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  1. #1
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Question Has your snake (any kind) ever fished a f/t rodent out of a bowl of water?

    I have to post about this- as I've been feeding many snakes & many kinds for many years, but I've never seen one that managed to fish out their f/t prey after they accidentally dropped it into their bowl of water. Normally, they just lose interest, but today, one of my Trans Pecos rat snakes did just that.

    I had fed him a small f/t mouse & had just offered him a second one- he was up on his branches & accepting food from my tongs when suddenly the second one slipped from his mouth (he doesn't wrap dead prey- he just eats it politely from tongs). Plop, right into the water bowl.

    I watched to see what he'd do, because he kept staring at it, & soon he was nosing it in the water. It didn't sink, so maybe that would have made the difference?

    But still I think this is remarkable, because this is a DESERT snake- not many bodies of water around where they evolved. They do have good vision though, & have always seemed to me to be fairly smart as snakes go. But I was still amazed when he ate this mouse out of his water bowl. In the past, I've always had to fish them out myself for all kinds of snakes, many of which were from environments known for more bodies of water. I think I'll let Mitali* go fishing more often?

    Guess what? After eating the second mouse, he went into his hide, but now he's back out, waiting by his water bowl, just above it! No kidding! I love these snakes, & it's obvious they can learn.

    *Mitali- Hindu for "friend" He's 15 years old, & 5' long, by the way...so snakes are never too old to learn new things, eh?
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  3. #2
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    Funny. My BP dropped her rat in the water bowl a few nights ago.

    I left the room reminding myself to retrieve and dispose of it in the morning (I always leave it overnight just in case). For the first time ever, the rat was gone. Normally she refuses to eat unless everything goes absolutely perfectly.

    Must be something in the water! (sorry)

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  5. #3
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    By the way, this rodent was f/t in cool water, & not heated in any way. Besides, Trans Pecos have no heat sensing pits. And with the scent mostly covered by the water, he was clearly using vision to follow his almost-lost lunch.

    Hey, Homebody- see if your little python will do this? You're always testing him with new things anyway.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  7. #4
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Has your snake (any kind) ever fished a f/t rodent out of a bowl of water?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrMoyb View Post
    Funny. My BP dropped her rat in the water bowl a few nights ago.

    I left the room reminding myself to retrieve and dispose of it in the morning (I always leave it overnight just in case). For the first time ever, the rat was gone. Normally she refuses to eat unless everything goes absolutely perfectly.

    Must be something in the water! (sorry)
    That's amazing! BPs are known for insisting on prey warmth...maybe they've just messing with y'all? Making you drag out hair-dryers & all, to warm up their meals?
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-07-2024 at 05:13 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  9. #5
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    My dwarf Retics are a huge learning curve for me right now after having colubrids for a bit and then all ball pythons.

    The female decided to wrap her rat and drop it in the water dish after. Took her a little bit but fished it out on her own. No problems at all. She definitely knew what she was looking for.

    They also both took room temp chicken hearts with no problems at all, so now I just need to figure out the best way to present it.... Which is most likely going to be a bowl to keep them easy to find and away from substrate.

    Gonna try some other chicken cuts from leftovers maybe. I usually have some when prepping for my dog's specialty diet.
    Might try some other critter meat too.

    For BPs, I've only had one eat a soaking wet rat from the bowl and that was because they wrapped it there and didn't drop it. Any others I've had are super picky on it and leave it until I fish it out and try again
    Last edited by Armiyana; 05-07-2024 at 06:25 PM.

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  11. #6
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Has your snake (any kind) ever fished a f/t rodent out of a bowl of water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Armiyana View Post
    My dwarf Retics are a huge learning curve for me right now after having colubrids for a bit and then all ball pythons.

    The female decided to wrap her rat and drop it in the water dish after. Took her a little bit but fished it out on her own. No problems at all. She definitely knew what she was looking for.

