So, I recently noticed this behavior, and it got me thinking:

I have an albino corn snake, which I have had for most of it's life. I only feed it dead, thawed pinkies and I don't know what the previous owners fed it (though since they fed it only once a month).
My observation is that the snake does not constrict the thawed pinkies ever, it just swallows them. All my past corn snakes constricted their food, dead or alive. Do you think that the snake has "learned" it doesn't need to constrict its food? I don't think it has anything to do with captive bred v. wild caught. It was just something I noticed, and being a herper and having a biology degree, thought it was interesting. Anybody else have comments or thoguhts, or have observed similar behavior in their herps?
Greg
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So, I recently noticed this behavior, and it got me thinking: I have an albino corn snake, which I have ... degree, thought it was interesting. Anybody else have comments or thoguhts, or have observed similar behavior in their herps? Greg

I believe you're right. I have a captive bred Honduran milksnake who has supposedly never seen a live rodent in it's life, it's about 7-8 years old. He just sneaks up on his pray and wraps his lips around it. Sometimes if I feel like teasing him with a rodent to see if he'll strike, he just uses one coil to mash it up against the wall, then stares at me like "just what in tarhooties is going on here???" He'll hold it against the wall for a couple of seconds, then just drops it and slithers around to eat it.
I have a couple of others (a cornsnake, ratsnake, and kingsnake) who don't constrict their dead prey, but still put on a huge feeding show... tail-rattling, striking at the sides of the feeding box if I walk by or get too close... hhehehe never fails to crack me up.

Then I've got my silly rosy boa and children's pythons who has to have their prey heated up and wiggled so they can strike, constrict like crazy, and spend 15 minutes "killing" their dead prey... I wonder if they'll ever catch on.
To me, it's pretty much one more example of how my colubridae seem smarter than my boidae. I have many examples of such, but my experience with keeping and rehabbing boidae is pretty much limited to rosy boas, children's pythons, ball pythons, and my borneo short tail...

fr0glet
My observation is that the snake does not constrict the thawed pinkies ever, it just swallows them. All my past ... biology degree, thought it was interesting. Anybody else have comments or thoguhts, or have observed similar behavior in their herps?

My Boa constrictor doesn't bother to constrict any more. In fact, he hardly bothers striking. Just moseys up to the rat after an hour or so and swallows it. He was the most aggressive feeder imaginable when he was a baby. Now it seems he can't be bothered.
Of course snakes can "learn" as you put it. Neither of my Corn snakes will constrict, unless the mouse isn't quite dead yet. Never on f/t. My big Boa has never struck or constricted any food item in her life, that I know of. I got her fairly young, and I know she hasn't since then. The previous owner also fed only f/t. or fresh killed. I have kept wild caught Black Ratsnakes, and Eastern Kingsnakes than would just swallow down a dead mouse with no constricting.

My huge Reticulated Python would do the same with rabbits...if I could manage to get the dead rabbit in her enclosure without her seeing it move! If she caught me sneaking it in, she would hit it and constrict. Spooky at times! LOL! Actually the only snake I now keep that just refuses to eat without constricting, is my innocent little Kenyan Sand Boa. He insists on live prey, and got his nickname "Grabboid" from the movie Tremors..he reminds me of those as he explodes from under the substrate and grabs his meal.

I do have a young Redtail Boa now that I have to be careful with when feeding. If he smells rat, he strikes at anything that moves. A pussycat otherwise, if I can get the rat in un-noticed, he just swallows it down.
Snakes are masters at conserving energy. Or can be. They usually learn whether it is neccessary to constrict or not, and if not, they don't do it. Emphasis on the word "usually"..lol.
Roger
So, I recently noticed this behavior, and it got me thinking: I have an albino corn snake, which I have ... degree, thought it was interesting. Anybody else have comments or thoguhts, or have observed similar behavior in their herps? Greg

My corns will constrict if i move the mouse. if they find, it they just start eating . My Red Tail that had only eaten live since before i got her she is going on 25. Has recently decided she will eat F/T and acts like the rat is one she had just killed herself , she just starts swallowing once she finds it. When she was Young she wouldn't eat a rat if she dropped it after killing it, if it wasn't moving she would ignore it, even though it was just killed and it was still warm.
So, I recently noticed this behavior, and it got me thinking: I have an albino corn snake, which I have ... biology degree, thought it was interesting. Anybody else have comments orthoguhts, or have observed similar behavior in their herps? Greg

Both of my garter snakes have learned what days I feed them, as well as if I have food or not. Don't ask me how. I feed them every friday, and I never see them until it is Friday. They both sit at the front of their enclosures, waiting for food. (with noses pressed against the glass)

None of my other snakes do this, although some of my others have learned when I open the enclosure I have food-so I have to be very careful reaching in the cages, and use a hook for safety.
So, I recently noticed this behavior, and it got me thinking: I have an albino corn snake, which I have ... degree, thought it was interesting. Anybody else have comments or thoguhts, or have observed similar behavior in their herps? Greg

I had a clutch of amelanistic corns hatch this summer, and I never saw a single one constrict their pinkies. Even when I fed live. They just mosey up and start swallowing. On the other hand, my boss's baby sand boas squeeze the heck out of their food. I think that how long they have been bred in captivity does factor into it, as well as type of snake. (Both of my boas are dumb as dirt.)
Jennifer
So, I recently noticed this behavior, and it got me thinking: I have an albino corn snake, which I have ... pinkies and I don't know what the previous owners fed it (though since they fed it only once a month).

How old is this corn snake? I'd imagine an adult from what you have written, and you are still feeding pinkies?!?! :-0

All my adult corns take large mice or weaner rats and even my 7 mth old hatchlings are onto fluffs now. Maybe you should look at the size of prey you are feeding and adjust appropriately. If the snake has been fed prey that is too small, don't suddenly jump to a larger size or you may end up with it being regurgitated. Do it gradually over the course of a few weeks. The average rule of thumb is to feed a prey size that is one and half times the girth of your snake.
My observation is that the snake does not constrict the thawed pinkies ever, it just swallows them. All my past ... biology degree, thought it was interesting. Anybody else have comments or thoguhts, or have observed similar behavior in their herps?

It may all depend on how they were started as hatchlings. Out of the 2 I have left, one was an assist-feeder until a few weeks ago so she has to have her fluff placed in a dark place and she'll sneak up and just eat it, whereas the other was a strike feeder right from the very first feed and has continued to strike and coil her food everytime since.

Two of my adult corns are strike and coil feeders and the other one I just place the rat on top of his hide and he'll poke his head out and grab it, taking it back into the privacy of his hide to eat.

My red-tail boa has never struck at or constricted her rats in the time I've had her. I lay them in her viv and she will eventually decide to come and have a sniff and down the hatch they go. The same with my Brazilian rainbow boa too.
The dumbest two snakes I seem to have are a western hognose and a Mexican black kingsnake. Neither of these like having prey dangled in front of them and will back off and hide, and leaving them in the viv or feed box they often go ignored too. Neither of these snakes has eaten in several weeks now, but that may be down to the time of year too so I'm not excessively worried yet, although the kingsnake did accept a very small mouse a couple of weeks ago in an attempt to kickstart his metabolism again, but refused his dinner again last week :\
I had a clutch of amelanistic corns hatch this summer, and I never saw a single one constrict their pinkies. ... think that how long they have been bred in captivity does factor into it, as well as type of snake.

Yeah, Corns aren't considered true constrictors... ...right?
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