropomorphism is something that we should try to stay clear of. Some species such as Oxyuranus (taipans) and Ophiophagus (king cobra) , as well as other elapids show a degree of what could be interpreted as keeper recognition.

In short, most of these little pea brains have little more intelligence than a guppy.
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Old 12-26-03, 12:12 AM   #21 (permalink)
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At least, thats what you've learned crotalus. I am very unsure about actual cognitive reasoning in reptiles, but I'm not going to exclude it as a possibility if there isn't proof that states otherwise. Everyone thought the world was flat until someone proved it otherwise, and even then it took them a while to accept it. So, I stand neutral on this until it's been proven either true or untrue. I personally think that there is a possibility, however slight, that some reptiles are capable of reasoning, figuring things out, ect. But I'm open to all theories about it, as I really don't have enough evidence to believe fully one way or the other.

Another interesting question to do with reptile thought is do they dream? We don't really know much about whether or not other animals dream, even rats, dogs, birds, ect. It really would be neat to know what your pets were dreaming about. (if they were even capable of dreaming.)

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Old 12-26-03, 12:15 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Haha, and remember, it's recently been proven that fish are smarter than we thought they were, so you can't really say reptiles are as smart as guppies as a reference to how unintelligent they are.

Interesting topic!
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Old 12-26-03, 12:32 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I think this study is inconclusive. At least the way it's stated.
this is not the study, only a simple interview. I am sure the actual published study, like all actual research published, has the complete methodology along with the population used, stats, # of trials run, significance test used, quantitative data, explanation of variable control on both dependant an independant variables, and path analysis. Unfortunately the article itself is not online, I may try to get a copy of it when the new semester starts.
 
Old 12-26-03, 12:51 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Oliverian, I wrote a post near the beginning of the thread about reptiles and dreaming.
I am also waiting for a full reveiw on the testings by Holtzman. I am also waiting for him to respond to an email.
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Old 12-26-03, 01:29 AM   #25 (permalink)
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As far as creatures other than humans being capable of dreaming,I absolutely believe this. Anyone who's ever had a dog has most likely noticed the twitching feet and short yelping sounds as they fall into a deep sleep.
When it comes to reptiles there doesn't seem to be much external evidence of this...pehaps an eeg would be able to detect heightened brain activity in certain levels of sleep.
However,I wouldn't necessarily link dreaming with any particular degree of intelligence. I think dreams are mostly an effect of emotion...which is quite plain to see in most any reptile.
Emotion without any associated action is useless though,so I would think there'd have to be some sort of translation between perception--emotion---response which I'd interpret as thought even if it is very basic and geared to the animal's short term well being as opposed to some future plan.
IMHO,it's more of a question of degrees rather than "yes or no".

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Old 12-26-03, 04:49 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Well I am going to leave myself open to an anthromorphic whipping I'll tell ya a little story that just happened a couple of days ago.

I was getting ready for work and as I came downstairs, I noticed that my Vietnamese Blue Beauty (who incidently shares space in the livingroom), had come out of his hide, after being under cover for a week getting ready for a shed. When he saw or felt me, he immediately raced over to his food dish and propped his head on the edge of the dish. As I got closer, he looked up at me and then back down at the dish. As I moved away from the tank towards the turtle tank. He broke from his food dish stance and moved in the direction that I was walking. After feeding the turtle, I returned to the VBB enclosure and as I did this, once again he went into his "head propped on the edge of the food dish" stance. Well I got the point and went down to prep a rat for him.

On return to give him his meal, he held back until I had placed it on the dish and had closed the enclosure door before finally chowing down the rat.

Read into it what you will, but them's the facts ma'am. And who says snakes don't have personality

I don't believe so much in the word personality when describing snakes in my collection, but I do believe that they do exhibit certain traits or characteristics that will define an individual animal from the next. After seeing this situation played out, it does make me think that there could be more to it. I will, however, give them names simply to quickly ID the snake in the feed records.

Well there's my .02

Cheers and a belated Happy Holidays to all, hope you had a good one

Jim

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Old 12-26-03, 05:09 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I agree about so called individual "personalities" in snakes. Each one of my babies has its own unique idiosyncracies. I can tell them apart simply by their unique behavior.
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Old 12-26-03, 02:39 PM   #28 (permalink)
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the only thing proven by the maze thing is that snakes arent as curious as rodents. put a lazy guy in a maze. yeah he'll take his time, sit around, snooze. put a guy on caffeine in the maze "gotta find the end! gotta find the end!!"

as for dreaming. i think all animals have to dream to survive cause if the brain doesnt function for a period of time it starts to go crazy.
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Old 12-27-03, 11:45 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Neo
as for dreaming. i think all animals have to dream to survive cause if the brain doesnt function for a period of time it starts to go crazy.
I don't know about that. If you stay awake and keep busy all the time you eventually go crazy.


I think dreaming is more a break from reality.
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Old 12-27-03, 02:01 PM   #30 (permalink)
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o i was talking bout a different kind of crazy where your brain physically cant function arg i cant remember how my friend put it. but he had a really convincing idea to support this. o well..
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