Do BTS have feelings?

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Do blueys have feelings, and are they capable of love and hate?

Yes, they have as many feelings as us including love and hate.
10
20%
Yes, but not as many feelings as us and are not capable of love or hate
20
40%
Yes, but they are not capable of love
1
2%
Yes, but they are not capable of hate
2
4%
No, They are not capable of any feelings
0
No votes
No, they are only capable of very simple feelings such as excitement and fear
17
34%
 
Total votes: 50
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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby LarissaLurid » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:45 am

Scotts1au wrote:Good points Mel, actually after I wrote that I thought about shinglebacks pairing and joining up with each other each year. mmmmmm :thinking:



That was my first thought as well! Plus I've seen a documentary with such sad footage where one of the mates was killed and the other stood by its body mourning and nudging the other. :'[
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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby Fatal_S » Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:12 pm

Now let's flip it around and play devil's advocate.

At a time each year the shingles prepare to mate. Instinct has two parts: reproduce, and survive. Often, an animal will ignore survival in an attempt to reproduce (leave safe areas, waste energy, go into the open). So the instinct to reproduce outweighs everything else. The shingle finds a willing partner, and from then on will stay with that partner until reproduction is complete. So what we're seeing as a loving pair and mourning over a dead lover is simply the shingle obeying the stay-with-your-partner instinct for reproduction.

In this scenario, everything is instinct, not feelings. Behavior is ruled by chemicals, not emotions.

This is the more "scientific" standpoint (science hates anthropomorphism) but does that make it true?

This has been the devil's advocate. Peace out.
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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby Richard.C » Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:33 pm

spot on mel,partner hangs around because it still senses a cycling partner,female being killed,but do females hang around a male if hes passed away

they have territories that overlap,eg other males and females,so if they survive tend to pair back up each year,but if one dies they dont stop breeding,they find a new partner and cycle continues
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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby Jeff » Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:30 pm

If you're the devil's advocate Mel, then I guess I must be the devil.
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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby El Lobo » Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:56 pm

Fatal_S wrote:Now let's flip it around and play devil's advocate.

At a time each year the shingles prepare to mate. Instinct has two parts: reproduce, and survive. Often, an animal will ignore survival in an attempt to reproduce (leave safe areas, waste energy, go into the open). So the instinct to reproduce outweighs everything else. The shingle finds a willing partner, and from then on will stay with that partner until reproduction is complete. So what we're seeing as a loving pair and mourning over a dead lover is simply the shingle obeying the stay-with-your-partner instinct for reproduction.

In this scenario, everything is instinct, not feelings. Behavior is ruled by chemicals, not emotions.

This is the more "scientific" standpoint (science hates anthropomorphism) but does that make it true?

This has been the devil's advocate. Peace out.


When you state your position as being that of devil's advocate does that mean you are only presenting an argument for the sake of argument; or do you have commitment to the position so presented? If it is the latter then it cannot be described as being a devil's advocate (advocatus diaboli) as that is taken by a person who has no commitment to the contrary perspective; although Christopher Hitchens was requested to be devil's advocate against Mother Teresa's beatification. In light of insufficient scientific evidence to support either position and a reliance on anecdotal evidence subject to personal interpretation the whole Shingleback pairing debate is probably moot.
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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby Fatal_S » Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:03 pm

I am committed to the belief that humans do not know everything about everything, and that we have no right to decide one way or the other.

I enjoy debating and arguing either side, regardless of where my personal belief lies. I use the devil's advocate concept to introduce new topics to discuss, or to further the discussion by bringing in another point. I love debate and believe it to be a great way to open one's mind to all possibilities.

In this case, because my previous posts had been more anthro-centric, I played devil's advocate to myself to consider an instinct-driven POV. I personally believe that an instinct-only view is too limited, and that by modern science trying to push it out, we are limiting our ability to see truth. So basically, I am against being against anthropomorphism.
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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby El Lobo » Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:57 pm

Debating any topic should be conducted in a reasoned manner; unfortunately that is not the way with most fora as it rapidly degenerates to argument as to who is right and who is wrong. I don't agree with the contemporary interpretation of the term devil's advocate. It came into being as a means of confronting spiritual promotion within the Roman Catholic church used primarily as a test of faith and has now been abandoned since the 1980's I think. It is meant to be highly confrontational, so its invocation does not befit a forum such as this.

Alternatively, there is the concept enunciated in the principle of the triad; thesis, antithesis, synthesis, widely attributed to the German philosopher Hegel which may be more applicable as it is meant to be less confrontational.
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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby Jeff » Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:50 pm

Not to get too far off topic, but that is interesting information Norm. I did not realize the term "devil's advocate" had a history like that. I didn't realize it had anything to do with religion, and always assumed it actually meant that the person labeling themselves as D.A. actually believed the opposite of the position they were presenting, which is why they label those who actually believe that way, "devil" in a tongue-in-cheek way.

