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do reptiles have feelings?

Discussion in 'General' started by Ryan, Apr 23, 2005.


do herps have feelings?

  1. Absolutely! what a dumb question!

    101 vote(s)
  2. Some might...

    18 vote(s)
  3. Never thought about it

    6 vote(s)
  4. No

    9 vote(s)
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  1. Ryan

    Ryan Elite Member

    what are your feelings about reptile feelings?
  2. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    I think this has been done before at some point... I chose "yes",. I believe all animals have feelings on some level, even if they are just basic instincts like the desire to procreate, the need for food and water, the need for heat and safety. Some animals may be more advanced than others when it comes to emotional feelings, or it may just be that humans are so pig-headed and narrow-minded that we can't comprehend something having feelings in a different way to what we are used to.
  3. rbl

    rbl MacGyver in real life

    I really don't know, only keep reptiles for a short time but I must answer Rachel's post reminding that humans are well known for their limitless anthropomorphism =)
  4. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    LOL most definately rbl, but i think that only applies to a very small number of humans, and most of us are right here on the forum :p I don't think many people that i know would look at their bearded dragon gazing adoringly at them and say "aww look she's looking at her mummy, she loves her mummy, oh yes she does"... :p
  5. Dominick

    Dominick Founding Member

    When Rex gets angry you sure know it. LOL

    If he experiences any love, it's toward Tammy during his heat. LOL!

    But I do believe they attach to their owners, emotionally at least. And I equate that to "feelings".
  6. steel rip

    steel rip Elite Member

    LOL Rachel, Im like that all the time with mine, cooing at them like babies and stuff, jody said to me the other day, gawd mum you treat them like little kids, and I said... because they are like my little kids, then she said... you dont even treat us like that lol....

    I think they have feelings, and I think beardies can be quite intelligent....either that or coincidential happenings.. If i say Tolkkey.... he looks at me, thats my name for him shortened lol... but thats all he has heard repeatedly since being very tiny, so I think its a word he recognizes, where as the others dont respond only to different voice tones...
  7. WingedWolf

    WingedWolf Elite Member

    The answer's too complicated for the poll results--all reptiles certainly experience some emotions--just not ALL the emotions that birds and mammals do.
  8. rbl

    rbl MacGyver in real life

    That would be the step before dressing the beardie up with doll clothes ;)

    This is one of those issues that reminds me of a joke that I consider that pictures us humans pretty well.
    Two fish are on a fishbowl and one asks the other:
    - Do you believe in God?
    - Of course! - answers the other - Who do you think that changes our water? =)

    It's easier to believe than to face the possibility that the world might not be like we envision it!
  9. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    LOL that's great rbl :p

    I agree with Dom, it's quite obvious that some of our reptiles certainly recognise us, so to me that equates to feelings.

    Donna, I think that's similar to a dog, who doesn't necessarily recognise their name, but the tone and voice that is used to say it. And to me, with reptiles, that isn't coincidental, that's intelligence.

    I still think reptiles have feelings and intelligence that equals a mammels or a birds, but it is not as obvious to us - a snake doesn't come rushing to the door to greet you when you get in from work - but that doesn't mean they don't exist.
  10. smallgrayfox

    smallgrayfox Contributing Member

    Ky-Lin comes close! She's stuck in her tank, but whenever I go over there, she comes over to the glass to see me, and if she thinks I'm taking off the top, she stretches up as far as she can to meet me there. :p

    The corns on the other hand act like they just wish I'd go away most of the time, even though they seem to enjoy checking out the refrigerator magnets, pictures on the wall, and the fish tank when I do have them out.

