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  1. #11
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    Measuring a snakes smarts is pretty tough. I'd say that the most active or responsive to stimuli are going to appear the smartest but who knows maybe that bp that sits like a munk has some stuff going on upstairs.

    My current enclosures are 8 feet long with two doors. I used to place cardboard on the end opposite the critter before feeding. I would toss the rat on the cardboard. After doing this many times I noticed the boas would get into eating mode as soon as I put the cardboard in the enclosure. Since I was reusing the cardboard I thought maybe the retained scent was setting them off. (I used to breed rats in the basement...I noticed just going in the basement without touching anything and then going in the snake room carried enough retained scent that only a masochist would try to interact with the boas right after being in the basement.)

    So I decided I would try virgin cardboard to eliminate retained scent and do this before having any contact with the rats. Just placing virgin cardboard in the enclosure resulted in the boas being ready to eat. BCO had the strongest reaction which I correlate to them being absolutely fearless and they were always the first to the carboard before the test.

    IMO they clearly formed an association. Was it the smell of cardboard or the process? I don't know. It makes sense to me that smell would be a good thing for them to make an association with...spring flowers would bring critters. So a flowering bush or tree smell might make a boa hang out and wait. We also know boas and carpet pythons will return to a cave entrance to catch bats. I wish I could find it again but I remember reading about a boa that had a tracking device placed in it and was then placed some distance from where it was caught. It returned to location it was caught.

    Smart isn't a descriptor I like to use on snakes but they have been here a very long time and even though they have a brain the size of a pea, there is still a brain. Then again, look at humans...a huge brain and we are still morons.

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  3. #12
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    Re: Which snake is the smartest?

    "If a lion could speak, we could not understand him" -Wittgenstein
    Snake do not think or process information the way humans do. There is no shared "reference" when referring to "smarts", because their experience, psycho-physiology, and mere existance is so far removed from ours, we couldn't comprehend it any more than they could comprehend ours.

    How do we define smart? All snakes will escape their enclosures if they get the chance. Most will grow obese if given enough food. And all have different defense mechanisms they employ when they feel threatened (to varying effect). If that's how you judge smarts, Ball Pythons are pretty stupid in curling up in a ball, and spitting cobras are pretty smart for spitting venom at your eyes. I've heard king cobras are the "smartest", but anyone who keeps a king cobra as a pet is a pretty stupid human. So who can say?

  4. #13
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    I've heard from people that milk hots, the King Cobra is one of the smartest.

    I've also heard the black mamba is no slouch either.

    I will say Womas are incredible alert say compared to my ball python and boas.

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