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Thread: Snake myth

  1. #1
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    Default Snake myth

    Hi everyone, there is a funny myth that some people in Quebec have created. I want you to destroy this myth if you hear/read it somewhere.

    Myth : Snakes measure their prey before eating it

    Story: Once upon a time, there was a woman who bought a snake. Her snake was a big burmese python (12 feet long) that was living inside her bedroom. The snake was free roaming all the time, he had no cage at all (very bad thing). The big burmese python was sleeping in a ball on the carpet right besides the woman's bed. One day, the woman wake up and find her snakes straight long (on the bed) beside her. The woman was asking herself why the snake was in this position when she woke up. She decide to call the petshop that sold her the snake (very bad reference), she ask the guy, why her snake was straight long beside her when she woke up. The guy answer : You should bring your snake back to me, because he is trying to measure you, to eat you...

    So, after hearing this funny myth, many people (in Quebec) are scared to buy snakes because they think that all snakes will try to measure them to eat them.

    So here are the reason why this myth is wrong.

    1- Snakes, do not know math theory. They don't know what is a foot, a centimeter, a meter, a day, a fraction etc. Snakes cannot learn measurement. This is human theory, animals do not know how make a difference between all of those things.

    2- Snakes, ambush their prey. Have you ever seen a snake (in the wild) or in captivity, going on the right of his prey, measuring it, and then trying to kill it, before eating it? No, because prey (mouse, rat) will run away if they see a bigger animal than them. (big things eat small things) So the snake to not have the choice to catch him and kill it. If the prey is too big, and the snake is not capable of eating it, he will drop it down and search something else.

    3- Snakes, in movement, will be straight long. They do not form a ball, and roll over to move their entire body.

    4- If the snakes (everytime there were straight long) were measuring things to know if they are capable of eating it, that would means, that everytime you see your snakes inside their enclosure, moving straight long besides the water bowl, hides and branch, that would mean that they are measuring their accessories to see if they can eat them .


    So why the snake was straight long beside the woman?

    Hypothesis 1 : The snake was in movement and exploring his environment when she woke up
    Hypothesis 2 : The snake was cold (rooms are cold in winter) and he decide to go near a heat source (human) to raise up his body temperature.

    If you do have other hypothesis, feel free to write them.
    Ben
    0.1.0, 2007, Bearded Dragon (Uresaii)
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  2. #2
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    I think snakes do measure to a degree, in the form of sizing up pray. Maybe visual and by vibrations more than anything else. Have you ever tried to feed a small snake a med / large rat. If its too big sometimes they won't even strike at it, they try to get away. If its live or not,...if not they may drag it, try to lift it and maneuver it around then they leave it alone. But sometimes there's only one way to learn what you can and can't take and that's to try it.
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  3. #3
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    I would go with your hypotheses. Snakes will seek out warmth and often crawl along a wall or straight surface. My Burm and boa both crawl along the wall outside and my smaller snakes like to stay against a wall when cruising around. So, not very scientific, only anecdotal.
    Laura R (FL)
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bubblz View Post
    I think snakes do measure to a degree, in the form of sizing up pray. Maybe visual and by vibrations more than anything else. Have you ever tried to feed a small snake a med / large rat. If its too big sometimes they won't even strike at it, they try to get away. If its live or not,...if not they may drag it, try to lift it and maneuver it around then they leave it alone. But sometimes there's only one way to learn what you can and can't take and that's to try it.
    I agree, but if the prey is bigger than the snake, that would mean that the rat is in the position of the predator instead of being the prey.That is why the snake will avoid or run away of the prey. With the vision, you can analyse the size of something, but I don't think that the snake will use his body as a ruler or a measurement object. Look at horses, they are scared of human cause of their oversizing vision. Horses see human bigger that what they really are. We are much smaller than horse right? It's a matter of vision. I think that there is a basic size analysing : If you have to raise your head to see the other animal, that would mean that he is bigger than you. I think that's how the animal analyse the size of other animals.