I never dreamed that the term could be offensive to anyone.
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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby El Lobo » Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:42 pm

I don't know if the term devil's advocate is offensive to anyone; it certainly isn't to me. My comments were only meant to be semantic as I took the view that the devil's advocate means of presenting an argument was, by definition, confrontational and adversarial and maybe not appropriate to this topic or other similar topics, where the more input benefits all. That is why I mentioned the Hegelian triad model whereby each opposing side of the argument is presented as thesis or antithesis and theoretically arrives at a synthesis by consensus. I think that sometimes discussions degenerate into 'I'm right and you're wrong' which I'm sure is a deterrent to a lot of members' participation, especially those new to the forum and/or BTS keeping.
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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby Fatal_S » Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:53 pm

I suppose my DA post was more of an alternate thesis or an antithesis. I don't believe there is any right answer, I just like to add new points to the discussion.
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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby Jeff » Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:16 pm

El Lobo wrote:...I took the view that the devil's advocate means of presenting an argument was, by definition, confrontational and adversarial and maybe not appropriate to this topic or other similar topics, where the more input benefits all...


I guess that is the part that is good to hear. I NEVER interpreted saying "let me be the devil's advocate" as confrontational in any way. Usually when someone says that, it is because there seems to be a consensus on a topic, and the person wants to promote further discussion on the topic. I just interpret it as a friendly way to say "What do you guys think about this position?".
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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby Lea » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:37 pm

Fatal_S wrote:Now let's flip it around and play devil's advocate.

At a time each year the shingles prepare to mate. Instinct has two parts: reproduce, and survive. Often, an animal will ignore survival in an attempt to reproduce (leave safe areas, waste energy, go into the open). So the instinct to reproduce outweighs everything else. The shingle finds a willing partner, and from then on will stay with that partner until reproduction is complete. So what we're seeing as a loving pair and mourning over a dead lover is simply the shingle obeying the stay-with-your-partner instinct for reproduction.

In this scenario, everything is instinct, not feelings. Behavior is ruled by chemicals, not emotions.

This is the more "scientific" standpoint (science hates anthropomorphism) but does that make it true?

This has been the devil's advocate. Peace out.



Is that the same kind of instinct that takes over a male human, down the pub on a Friday night, out on the "pull", as we say in England, looking for anything female to take home and mate with? Now, this is not something I have experienced for many years, having learned to steer clear of these hunting grounds, but is there really feeling or emotion involved in the advances of the eager male human, or that just pure instinct, too?

I would be inclined to say that for the most part, it's the latter ...
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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby Lea » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:46 pm

Going back to the subject of love. I have seen first hand the apparent mourning between two lizards, not just shinglebacks, but, in the wild, a bearded dragon, sitting by the side of the road, nudging and tugging at his partners lifeless body after shed been struck by a car. His head bobbed up and down,tail swished from side to side as he danced and tried desperately to rouse, or arouse, even, his girl. It was sad to watch! I mean really sad! It made me feel like crying for him, for his loss!

I couldn't presume to understand what he was really going through, what was in his head, but it certainly didn't look like stand-alone instinct or worry over whether he was going to get his oats again! It looked like heartache! But then, I do feel, I do have emotion and am capable of projecting my understanding of how I would feel if my partner were dead on the road, lifeless, on to this young male beardie.

I would like to think that what I saw was a kind of sadness brought through love ... I certainly felt for him!



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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby Lea » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:16 pm

Again, sorry!

But on this subject of love and emotion.

I used to have a young female shingleback, called lizzie. She died a while back now, but she left behind her best mate, nippy, who I still have.
Within in days of her death, Nippy changed from being a happy skink, a good eater and full of life, to pining himself almost to death! He used to follow lizzie everywhere! Be in her tail, so close that when she stopped walking, he'd literally walk right into her behind! He follow her all day, regardless of her apparent indifference, then sleep on her, under her or beside her, at night.

When she died, it was like part of him died, too, like his soul had been ripped out and he had no will to keep going.

Countless trips to the vet, vitamin injections, antibiotics, syringe feeding ... But he continued to be listless, almost lifeless. His weight went from just shy of a kilo, to under 350g! He was essentially dying, yet the vet had no explanation, there really seemed nothing at all wrong with him.

Then one day, in a sort of desperation, I guess, I put him in with my late little Estrella, an eastern who had failed to thrive her whole life and remained a teeny, fragile skink for her age. She seemed a willing companion, and although she spent most her life walking around with her eyes shut, seeming not to care who she shared with, Nippy perked up within days! He started to take interest in his surrounding, eat food and surprisingly, follow Estrella everywhere! It looked like he found his purpose again!

The story goes on, as he tried to do the same thing all over when she died, but thankfully, I had a whole pile of shinglebacks that he readily became mates with and his pining didn't last.

It's hard to believe that this would be just instinct. Having witnessed such an event, I could not attribute his behaviours to anything other than devotion, adoration and a simple kind of love, for his girl, lizzie.

