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Do Reptiles Love?

Discussion in 'General' started by godzuki777, Apr 14, 2007.


do reptiles love or grow attached to humans?

Poll closed Apr 13, 2008.
  1. yeah

    32 vote(s)
  2. no

    10 vote(s)
  3. i never thought about it

    4 vote(s)
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  1. godzuki777

    godzuki777 Elite Member

    do reptiles love or grow attached to humans?
  2. nicole

    nicole Elite Member

    I think it all depends on the reptile. I am not so sure they love but they definately know who is kind to them and who is not. They also learn who brings them their salad.
  3. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member


    I had to say yes to this. My thinking is along the lines of attachment. Not all animals exhibit the ability to show affection. I do believe some reptiles have the ability to bond with their owners. Developing the trust associated with socializing an iguana for instance is a good display of building a bond. Do they love you, maybe. Who can really tell?

    Some iguanas will fancy only one owner and become protective of "their" property. Is that love? Could be.

    I think it is possible, but listing the species that have the mental capacity to do so would be the far greater challenge!
  4. bobmac

    bobmac Member

    I don't think it depends on the species rather than it depends on the personality.

    I have kept many different species of reptiles, and over the years have rescued well over a hundred different iguanas. I've kept one for about seven or eight years now and I have watched go from the most aggressive nasty animal one could imagine.

    After several years work, this animal, not only loves me, but needs me more than any mammal I have ever kept. As an example today I put him out on the dock to enjoy some of the spring time sunshine. I got busy and forgot he was out there. This is a huge no-no in the Reptile field. But Pat Dog found me in the body shop some 30 or 40 minutes later and grabbed a hold of the back of my leg. He still in breeding season and has for several years now decided that I am his mate. Trust me, I don't feel I display any kind of feminine qualities.

    I keep several reptiles that showed different levels of affection. Without a doubt, this nine-year-old 17 pound, extremely abused in early life ig want to truly loves me and needs me.

    I have heard from many people over the years about different species that have reacted the same way. Just as genetics will determine many factors about an animal's health and growth, personality will also reflect its ability to show affection or not.

    Dr. Gordon Burghardt who was one of the primary editors of the addition of iguanas of the world, and who has thankfully become an associate and friend of mine, teaches at the University of Tennessee. If you'd like to google his name. You will find his website. He has more published articles on reptiles than anyone I have ever met, and it seems to be less known than many of the names thrown around today.

    His specialty is "play" and teaches college courses on just this subject. And I'm not talking about play with children or mammals, but by observation. The ability of reptiles to play.

    Because of different personalities, and because so few people have had the ability to observe many different reptiles of the same species, many will think that the ability of reptiles to play or love, may be insignificant.

    The truth is that many can show deep love and devotion.

    When it comes to reptiles. Please trust me in that one size never fits all.

    Whether or not anyone reads this is insignificant, but regardless is a fact.

  5. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    What a great read Bob,,,,,I guess what it all boils down to is how our herps can be so tame with one family member and so aggresive with the next (Dom know this with his son) They attach to what they are comfortable with. Is that love ??? who knows,,,,,but it aint hate.
  6. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

    It's all perspective.

  7. cyclops23

    cyclops23 Member

    i guess i don't know what to think. i've certainly kept a slew of reptiles, and each did have their own distinct personality. i started with 2 collared lizards in high school, and they were very tame when i first got them. the biggest of the two was always nice, the smaller one got increasingly aggressive over time. i currently only have 1 snake, a almost 7 year old(can't believe i've had him for so long!) Childrens python. he likes to roam his 40g breeder, and isn't intimidated by me, my girlfriend, or our 2 dogs, but is pretty shy when someone else is over. i don't handle him nearly as much as i should, so i can't really be sure about love one way or the other. he'll bite if i try and take him out bare handed, but if i put on a glove, docile. if i manage to get him out bare handed, he's fine as soon as he's out of the pen. i've even brought him in to my girlfriends class(1st graders), and gave a talk about reptiles while holding him. kinda hard to tell with him.
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I don't know that I would actually classify it as love as we know it. Its very easy for us to anthropmorphosize behaviors when it comes to our pets. We tend to project their behavior into what shape makes sense to our way of thinking. I will admit that the trust and socialization that is shown by species that by all rights should rip us up at every opportunity is amazing. We want to think that they return our feelings of affection for them and I think to a certain extent that they do. Is it love as such? Or is it just a learned behavior based on being treated with care and respect? I think that a dog loves you and you can kick them and abuse them and they keep coming back for more. I don't think you would get the same result with a reptile. I do know that reptiles recognize individual humans, bond with us, and often will bond more so with one member of a household than another. Exactly what this involves in their minds is anyone's guess .

