First question......Smell?

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by Whiskers, Apr 29, 2014.

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  1. Whiskers

    Whiskers New Member

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    So I warned you all I may throw a lot of questions so here is my first. I read a lot about snakes and their sense of smell so I hope this isn't my imagination hence why I'm asking. I have one scented hand wash in the bathroom and different one in the kitchen. I THINK I notice a difference in my snake seeming calmer, don't know how else o say it but as calmer, when I use the one in the bathroom. Is this possible or me putting a human spin on 'reading' my snake's mood/behaviour???
     
  2. Cypher69

    Cypher69 Well-Known Member

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    I would honestly think it's your human perspective or "spin"....but just to entertain the question, how do you see your snake's mood changing to the different scents?
    And what's its usual behaviour that you notice it being calmer?

    Oh hell I'll ask...ok so what's the different fragrances?
     
  3. Whiskers

    Whiskers New Member

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    Um okay, when I use the bathroom hand soap (milk and honey) my snake moves slowly between my fingers and is more inclined to stay just on my hand and fingers. When I use the anti bacterial one in the kitchen, my snake moves around far more and further up my arm away from my fingers. As it's a spotted hatchling and we're both getting used to each other, I haven't tested it out with anyone else using the soaps to see if it reacts the same.
     
  4. Cypher69

    Cypher69 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it's more of a reaction to the chemicals in the anti-bacterial soap considering it sounds like it wants to get away from your fingers...?
     
  5. connorw

    connorw New Member

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    I would assume it would be because the hand sanitizer takes the top coat of oil of the skin exposing a more "natural" smelling hand then the bathroom soap that would coat the hand. But I'm in no way an expert
     
  6. Jacknife

    Jacknife Very Well-Known Member

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    Try a lavender and rose bath, will calm you and your snake right down.
     
  7. Tigerlily

    Tigerlily Active Member

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    I'm a sucker for yummy fragrances, bodywash, hand soap etc. Many moons ago when I lived overseas I had a ball python that was a bit shy. I definitely noticed differences in behaviour depending on whether I used a strong antibacterial handwash or a milder soap! If the soap I used was my regular antibacterial mango one, it would flinch from my offered hand and prefer to turn around in the opposite direction instead of climbing on. Also I noticed that if I didn't wash my arms as well, it wouldn't climb up further than my hands (I'm talking about having the snake out of the tank already and handling it, letting it choose where to go) - it would flick its tongue at my arm, then backtrack to my hands. I'm 90% sure it could smell my other pets on my arms because as soon as I started washing them too, it got much more confident and happy to crawl on me.

    This is coming from someone who hasn't properly handled a snake in years; I so rarely get to handle my tree snake and I'm counting down the hours until I can handle my new hatchie so please take it with a grain of salt but I will definitely be using a natural, mildly fragranced cocoa butter hand soap and washing up to my elbows while I get him used to me. I think it also helps to use the same soap every time... just my own personal experience :)
     
  8. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    There is no doubt that snakes have a very acute sense of smell. It has been demonstrated that they can follow a pheromone trail in excess of one kilometre. They can follow the scent trail left by an envenomed prey running full bore to escape, until it ultimately drops dead. If you have python latch hold of you, the quickest way to get it to release is to place a cotton bud soaked in a strong smelling substance, such as methylated spirits or Listerine mouth wash, under its nostrils.

    Based on the above facts it is just about guaranteed that snakes can distinguish between different volatile odours associated with hand washes and find some more tolerable than others as a result of the transduction of the volatile molecules (sensing of them). The snake’s reactions may be in response to the nature of the molecule transduced or the concentration of the particular molecule or a combination of both.


    In simple terms, snakes may like or dislike a given scented hand wash because of the actual smell or as a result of how strong the smell is.


    Blue

     
  9. Not a lot of use putting it near the snake's nostrils, since snakes primarily use the tongue and Jacobson's organs situated in the roof of the mouth to smell things. Metho, Listerine or even vinegar on a cotton bud and dabbed onto the gums will will get the response you need remove it from your hand or arm (or neck if you can get to the metho in time :))!

    Jamie
     
  10. Whiskers

    Whiskers New Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys I feel a little better knowing my imagination wasn't running wild. As for metho it was the first thing my nan used to grab and put on any cuts or abrasions we had as kids, it hurt like hell but it will 'kill the germs' was her ready reply. The small alone makes the sting like hell memories return and fonder memories of my nan and it's any wonder a snake would want to escape the odour of it. So yes will probably try and use the same soap each time when handling my little mate Zero.
     
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