    I think reptiles certainly have feelings, and probably even bond with their owners, although it may be in a different way than with mammalian creatures. :)
  11. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    I put some might. I believe they can all feel pain, hunger, exhaustion, stress, etc. When it comes to emotion-type feelings, I think some do, but not all.
  12. Hide Clyde

    Hide Clyde Elite Member

    I voted yes because I do believe they have feelings. I don't exactly believe that their feelings are the same as ours. Except of course for Dundee! :p
  13. deltro_star

    deltro_star Elite Member

    I would have to say "Yes" My frogs have each have distintive personality and react to me differently some hop away every chance the get and some latch on to my hand as soon as I reach into their tank. This has to prove they have feelings and enough so to sense unfamiliar people like when my nephew (who I swear is the second coming of the Omen) comes close to my tanks the frogs get real edgey and nervous this also constitutes feelings.
  14. geckoguy14

    geckoguy14 Elite Member

    I doubt that many herps care about anything more than when their next meal is. Likewise, this question contributes to the overwhelming number of people that attempt to keep herps that are out of their experience level because of the simple white lie the petstore man told them "get it when it's young, and it'll grow up the love you!". The little gator just wants to bite the head off of that stupid human that is trying to hold it, but it's to small.......for now.

    I believe that herps can show a small range of feelings. It has been documented (by me :) ) that beardies seem to be in a better mood after they eat, or that some herps seem to mourn the loss of a companion they were housed with. Even though this range of emotions seems to be slim, that does not give us the right to underestimate these animals. They need all of the attention and love that a child needs IMHO.
  15. IggieZ.

    IggieZ. Elite Member

    I think that in some way they all have feelings, but to what extent I'm not sure of.

    Now with my Iggie, she has no problem showing her feelings or moods, she is what my mom has called "not a normal reptile". :rolleyes:

    After Iggie has her bath she knows its snuggle time and promptly gets right up under my chin, gives me kisses and we get settled in bed.

    OMG Shows how much I get out :eek:
  16. geckoguy14

    geckoguy14 Elite Member

    awww, you let your iggy sleep with you? that's so sweet
  17. jacky

    jacky Moderated Status

    I think that reptiles do have feelings,but not like we know it.But if they acted just on instinct,how'd you explain the diffrent personalities?! Or am I wrong?Sure it has to do with feelings.
  18. steel rip

    steel rip Elite Member

    Here's what I think..... you might think it sounds silly but....

    Just because they dont purr, meow, bark or even wag their tails doesnt mean they dont have feelings of some kind.

    My beardies for instance I can tell they favour me from other people they dont know so well just like my dogs do, they shows their emotions by going dark if someone else takes a hold of them, or by tail whipping,

    Ozzy will not entertain no one only his mummy :D he has got so fussy, if carly or someone goes to pick him up he wiggles away and runs up onto my shoulder, I think he feels safer there, I think their feelings are more to recognising and trusting people, and if they trust that person and see them everyday I think a bond is made, mostly on our part, but its there.

    I do think lizards get attatched to their owners to a degree, and would probably be sad for a few weeks if they had to live else where, thats why when we buy a new herp we give them a settling in period.

    I have a few snakes that are aggressive and they have known me all their lives, but they still bite me :eek: why would they have aggressive feeling towards someone who cares for them,

    They don't see it as caring for them, they are a private animal, but cause they can't hunt themselves we provide their heat, light, food, but they dont see it that way, there cage is there little home and they probably wonder why we live in such a close proximity, they dont know we brought them home to care for them, suppose its just like my landlord, if he came in to my house during the night I would be very angry and aggressive lol, and would probably knock him out.(I dont bite) so knock out would be better :D

    With snakes I think you just get the more placid or the more aggressive, parent traits probably, I think they have feelings towards hurt and hunger, and the urge to hunt, but I dont think there are any emotions towards a particular owner or cage mate, I will see...if misty doesnt turn up how Bruiser is, as they have been housed together all their lives.

    But to be honest, I dont think he has even noticed...
  19. Joe

    Joe Elite Member

    I don't think that reptiles have the ability to have 'conscious' feelings and by that I mean a feeling that is not imperative to their survival. Yes they can feel pain, hunger, threatened etc but all these are nessessary for their survival. Reptiles are primitive beings and IMO are not capable of conscious thought therefore do not feel the concious emotions such as compassion, sorrow, love, etc..

    So I answered no to the poll as I think Ryan was asking about the concious emotions, but to the general question of do they feel things then yes they do, but this is different to having feelings.
  20. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    I understand your point Joe, but then how would you explain something like a bearded dragon becoming lethargic, slight loss of appetite, searching, etc, for no health reason, but when a mate has been taken out of the enclosure. Do you think that they know a companion and miss them, or do you think that it's just human to interpret signs as that because it seems nice that they should have such feelings?
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