    Except maybe a Pet psychic!:rolleyes:

    Thats a joke folks!;)
  9. nicole

    nicole Elite Member

    hey I know a good one:D The same one that told someone else that King Arthur was not happy because he needed to be on green felt:D Remember the blind old rat snake with cataracts in his eyes:D
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Yeah I have ran across a few that made me do a serious eye roll!
    One of them kept telling me that my iguana was talking to her telepathically. And she kept referring to my decidedly female iguana as a he!
    You'd think that Zok would have corrected her!
  11. Typhanie

    Typhanie Elite Member

    I think this goes back to whether or not they have emotions. Reptiles just don't have that capability. They can grow to trust you in a sense - because they know you bring them food and water and you haven't harmed them so they eventually stop seeing you as a danger. They sometimes do get attached to a person in the way that they get attached to their habitat or cage mates - in that they hate change and automatically see any new caregiver as an enemy. But a true emotional attachment to a person or even another reptile is beyond them.

    I think because we love them, when they come to us without fighting, or to share our body warmth, we want to veiw it as though they love us too.
  12. Tha3rdman

    Tha3rdman Elite Member

    Love is purely a Humanic emotion, attributing human like emotion to non-humans is anthropomorphism. It's nice to think that your reptile/dog/cat "loves" but they do not, that's not to say they don't have an affinity toward the hand that feeds and protects, but love no.

    The real question is do we love, or is it just varing degrees of affection, as we age our individual definition of love develops, what what exactly love is if left to individual interpretation.
  13. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    I vote yes... although I don't think reptiles "love" us in the same way we love them, I think they do learn to recognise their owners. Many of our animals show signs of recognition and this is most easily seen when another person visits us, whom the reptile isn't familar with, and acts differently with.

    I think we, as humans, like to give our animals, emotions that we understand but that they don't necessarily have, but I do think they have more emotions than some humans give them credit for.

    I like to think my babies love me anyway... :)
  14. Marcel_h

    Marcel_h Member

    I dont think that my animals love me, they see me as the big hairy thing that brings them food and clean their mess up.
  15. Lucysfriend

    Lucysfriend Elite Member

    omg I just loved that video! It reminded me of the prehensile-tailed skink I used to have years ago, Guido he was soooo much fun.
    He was just huge...but a big sweety.
    I voted yes. But it all depends upon the reptile. Lucy definaletly loves it when I am around her but she barely tolerates anyone else. I think its trust with her cause she was so abused before I got her.
    They really know who takes care of them.
    But its not love like we humans love.
    Its reptile love LOL
  16. barnkat

    barnkat Elite Member

    I voted yes. My reptiles show individual personalities and different likings for people and things. I know they are not considered that way by many people, but it's my opinion. Once had a pet store owner tell me women are the only ones who feel that way about their reps, because it's a "girly thing" to give feelings to animals. btw, several of the reps he had absolutely hated him. They all got removed in a state raid on illegal reptile trading anyway.
  17. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    Serves him right. I beleive Reptile's can feel some level of affection, Maybe even love, however love is a human word, i think non-human animals would consider attatchment love. How many stories are there of animals risking, or giving there life to protect a human, All animals feel the need to survive, any animal capable of giving that up indefinitly feels love, be it in a different sort of way. I dont know if id say reptiles love, but I think its safe to say reptiles Can love.
  18. maligirl

    maligirl Elite Member

    My mali's love me ...................:D
  19. dragonmage

    dragonmage Elite Member

    I think they definitely know and trust the ones that care for them. LOVE well i think thats what we want to think but not sure if any animal feels love the way humans do. But i do know they love the attention and affection that we give.
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