Most people probably assume that snakes aren’t nearly as intelligent as mammals like rats, apes, and even chickens. After all, snakes are renowned for their ability to slither away from danger, not for their aptitude for problem-solving. But are snakes really that dumb? Do snakes have brains? If you’ve ever kept a snake as a pet, you know it can display brilliant patterns of behavior. They may also display some less brilliant ones. Snakes tend to be loners—except when they’re looking for mates. Then they become very social indeed. And while many snakes will panic if locked in a cage with no way out, others appear to enjoy the company of other snakes. Is this proof that they don’t have brains?
Do Snakes Have Brains?
Snakes don’t have large brains, and they don’t need them. Snakes have millions of reflexive sensors in their skin that detect temperature, pressure, and toxic chemicals. This information is sent to a small brain that controls the snake’s basic instincts, such as when to attack or run away. Snakes don’t need to think or plan because their bodies are perfectly adapted for survival.
How Smart and Interesting Facts About Snakes?
1. They’ve been around for a long time
There are absolutely tons of different species of snakes, but the oldest known species is the Titanoboa. This massive snake lived in the rainforests of South America around 59 million years ago. It’s thought that these giant serpents were actually much larger than the snakes we know today, with a length of up to 42 feet! It’s impossible to say how long snakes have been on Earth because they likely evolved from lizards, which we don’t know the dates of. But many experts believe they’ve been here since the age of the dinosaurs. So it’s safe to say that these creatures are definitely longstanding. There are a lot of different types of snakes Different animals have different needs, and snakes have some very specific needs. For example, certain snakes live in arctic climates, and others live in deserts and tropical areas. Luckily, there are over 2,000 types of snakes and a wide variety of snakes living all over the planet. There are snakes that are under 2 inches long and others that grow to over 30 feet long. There are black, red, blue, and yellow snakes and even some snakes that are pink! Snakes can be found in freshwater streams, mountains, deserts, and even rainforests. Experts believe there are even more species of snakes that have yet to be discovered. After all, there are new species of insects, plants, and other animals being discovered every day.
2. They can be found on all continents – except Antarctica
As we’ve already discussed, snakes have a wide variety of needs – and they’re able to thrive because of it. While snakes that live in colder climates hibernate during the winter months, others live in areas where winter continues for 8 months of the year. And there are still other snakes that can live in nearly any environment. For example, the coral snake can be found in the Florida swamps, the deserts of Arizona, and even on one of the Hawaiian islands. And the Australian copperhead snakes are able to live in both desert areas and cooler mountainous regions. There are even some snakes that can live in the arctic tundra at the very southern tip of South America. In fact, you can find snakes on all continents except Antarctica. This means that snakes are incredibly adaptable and able to thrive in a variety of environments!
3. Some people believe snakes can smell with their tongues
While it’s true that snakes have a forked tongue, and that’s how they smell (just like us humans), there are many myths about how snakes use their tongues. Many people believe that snakes smell with their tongues, which is definitely not the case. But there is another misconception that snakes bring their tongue back into their mouth after smelling the air. This is not true either. The tongue has a forked end because it’s split like a fork, and snakes smell this part of their tongue. Some believe snakes smell with their tongues because the tongue is always moving. However, snakes don’t smell with their tongues at all. They smell of Jacobson’s Organ, which is located inside their skulls.
4. Snakes are actually pretty smart
Did you know that snakes can sense when they’re being watched? There have been countless studies that prove these creatures are much smarter than we give them credit for. Snakes are able to recognize their own reflection in a mirror, which is something only a few species of animals can do. Most snakes are naturally curious and will avoid danger. They are also able to find food, hunt, and avoid getting caught in the wild. And unlike what many people believe, snakes are also able to learn. They can be trained to avoid humans and stay away from them. In fact, there are even cases of snakes being able to unlock cages and find their way out. Snakes are also able to use their bodies in creative ways. Some species have been known to use their own bodies to create a barrier of heat between themselves and the sun. This is called thermoregulation, and it’s one-way snakes stay cool in hot temperatures. There are also species of snakes that will climb trees and wrap around branches to stay out of reach of predators.
Why Are Snakes Considered Dumber Than Other Reptiles?
- Now that we’ve established that snakes do have brains, let’s talk about why snakes are considered dumber than other reptiles. The main reason for this is that reptiles like lizards, turtles, and snakes have a much slower metabolic rate than mammals.
- Metabolic rate refers to the rate at which the cells of the body are able to create energy. Snakes, like all reptiles, have slower metabolisms than mammals and birds.
- This means that the cells in their bodies don’t create energy as quickly or as efficiently as mammal and bird cells.
- Metabolism is a major factor in determining brain function. Brain cells need a lot of energy, so a slow metabolism means less blood flow to the brain. This is why reptiles are often thought to be less intelligent than mammals.
- Their brains just aren’t as well-supplied with oxygen, which is essential for proper brain function.
Are All Snakes Venomous?
- No, not all snakes are venomous. Scientists can easily tell the difference between venomous snakes and non-venomous snakes because of the shape of their fangs.
- Venomous snakes have long, hollow fangs that are connected to a special gland. This gland produces a mixture of proteins, enzymes, and other substances that are designed to kill or incapacitate their prey.
- Venomous snakes use these fangs to inject their prey with venom as they bite, which slowly paralyzes and kills them. Venomous snakes often use this as a last resort, biting only when they have no other options.
- Venomous snakes are usually wary of humans, because we can easily kill them, and they don’t want to risk getting killed.
Can All Snakes Bite And Inject Poison?
- All venomous snakes can bite and inject poison into their prey, but non-venomous snakes can’t.
- This is because venomous snakes have long, hollow fangs that are connected to a special gland. When non-venomous snakes bite, their fangs are too short to inject any poison into their prey, so they don’t pose any significant threat to humans.
- However, non-venomous snakes still pose a threat to humans because they can bite and cause swelling, blood loss, and infection, none of which are fun.
Snakes are just as intelligent as many other reptiles, and many species display very advanced social behaviors. But this doesn’t mean that snakes are very intelligent, either. Reptiles have slower metabolisms than mammals and birds, so they don’t have as much blood flow to their brains. It’s important to keep in mind that all animals have different strengths and weaknesses. A rat’s slow metabolism is what allows it to survive in sewers and live on virtually nothing. A snake’s slow metabolism is what allows it to slither silently through the grass and sneak up on its next meal.