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How to tell the mood of a snake?
12-08-2012, 12:04 AM,
Ram Offline
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How to tell the mood of a snake?
I know snakes might not have the same feelings as us humans or even as other mammals. They do have certain behaviors you can predict what mood they are in.

I'd like to know when a snake feel threatened, what do they usually do? How do you tell if the snake is being defensive, or aggressive, or scared, or just trying to relax and feeling happy? Huh

What would you do in each of the situations?
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12-17-2012, 07:42 PM,
SereneScales Offline
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RE: How to tell the mood of a snake?
I know how you feel, some people say they are basically a automaton instinct machine, but I feel this may not be the case, keeping reptiles for most of my life, including boa constrictors which seem to have the most personality of any snake I've ever worked with....Maybe only rivaled by rattlesnakes...But point is, best policy if it seems the snake is poised and ready to bite it may just be best to leave them be, unless it's absolutely necessary to disturb them. Keep in mind now, aquariums are the worst possible thing to keep snakes in as it's hard to regulate humidity and just doesn't offer the security they need to feel. You can typically tell because they will coil up in the signature S position and will most likely hiss at you. If this is the case, just simply back off, check the humidity and temperature and put something around the enclosure to give them some privacy to cool off.
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12-21-2012, 03:15 AM,
Thor Offline


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RE: How to tell the mood of a snake?
It might be helpful if you can provide some photos or pictures of the different "poses" of the snakes in different mood, then point at each of them say this is an angry snake, and that is a happy snake. Just a thought. Wink

Different species should have different behaviors. Am I right? I am not much of a snake person, need experts like Fishbone to help me out here.
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02-12-2013, 09:24 AM,
4sweed Offline


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RE: How to tell the mood of a snake?
I have found that other than the rattlesnakes that coil up and hiss and strike at you, the harmless black racers can put on a real show of defensive when bothered. They hiss and rattle their tail and some will even chase you and try to bite. While there bite is harmless it hurts. I have been chased and stalked by black racers. When working in the yard they would sneak up behind me and scare me silly when I turned around or was walking through the yard. Sometimes it was humorous and other times it made me so freaked I would go get the shovel and do away with them.
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02-15-2013, 07:09 PM,
Fishbone Offline


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RE: How to tell the mood of a snake?
I never answered this question when I first saw it. This is hard to explain, from my experience. First, I believe, any "aggressive" animal, reptile or not, but especially reptiles, are either scared, or hungry, and you have been identified as a possible food source. Snakes don't have a whole lot in the middle. Different species have different ways of displaying fear, but if they feel cornered, they pretty much have three options, either puff up/hiss, try to hide, or strike. If you work with any particular species for awhile, you can get to know it's mannerisms. And if you are the type to be attuned to animal behaviors, it becomes pretty obvious quickly. For example, a scared carpet python will strike, sometimes relentlessly. A scared ball python, by contrast, will try to ball/curl up, and hide. A scared hognose/bull snake will puff up and hiss adamantly, then play dead. So those are completely different ways to show the exact same "emotion" in different snakes.

In different individual animals, I can tell their "mood" just by body language and how they hold their body. It's hard to explain without examples, but, people say that a snake is going to strike if it is coiled in an "S" position. This is certainly true, as this coil is how they set up to project forward. But, plenty of calm snakes can end up in same position, because, well, if that is your body shape, you end up in that position no matter your mood, lol. It has to do with the amount of tension in the body and muscles.
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02-16-2013, 07:53 AM,
AnnaU93 Offline
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RE: How to tell the mood of a snake?
I assume it goes by the sounds and body language they have although their body language will be a lifelong mystery!
It is quite scary when some snakes hiss for no apparent reason and the owner has no idea how to handle it. I guess some research would
have to be done in order to truly understand how the movement and or body language corresponds to the mood of the snake.
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