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  1. #11
    Venom Life Neal's Avatar
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    I'd say hands down colubrids.

    I've had Anacondas, Balls, Corns, Kings, Rats, BCI's. I've also had to house a retic for 6 months.

    I can say hands down out of all the snakes I wouldn't necessarily say smarter, but the Anaconda and Retics were the most non-frightful which some would say is more intelligent because they interact more and settle down when comfortable. Balls generally jerk their head back when you go in their tank/tub, though I'm sure they have exceptions to this rule.

    Of all the snakes I've dealt with I'd probably put my Rufous Beaked higher than any of them for the simple reason that if my hand goes in the tank they normally retreat their head but still watch. If I go near them and just gently tap the substrate then 2 of the 3 will come to my hand.

    My littlest one will come up my hand when I'm misting the tank or if my hand just approaches the tank normally. I can't say this for any of my balls, though my Sable does like to come out when I open the tub if my hand goes nearby he jerks back. Of all snakes intelligence wise and me having little to no experience with them I would probably say Cobras or Black Mambas would be the highest on that list.
    -Venomous-

    1.0 - Naja siamensis - Zeus (Black & White Spitting Cobra)
    1.0 - Naja n. woodi - Hades (Black Spitting Cobra)
    0.1 - Naja nigricollis - Athena (Black-necked Spitting Cobra)

    coming at some point in the future
    Naja annulata (Ringed Water Cobra)




  2. #12
    BPnet Veteran satomi325's Avatar
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    In my limited experience with species other than ball pythons, colubrids are extremely intelligent. I believe that they are more so than most Boas and Pythons. And I do believe certain hots, specifically Cobras, are the most intelligent in terms of snakes.

    Skip needs to chime in here since he's the colubrid expert.

    But anyway ball pythons are not very intelligent. Mine aren't any ways.

  3. #13
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    Re: Colubrids vs Boids - Intelligence

    Quote Originally Posted by cecilbturtle View Post
    I know this isn't a snake but I kept a common snapping turtle years ago from the egg. I handled this turtle way more often than I have any other. When he reached about 4 inches he started to push his face into my hand when I'd pick him up. The first time he did this I didn't see it, only felt it. I thought it was his foot. When I looked down I was sure he was going to bite me. Instead he simply relaxed and went limp. He did this almost everytime I picked him up. If someone else picked him up he'd push his face into their hand and then struggle to be set free.

    I highly doubt he recognized me although I'd like to really think he did. I really believe he learned he was safe based on how I handled him versus how others reacted to his "face bumps". I don't think this was a sign of intelligence but rather conditioning.
    As somebody who keeps some turtles and a few snakes, you can't really compare turtles with snakes at ALL.

    Bottom line is that even a really dumb turtle is significantly more intelligent than a smart snake, they simply have to do and interact with more in their day to day. Often turtles have social patterns/hierarchy and definitely come to know individuals (other turtles, their owners, etc.) A lot of the response I get from my turtles (c. reimanni and g. spengleri) seems pavlovian, but they really do learn things about their environment and interaction with it. My smallest spengleri are like the size of silver dollars, and they manage to figure out a surprising amount of stuff in a head the size of half a peanut. Some wood turtles have tested as high as dogs on intelligence tests, and of course turtles and tortoises can live a very long time.

    My ball pythons, so far as I can tell so far, are idiots. Lovable all the same, but not smart. In fact, my main moral dilemma as a BP keeper is the fact that we have to feed animals that are so smart (rats) to ones that are basically as dumb as logs.

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to dkspftw For This Useful Post:

    Marrissa (01-16-2014),ViperSRT3g (01-16-2014)

  5. #14
    Registered User ViperSRT3g's Avatar
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    Re: Colubrids vs Boids - Intelligence

    Quote Originally Posted by dkspftw View Post
    My ball pythons, so far as I can tell so far, are idiots. Lovable all the same, but not smart. In fact, my main moral dilemma as a BP keeper is the fact that we have to feed animals that are so smart (rats) to ones that are basically as dumb as logs.
    Thank you good sir. I now have a signature quote.

  6. #15
    Venom Life Neal's Avatar
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    Now in all honesty I think we link inquisitive with smartness. While I do believe and I'm sure studies somewhere along the line have showed that some snakes are smarter than others, most of us are all going to be biased, like I am towards my Rufous Beaked.

