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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?

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  5. #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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  7. #14
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Which snake is the smartest?

    Quote Originally Posted by bns View Post
    ...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.
    One thing to consider when talking about "brain size" (& which makes it hard to compare species for intelligence) is that snakes don't have all these arms & legs that their brain has to control, or the ability to hear or talk, so you can't just go by brain size without considering how they function.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 03-28-2020 at 11:10 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  8. #15
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    Re: Which snake is the smartest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    One thing to consider when talking about "brain size" (& which makes it hard to compare species for intelligence) is that snakes don't have all these arms & legs that their brain has to control, or the ability to hear or talk, so you can't just go by brain size without considering how they function.
    Interesting that you read what I posted and came away with that ^.

  9. #16
    Registered User Luvyna's Avatar
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    Re: Which snake is the smartest?

    Quote Originally Posted by bns View Post
    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.
    These are some interesting observations! I feed my BP on cardboard as well in his enclosure. I put it down in front of his hide and he sticks his head and neck out onto it in an "S" shape. He seems to know that cardboard means food is for sure on the way, and he also seems to have learned to associate the vibrations of someone walking up and down the stairs to the basement (which are right next to my room where I keep my BP) with the imminent arrival of a rat since I keep the frozen rats in a freezer in the basement. Either of those two things is pretty much guaranteed to put him in food mode!
    Last edited by Luvyna; 03-29-2020 at 04:19 PM.

  10. #17
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Which snake is the smartest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luvyna View Post
    These are some interesting observations! I feed my BP on cardboard as well in his enclosure. I put it down in front of his hide and he sticks his head and neck out onto it in an "S" shape. He seems to know that cardboard means food is for sure on the way, and he also seems to have learned to associate the vibrations of someone walking up and down the stairs to the basement (which are right next to my room where I keep my BP) with the imminent arrival of a rat since I keep the frozen rats in a freezer in the basement. Either of those two things is pretty much guaranteed to put him in food mode!
    I recall someone on another forum that always fed her boa on sheets of newspaper (which is not a great idea, as it can be swallowed if it gets damp & sticks to the rodents). Anyway, much like your snake with the cardboard, her snake associated the newspaper with being fed & got pretty "enthused", apparently without fail. Snakes clearly do learn to associate things that matter to them...& that's also why most learn to associate US with safety (or lack of harm, at least) & don't have to be re-tamed every time we pick them up.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 03-29-2020 at 04:28 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  12. #18
    Registered User Luvyna's Avatar
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    Re: Which snake is the smartest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    I recall someone on another forum that always fed her boa on sheets of newspaper (which is not a great idea, as it can be swallowed if it gets damp & sticks to the rodents). Anyway, much like your snake with the cardboard, her snake associated the newspaper with being fed & got pretty "enthused", apparently without fail. Snakes clearly do learn to associate things that matter to them...& that's also why most learn to associate US with safety (or lack of harm, at least) & don't have to be re-tamed every time we pick them up.
    The cardboard or newspaper is like Pavlov's bell for them haha

    I find it so cute that snakes can learn to associate humans with security. It's strangely flattering when you hand a snake to a stranger and it tries to come back to you.

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