    They also both took room temp chicken hearts with no problems at all, so now I just need to figure out the best way to present it.... Which is most likely going to be a bowl to keep them easy to find and away from substrate.

    Gonna try some other chicken cuts from leftovers maybe. I usually have some when prepping for my dog's specialty diet.
    Might try some other critter meat too.

    For BPs, I've only had one eat a soaking wet rat from the bowl and that was because they wrapped it there and didn't drop it. Any others I've had are super picky on it and leave it until I fish it out and try again


    I can totally picture retics (dwarf or otherwise) & things like anacondas (that love water) & probably boas (but not desert rosy boas) will be pretty good at "fishing". And certainly garter snakes will go "fishing". Also that your dwarf retics are QUITE a change from the others you've kept-

    I've had various kinds of snakes that wrapped prey & ended up (prey & snake together) in the water bowl that kept going & ate their prey soaking wet because they never let go of it. But I was very impressed today that my big-eyed desert rat snake saw exactly what to do, since I've seen so many other snakes just lose all interest once prey ends up dropped in the water bowl- only eating it once I retrieve it with tongs & re-offer it. (& I'm a long time keeper of various rat snakes & also kings & pituophis-family, etc.)

    I'll admit though, having seen my share of "failures to fish", that I usually just grab my tongs & take over- so in hindsight, perhaps I didn't give all of them enough time to pass or fail the test? Anyway, Mitali made my day. Especially when I saw him come back out for another look in his water bowl. I can guarantee that I'm going to throw a mouse in on purpose in the future & see how well he remembers his new skill.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-07-2024 at 06:45 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  13. #7
    Registered User mistergreen's Avatar
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    Funny this came up. Mine hasn't ever dropped his rat in the water dish but twice after grabbing it from the tweezers he put his whole head with the rat in the water dish. I dont think it was intentional. He still gobbled them down.

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  15. #8
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    Re: Has your snake (any kind) ever fished a f/t rodent out of a bowl of water?

    Quote Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
    Funny this came up. Mine hasn't ever dropped his rat in the water dish but twice after grabbing it from the tweezers he put his whole head with the rat in the water dish. I dont think it was intentional. He still gobbled them down.
    That's odd. Maybe he was washing his food? Or just thirsty...a little water helps to wash it down. Silly snakes...
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  16. #9
    BPnet Veteran Homebody's Avatar
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    Re: Has your snake (any kind) ever fished a f/t rodent out of a bowl of water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    By the way, this rodent was f/t in cool water, & not heated in any way. Besides, Trans Pecos have no heat sensing pits. And with the scent mostly covered by the water, he was clearly using vision to follow his almost-lost lunch.

    Hey, Homebody- see if your little python will do this? You're always testing him with new things anyway.
    Surely, my eyes deceive. An original personal post from Boger! I do declare! What's next? Pictures?

    A foraging exercise? I've got a pretty good idea how that would go. I've tried it. Wiggles would find it almost immediately and, unless he was very hungry, ignore it. Children's pythons aren't natural foragers. In the wild, they will eat carrion if they come across it, but snakes in the wild get a lot hungrier than our pets do.
    1.0 Normal Children's Python (2022 - present)
    1.0 Normal Ball Python (2019 - 2021)

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  18. #10
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Has your snake (any kind) ever fished a f/t rodent out of a bowl of water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Homebody View Post
    ...A foraging exercise? I've got a pretty good idea how that would go. I've tried it. Wiggles would find it almost immediately and, unless he was very hungry, ignore it. Children's pythons aren't natural foragers. In the wild, they will eat carrion if they come across it, but snakes in the wild get a lot hungrier than our pets do.
    No, it's not exactly "foraging". Try showing him the food when he's hungry & ready to grab it, then drop it in the water bowl near him (assuming that he won't drop it there on his own like my TP did), & see if he sees & goes after the food in the water. It's about being able to recognize it even when the scent is covered up by water, & it's not being wiggled for attention.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-08-2024 at 10:10 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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