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 Can your reptiles love you?

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Can your reptiles love you?
Yes
33%
 33% [ 3 ]
No
67%
 67% [ 6 ]
Total Votes : 9
 

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PostSubject: Re: Can your reptiles love you?   Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:00 pm

I have been working with these animals for over thirty years so have an opinion backed up with past experience self studied knowlage. If someone has any scientific proof to back up a theory of a snake having emotion or intelligence other than raw instinct I would be very interested in studding this evaluation.

Holtzman's findings are reported in the January 1999 issue of Animal Behaviour.
http://www.lasuerte.org/omesnakes.html

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PostSubject: Re: Can your reptiles love you?   Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:18 pm

Ok I read that article Shaun. I have also read somewhere that they claim snakes are intelligent and even know which day is feeding day etc. But all of that doesn't prove they don't have emotions does it??? For example you can have a fairly well behaved snake but if you tease it for long enough it will strike and try to bite, surely that's being pissed off (which is an emotion i.e. anger) and not just a reaction due to fear which is a primal instinct of course. It kind of proves it not fear as they do know their owner from the next person and once its calmed down you can handle it again without any problems. We already know many reptiles can be ok with one person and not another as a matter of trust... so surely this alone proves they have emotion doesn't it?
Plus crocodillians are know to make fine parents... doesn't that alone mean they have emotions?

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Last edited by Reptile Rescue Den on Sun Aug 03, 2008 8:22 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Can your reptiles love you?   Sun Aug 03, 2008 8:18 pm

Emotions - What are they?
Main Category: Psychology / Psychiatry
Article Date: 25 Jan 2004 - 0:00 PDT


Everyone feels happiness, surprise, fear, sadness, disgust and anger at some time - these are the six basic emotions. There are over 600 words in English to describe them and we use 42 muscles in our faces to express them.

Extreme emotions

You need to be able to feel and recognise a range of emotions, but extremes of emotion can cause problems. Sadness can become depression, anger can become unprovoked aggression, and pleasure can lead to addiction. Feeling afraid in a dangerous situation is natural and useful. But being too fearful can cause unhelpful anxiety, phobias and panic attacks.

Anxiety disorders

We all feel anxious sometimes - walking alone at night, for example or before an exam. Anxiety can be a normal useful emotion, helping us to recognise and cope with stressful or dangerous situations. But anxiety, especially when it is severe, sometimes stops us from leading a normal life. Panic attacks, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder are all forms of extreme anxiety.

Recognising emotions

You look at people's faces to see if they are familiar, to judge their gender and age, and also to see what mood they are in. You are usually very definite about what someone is feeling. Look at the pictures below, showing a range of expressions from happy to angry. Most people can instantly recognise each face as reflecting happiness, surprise, fear, sadness, disgust or anger rather than a mixture of two or more.

Expressions around the world

All people frown when they're angry and smile when they're happy. But is this just learnt as we grow up, surrounded by pictures, photographs and television? Apparently not: even people who live in isolated parts of the world use these same expressions.

Faking it

You can pretend to be happy, angry or sad, just by changing your expression. But, for example, when you fake a smile it is very hard to use all the muscles you use when really smiling - especially those surrounding the eyes. Your true feelings can also show through your posture, body movements and tone of voice. However, most people will take others at face value, and do not realise when emotions are faked.

Why do you have emotions?

If you feel afraid, you try and escape from the danger. If you're happy, you relax. If you are disgusted, you may feel sick. Your emotions influence your behaviour. Our ancestors relied on their emotions to survive. But these days, we use our emotions more for making lifestyle decisions than simply staying alive.

Emotions and your brain

Emotions enable us to react to situations - for example, anger or fear will set your heart racing, and feeling happy will make you smile. One of the key areas of your brain that deals with showing, recognising and controlling the body's reactions to emotions is known as the limbic system.

Animal emotions

The limbic system is often thought of as a primitive part of the brain as it is present in lower mammals and parts are even found in reptiles. Animals need emotions to survive - they need fear as a trigger to escape predators and aggression to defend their territory, young and food. Charles Darwin thought emotions were merely left over from our animal past. However, you rely on your emotions to make quick, often complex, decisions.