    Girafe, do not have a lot of predator. Why? Because they are very tall! We know that girafe aren't the strongest animal on earth. Their legs can betray their standing, if a girafe fall on the ground while a predator is on it, there is a very small possibility that the girafe will stand back on his leg. Only some big cats (tiger, leopard and lion etc) will attack them. Most of researchers know that big cats are known due of their capacity of killing or attacking animals that are much bigger than them.

    However, I do agree with you, that animal can analyse size to survive or eat. But the myth is telling that snake use their body as a size reference like a ruler.
    Ben
    0.1.0, 2007, Bearded Dragon (Uresaii)
    1.0.0, 1999, Hermann Tortoise (Tama-chan)
    0.1.0, 2007, Redfoot Tortoise (Kame-chan)


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  5. #5
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    Overall, #2.

    My normal Burm is 14ft now and it appears that she inspects her food. Will start from the head to tail, flickering her tongue ....but, that's not 100% of the time.

    My one Retic (very cage aggressive) will just hit it as soon as he smells food. If he can't get it all in his mouth (i.e. back of my hand) he lets go.

    However, all mine eat frozen/thawed.

    As for the snake laying straight out next to the woman ....heat, heat, heat.
    At least once a week, I allow my snakes to take a slither and with the weather getting chilly now my Burm will search for the right temperature room. My other Retic will curl up behind me and the others usually around the back of my neck or under blankets somewhere.

  6. #6
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    Jeez, ridiculous myth. That reminds when somebody told me they hated rattlesnakes because they ''chase people down and bite them and they die.'' The person proceeded to tell me horror stories about snakes chasing people down.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxTurtle52 View Post
    Jeez, ridiculous myth. That reminds when somebody told me they hated rattlesnakes because they ''chase people down and bite them and they die.'' The person proceeded to tell me horror stories about snakes chasing people down.
    Haha funny! I saw a documentary on discovery channel about rattlesnake "agressive behavior". It seems that even when you step on a rattlesnake, the little guy will try to run away instead of biting you. Some won't even care about it. But if you try to pick him up, that's another story lol...
    Ben
    0.1.0, 2007, Bearded Dragon (Uresaii)
    1.0.0, 1999, Hermann Tortoise (Tama-chan)
    0.1.0, 2007, Redfoot Tortoise (Kame-chan)


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  8. #8
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    Exclamation

    who starts up myths like that?
    R.I.P lizzie
    you will be missed

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam chalkley View Post
    who starts up myths like that?
    Probably a beginner reptile keeper or a snake hater.

    Many people in Quebec hate reptile without knowing them, or even had a simple contact/experience with them. Most of dogs/cats lover (in Quebec) will say that a snake is a stupid animal without emotion that only have one purpose in life : killing things. With work and patience, reptiles can become one of the best pet that we can have. Of course, they might not be as cuddly as a dog or even a cat, but their exotic and mysterious side makes them so special. I work with many snake at my reptile farm, and I have to say, that snake are much more curious compare to the other reptile except some monitor lizard. Even tortoise, who are less agressive than snake, will be shyer compare to most of big snakes.

    The problem with snake, is their bad capacity of showing their behavior.It's pretty easy to see an agressive/defensive snake. Their "S" position, hiss and mouth opening sign, is pretty easy to identify. But their calm body sign is a bit harder to see. You cannot know when a snake is sleeping or awake, because they don't have eyelid like a lizard, croc or turtle. Believe it or not, but just the missing eyelid makes snake more scary than lizard. It's true that their face look sometime emotionless, but when you work with them, you see that those animal are not killing machine, and can be one of the sweetest animal that we can have.
    Ben
    0.1.0, 2007, Bearded Dragon (Uresaii)
    1.0.0, 1999, Hermann Tortoise (Tama-chan)
    0.1.0, 2007, Redfoot Tortoise (Kame-chan)


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  10. #10
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    I have a good one. My grandmother always told me to leave king snakes alone because if you make them mad they will chase you or worse.......You will find them in your house one day......... :!:

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