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Chahoua smarts

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  • Chahoua smarts

    Chahouas have the reputation to be very smart, so I am wondering what kind of behavior people are seeing in chahouas that sets them apart from, say, crested geckos.

    My chahoua Urmel is normally quite lazy and does not do much to justify the "smart" reputation :-). But yesterday he really impressed me. I was tong-feeding him roaches, and he dropped the first two from his perch at the top of a 40 in high tank all the way to the floor.
    He took his time to chew and swallow the third roach I had offered on the tongs, while he still sat at the top of his tank. Then he went after the second roach I had dropped, which was still in sight in the middle of the tank floor. He stalked his prey like a cat and caught it in one quick strike.

    This hunting behavior is one reason chahouas are considered pretty bright reptiles, but what really impressed me was that he remembered the first roach I dropped. Because that one had gotten into his little cave right after it fell down. So he first took care of the other two roaches (number two and three), then he walked over to his cave and sat outside and waited for roach number one to reappear. He did not go looking for other roaches after he had finished that one.

    So not only did he remember the first roach I dropped and where it went, he also appears to be able to count to three
    1.2.1 Crested Geckos "Jackson Pollock", "Pumpkin Spice", "Nibbler", "Keikishoku" 1.0.0 Chahoua "Urmel" 1.1 Red eared sliders "Freddy Krueger" (25 years) and "Mucki" (45 years) RIP Peppermint (Green Anole)

  • #2
    I had a male that I raised up. He was in a front glass slider that was made with fairly light glass doors. He learned to open the sliders by putting his front feet on the side wall and pushing the door with his back feet. I found him sitting on the top of the enclosure, for the first time, and thought I might have left it open on accident. He was sitting on top of the cage the next morning. I know it was closed when I left him that time. I ended up sitting across the room that night and watched him open it up. There must be some higher brain function going on in this species. I can't say for certain, but it appeared that this chahoua was able to learn and repeat the action. Staying on the enclosure and not running off was also an interesting behavior or an unusual coincidence.


    • #3
      Wow, I would not have expected a gecko to figure out how to open his tank! Urmel is in a sliding door tank as well, but the door slides vertically, so I doubt he is strong enough or sticks well enough to lift it *phew!*. However, I suspected for a while that he knows how the door opens, or at least that he has figured out what he needs to do to keep me out: just stick to the front door. I won't open it if he sticks to it, because I don't want his toes or tail to get pinched. He seems to strategically stick himself in the way whenever he is in no mood to be handled.
      1.2.1 Crested Geckos "Jackson Pollock", "Pumpkin Spice", "Nibbler", "Keikishoku" 1.0.0 Chahoua "Urmel" 1.1 Red eared sliders "Freddy Krueger" (25 years) and "Mucki" (45 years) RIP Peppermint (Green Anole)