The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Do reptiles bond to their caregivers?  (Read 1014 times)

Offline thedoc

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 511
  • Thanked: 11 times
    • View Profile
Do reptiles bond to their caregivers?
« on: 29/06/2016 13:50:01 »
Alissa Holmes  asked the Naked Scientists:
    Hi Chris,
Do reptiles show recognition or bonding to caregivers? What about amphibians? Is the preference of a particular caregiver something unique to mammals, or is it related to intelligence level rather than type of animal? If a snake had a blond, 5'4, and slender caregiver named Anna, would the snake show preference unilaterally for humans of a similar profile and build? Or would they specifically identify and show preference for Anna?

Just distractingly curious,
Alissa

   
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 29/06/2016 14:40:59 by Georgia »


 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
Re: Do reptiles bond to their caregivers?
« Reply #1 on: 30/06/2016 03:54:26 »
They can be habituated but bonded????
 

Offline evan_au

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4096
  • Thanked: 244 times
    • View Profile
Re: Do reptiles bond to their caregivers?
« Reply #2 on: 30/06/2016 04:59:51 »
I don't think it has much to do with general intelligence - but perhaps something to do with social intelligence...

There are social spiders, ants, bees & wasps which live together in communities, and care for each other (or at least, care for their community).

Often these creatures are all strongly related to all other members of the community, so there is little difference between "caring for their relatives" and "caring for their community".

Alligators and Crocodiles are reptiles, and some species show care for their young, in terms of defending a nest.

I think, in the end, it comes down to "it has worked for them in the past, and they'll probably keep doing it".
 

Offline YarS

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: Do reptiles bond to their caregivers?
« Reply #3 on: 02/07/2016 10:40:03 »
Even some species of fish, for ex. koi carps, can difference humans by their cloth, hairs, movement patterns, etc.
« Last Edit: 02/07/2016 10:42:45 by YarS »
 

Offline YarS

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: Do reptiles bond to their caregivers?
« Reply #4 on: 12/07/2016 17:20:25 »
Tame catfish "Gosha" from Chernobyl.
 

Offline thedoc

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 511
  • Thanked: 11 times
    • View Profile
Hear the answer to this question on our show
« Reply #5 on: 09/08/2016 16:38:14 »
We discussed this question on our  show
We put this to Eleanor Drinkwater, from the University of Cambridge...
Eleanor - Well, the cool thing about this is no-one’s ever done any studies on this at all. So, I called up one of my friends called Dr Miller, who’s currently in Honduras taming baby jaguars (as one does), and what his view was… First of all snakes tend to have a terrible sense of eyesight so they wouldn’t be able to tell that Anna was blonde and beautiful. However, they do have this amazing sense of taste. So they kind of stick their tongues out and taste whatever particles are floating around the place, so it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that they could tell Anna from Jacob, or Jason, or whoever else is hanging around the place.
However, the really interesting thing though is with a few wonderful exceptions, including iguanas, most reptiles tend to be pretty a-social. They’re not like dogs that are pack animals and they want to hang out together, whereas snakes don’t really care. So the thing is there’s probably no pressure for the snake to form a bond with Anna because there’s not real kind of bonding with snakes in the wild.
Click to visit the show page for the podcast in which this question is answered. Alternatively, listen to the answer now or [download as MP3]
« Last Edit: 01/01/1970 01:00:00 by _system »
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Hear the answer to this question on our show
« Reply #5 on: 09/08/2016 16:38:14 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums