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The Newt Mind

This is a discussion on The Newt Mind within the Newt and Salamander Help forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; How smart are newts? Do you think they recognize what's going on outside their tank, who you are, etc? What ...

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Old 30th November 2007   #1 (permalink)
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Question The Newt Mind

How smart are newts? Do you think they recognize what's going on outside their tank, who you are, etc? What do you think the limits are to your newts understanding of the world around them?
I swear my newt knows when I'm in the room, when I come home and sit on my bed he/she(??) trots (yes, my newt trots) over to my side of the tank without fail and seems to "stare" out the glass. We've had a lot of seeming interactions and I don't know what to think of it ... I know the temptation to project human qualities onto other species is hard to resist, but sometimes in spite of my distaste for those inclinations ... I can't help but wonder. What is my newt thinking?



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Old 1st December 2007   #2 (permalink)
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Many newt species quickly learn to associate people with food, and I am sure that this is what is happening in your case. You are wise to not assign anthropomorhic qualities to your animal (a fairly common type of post here). Sometimes I think of various individuals in my Tylototriton groups as having more outgoing personalities than others however that is probably too much of an assumption. I think that some individuals lose their fear of us more so than others again because we feed them. Besides eating, breeding, and predator escape behavior I'm not sure if newts "think" otherwise.
Chip



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Old 1st December 2007   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Foster,
Whenever you say that, I always think you mean ME...
But anyway, children's storybooks are FULL of anthropomorphic references to animals, so, better get used to them!
I think those types of stories help instill the idea of compassion for other species, and to all different forms of life.

And whenever Eddie and Elektra (Tylos, coincidentally) come to the glass, as they often do when I walk by, I know it's because they want me to read them another bed-time story!



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Old 1st December 2007   #4 (permalink)
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Dawn you are exactly who I am referring to (can't make the smiley face emoticon work) and I definitely plan on enjoying childrens stories with my kid. I'll promoise to wait until the kid is at least five before I tell him/her that there is no Santa Clause! Seriously though, I think that it would be an interesting experiment to see if certain individual newts could actually distinguish their keepers from other people. I have read antecdotal accounts of this happening with other herps (bearded dragons).
Chip



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Old 1st December 2007   #5 (permalink)
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I know what you mean, somedays I come home from work, sit down with mary and me and the newts share a moment...

its ok to be anthropomorphic about them as long as it doesn't replace or hinder rationale and science,,,



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Old 1st December 2007   #6 (permalink)
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I think that food most probably is the motivation behind the way newts stare at their owners my firebellied newts line up along the filter and stare at me if im late in feeding them ( they usually get fed around 8pm each night and i swear they can tell if im 10 minutes late all 6 of them are at the glass staring at me).



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Old 1st December 2007   #7 (permalink)
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I know the difference between thinking anthropomorphically and acting that way. This means that in my head I think of them as individuals/people, but I don't carry this over into practice, by say, kissing them and taking them for car rides and even stuff you'd (I'd) do to a cat. Maybe it's my non-science background (more than just literature, my specialty was folklore, where frogs talk and fish grant wishes, and this type of thinking is really ingrained in me, moreso than nursing, which is just a way to make a living).
So I'll talk to them and about them like people, but please try to be OK with it, it's not unwise, it's just another way of thinking...until I start telling you about how they answer.

Santa Claus? In my house, The Great Ebony Otter delivers the presents!




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Old 2nd December 2007   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by otterwoman View Post
moreso than nursing, which is just a way to make a living).

I'll second that.

Santa Claus? In my house, The Great Ebony Otter delivers the presents!
I'll leave that one alone. Go and take your medicine now Dawn.
Chip


(Sorry for straying off topic)



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Old 2nd December 2007   #9 (permalink)
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Talking

The Great Ebony Otter..



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