    I did this just out of a test. If you're going to watch, then please watch the videos in the order that they're posted.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfnTqJkqE8Y
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5vURYRncDY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGOTD-LltFI
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skwQygQ15LQ
    Last edited by Neal; 01-16-2014 at 02:40 PM.
    -Venomous-

    1.0 - Naja siamensis - Zeus (Black & White Spitting Cobra)
    1.0 - Naja n. woodi - Hades (Black Spitting Cobra)
    0.1 - Naja nigricollis - Athena (Black-necked Spitting Cobra)

    coming at some point in the future
    Naja annulata (Ringed Water Cobra)




  7. #16
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    Re: Colubrids vs Boids - Intelligence

    As much as I love my ball pythons, I don't think they are very smart. Some seem more inquisitive and tame down faster than others, but I haven't observed any behavior I would call "intelligence" of any level. My rosy boas seem to have s little more going on upstairs, but my experience with other snakes is too limited to make a comparison.
    Why keep a snake? Why keep any animal? Because you enjoy the animal, find something beautiful and fascinating about it, and it fits seamlessly into your lifestyle.

  8. #17
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    Re: Colubrids vs Boids - Intelligence

    Quote Originally Posted by dkspftw View Post
    As somebody who keeps some turtles and a few snakes, you can't really compare turtles with snakes at ALL.

    My ball pythons, so far as I can tell so far, are idiots. Lovable all the same, but not smart. In fact, my main moral dilemma as a BP keeper is the fact that we have to feed animals that are so smart (rats) to ones that are basically as dumb as logs.
    HILARIOUS!!!!LOL!!!!!!

  9. #18
    bcr229's Avatar
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    Interesting that we equate "smart" behavior in the context of the snake being kept in a domesticated or non-natural environment. But, what about in cases where the animal is in the wild? Which reaction to potential predators is "smarter" and more likely to ensure survival in nature - a fearful/protective response, or an inquisitive one?

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  11. #19
    Venom Life Neal's Avatar
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    Re: Colubrids vs Boids - Intelligence

    Quote Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
    Interesting that we equate "smart" behavior in the context of the snake being kept in a domesticated or non-natural environment. But, what about in cases where the animal is in the wild? Which reaction to potential predators is "smarter" and more likely to ensure survival in nature - a fearful/protective response, or an inquisitive one?
    I said we link that together, I didn't say that was the actual case

    If you find Rufous Beaked snakes in the wild, they're not going to bite. In fact I know of many cases of wild caught ones being very calm. They're spastic in the sense they stand the front of their body up and jerk from left to right and watch movement. All 3 of my beaked are wild caught.

    Eastern Indigos are another species that is very calm naturally.
    -Venomous-

    1.0 - Naja siamensis - Zeus (Black & White Spitting Cobra)
    1.0 - Naja n. woodi - Hades (Black Spitting Cobra)
    0.1 - Naja nigricollis - Athena (Black-necked Spitting Cobra)

    coming at some point in the future
    Naja annulata (Ringed Water Cobra)




  12. #20
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    Re: Colubrids vs Boids - Intelligence

    Quote Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
    Interesting that we equate "smart" behavior in the context of the snake being kept in a domesticated or non-natural environment. But, what about in cases where the animal is in the wild? Which reaction to potential predators is "smarter" and more likely to ensure survival in nature - a fearful/protective response, or an inquisitive one?
    Depends on what the behavior leads to. Inquisitive may be smart, if it leads to the animal recognizing friend from foe. A fearful response may be smart if it leads to evasive behavior that keeps the animal away from predators. It might not be smart if it leads to behaviors which results in the animal being eaten. Protective response can go either way too, depending on whether that protective response leads to evasive action, or if it means fighting back against any perceived threat and results in the animal being eaten.

    Then again, a lot of that is just instinct too, and can't really be attributed to actual intelligence or lack of. Intelligence indicates an ability to learn, which inquisitive behavior allows where simple reaction does not. There also is a big difference in reaction between those species more likely to be prey, and those more likely to be predator, and these reactions can change with life stage. It's like a fearful deer (prey) vs the inquisitive coyote (predator in some situations). Also our captive bred animals are a little different from wild animals. They are, to some degree, being selected for certain behaviors that may not otherwise occur in the wild, intentionally and unintentionally.
    Why keep a snake? Why keep any animal? Because you enjoy the animal, find something beautiful and fascinating about it, and it fits seamlessly into your lifestyle.

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