Fear

Fear triggers immediate changes in you just as in other animals - your hair stands on end, your heart beats faster, and your body gets ready to either attack or run. When you recognise danger, or feel afraid, you are using an area of your brain called the amygdala. People with damage to this area can no longer recognise fear in others.

Fear and the amygdala

The amygdala is linked to the parts of the brain that govern your senses, muscles and hormones - enabling your body to react quickly to the sight or sound of a threat. The same information can also travel via the cortex, where it is put together to get the whole picture. This route is probably slower, but allows you to modify your behaviour if the situation isn't as dangerous as it first seemed.

Happiness

Enjoyment triggers areas in your brain known as 'pleasure centres'. They release 'feel-good' chemicals, in particular dopamine. All animals have this reward system, usually triggered by food or sex. However, the system can be affected by drugs, including nicotine and alcohol. At first, these act in the same way as 'natural' rewards, producing pleasure. But with increased use, the drug is needed to stop unpleasant symptoms that appear when it is not available ('withdrawal'). These effects contribute to drug addiction.

Laughter

What makes you laugh? Being tickled, jokes, slapstick comedians - but why? We don't really know, although researchers in California have found the part of the brain that may be responsible. The doctors were performing brain surgery on a 16-year-old girl, for epilepsy. Every time a small area at the front of her brain was electrically stimulated, she burst out laughing. The girl always came up with a reason for her mirth - 'You guys are just so funny!'.

Anger

Danger can make you feel either angry or frightened: both these emotions are triggered by the same part of the brain - the amygdala. The amygdala in turn triggers a response in the hypothalamus, a key area for many of the things your brain does 'without thinking' including this 'fight or flight' response.

Emotion and memory

When remembering an emotional event, you recall not only what happened, but also how you felt - an emotional memory. Both sorts of memory can be triggered by something you heard, saw or even smelt, at the time. Scientists think that you store early emotional memories, even if you cannot remember what actually happened. These memories may still affect you as adults.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/5517.php

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PostSubject: Re: Can your reptiles love you?   Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:01 pm

If we make a distinction or definition of what an emotion is we can then make some critical observations. My definition of an emotional response would be a response for companionship.

Does a snake have an emotional bond with the owner or another snake? No the snake will not approach the owner purposefully or out of curiosity but will choose any direction with no intention of returning to the handler if freed. Do snakes travel around in family groups or pairs? No snakes pair up for matting purposes only due to the female leaving a pheromone indicating to any male of the same species that she needs to be fertilized. After pairing takes place the male and female go their separate ways without any emotional bond what so ever.

Does a snake have intelligence? Yes but basic survival intelligence but no emotional predisposition. For an example if the handler taps on the glass before feeding. The snake will eventually expect to be fed when feeling the vibration of the glass being tapped. This tap will produce a feeding response or reaction. We can debate this as being intelligence or a reactive response.
If the snake owner conditions the animal by gently handling it over time will lessen the natural response to be aggressive when handled. Snakes certainly do not enjoys being handled but will be conditioned over time but still express stress depending on the animal in question. Handling a pet snake after it feeds usually causes the animal to regurgitate its meal due to stress.
I have never experienced a snake being more partial to one person rather than another or showing aggressive behaviour or meekness due to “trust issues”. Snakes are blind and see movement that is either a potential threat, food or an object. If the snake becomes accustomed to a particular objects smell as being non-threatening it will treat that object as an object and not with an emotional response. This is a basic response without malice or affection.

Here is a creature (Snake) that is an exothermic predator. Its basic survival techniques are camouflage, speed, and intimidation then an aggressive defence. This animal cannot be reasoned with but reacts instinctively without consideration or forethought.

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PostSubject: Re: Can your reptiles love you?   Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:08 am

Fair point and I understand what your saying but snakes are only one group of reptiles. But it is proven that reptiles do have emotions though ones version of 'love' differs from the next. Yeah? So while reptiles have emotions, who is to say they do not show love?

A 20 million dollar question it seems LOL Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Can your reptiles love you?   Mon Aug 04, 2008 3:32 pm

Tolerate us yes but love no
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PostSubject: Re: Can your reptiles love you?   Mon Aug 04, 2008 3:33 pm

tilly790 wrote:
Tolerate us yes but love no

I concur

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