We are all different,people argue, kiss, make up, fall out, gossip, love, hate and adore at all different levels. My cats do adore me, not just for the food! They curl up on me at night ... Oh and that isn't just for the heated blanket! They love cuddles and being picked up and fussed over. I'm certain this isn't born from instinct alone. Their suspicion of strangers and the way they run to stand being me for cover, shows their trust in my care and love for them.

Maybe we just can't understand the how of the way skinks and other lizards show each other emotion, because their understanding and interpretation of life is so different to ours to begin with. Their anatomy, physiology, their ground level eye view of the world. There is little comparison with the hows of how humans and skinks live, so interpreting their emotions and feelings is something we can suppose and only wonder at.
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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby Katrina » Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:06 pm

There is also a journal article on the occurrence of 'extra pair matings', I think they called it, in Rugosa. Basically, even though they form mated pairs it isn't unusual for the male to still try to mate with other females. I don't have the article saved on this computer unfortunately, but it makes it seem like forming these pairs is advantageous for reproduction but so is still trying to mate with as many females as possible... so this bond is more like Lea or Mel described, chemical / instinctual and advantageous rather than romantic or loving. :wink: I'd tend to agree with Mel - I don't know enough (and none of us know enough) to really understand what their 'feelings' are, but I'd be more inclined to think that it is largely instinctual. I'd think that is probably generally true for humans as well, as much as we'd like to think differently.
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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby El Lobo » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:37 pm

This may be the the article you were referencing Kat.

http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/conten ... l.pdf+html
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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby Richard.C » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:26 am

happens with alot of reptiles,its been found multiple males following the same scent trail left by a cycling female over several days,when a cycling female is killed,the scents still there,hence males hanfing around it,nudging,and in leas description of the male beardy bobbing and displaying

in captivity,males generally show no interest,then whammo only interested in the female/s then after a certain time back to normal when scent goes away

if it was love per say,they would constantly be paired,but its only during the spring that they do it,including hanging around a road killed partner

another thing to look at is what if a more dominant male comes looking,if he fights off normal partner,he takes over the pairing,even stumpies have a pecking order and just like captivity they are all individuals,so expect the unexpected to,lol

always good to keep an open mind,as they always do something different just to mix things up a bit,lol
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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby Linnea » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:39 pm

Im sorry richard, im going to use your statement for my little though here.....

"always good to keep an open mind,as they always do something different just to mix things up a bit,lol"

they really do a lot of surprising things every once in a while. sometimes REALLY illogical things. doesnt people usually do illogical things when
emotions of some sort are involved? especially when its a "rewarding" emotion, one where we chemically reward ourselves.

many animals are given the gift of curiosity, skinks included, but surely there is emotional gain in discovering new things, rather than just being an evolutionary trait, or we wouldnt feel like seeing it. that is a happy emotion too, that little kick we feel.
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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby Abrimel » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:55 pm

While I'm not certain that they have love or hate, I do agree that they feel instinctual pulls. Such as the need to mate, eat, fear, aggression, ect. But to a certain extent all animals do. When humans are afraid with often lash out (fight) or tend to run away or avoid things (flight). Is that a feeling or an instinct? Its very hard to determine with reptiles what is what. I know that my snakes cannot hear me, but my favored ball python Lovely will come to the top of the tank when I open the lid and is eager to crawl out onto my arm and settle into my shirt. Is it because I'm warm? Probably, or it could just be a nice change of scenery for her. Even after a feed she is quite eager to settle on me.

Now my beardy for example, he is affectionate, or so I like to believe. He comes right when I call him, skittering across the carpet like a mad-lizard to crawl on my legs and get a nice scratching. Is it because it feels good and helps circulate blood or beacause he actually enjoys it? Hard to say since he's not spoiled with treats outside of his bowl I know its not because of that.

The Bluey I cared for, for about a month and a half was rather 'affectionate' as some would say. I would open her enclosure and she was quite eager to come out and explore for a bit and would then curl up between my legs or on my chest when I held her and fall asleep. She liked to be pet and would dell* her head just so to make sure I got under her chin. While my roommate on the other hand, she did not like at all and would hiss and display her tongue. We are the same size, around the same skin tone, and both reptile lovers. Why did she like me better? Could be the fact I fed her...or it could be something about my roommate upset her. I'm not really sure what to think and honestly I don't think humans have a right to decide whether or not another animal has feelings as we must remember we are animals ourselves.
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Re: Do BTS have feelings?

Postby Richard.C » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:55 pm

i dont think its something anyone can decide,more stabbing in the dark i guess,alot of what is said in science is taken as fact,but theres always differences of oppinion,and animals are all individuals

threads like this are good,as u see varying opinions on the subject

back to wild studies,something that bothers me,theres a study being done in australia,or was done,on lace monitors,they trapped them,bagged them,measured weighed them ect ect,then glued gps trackers in like back packs on there backs.

studying there movements ect,but with the results,can we take them in?

the stress of being trapped,man handled and something chunky glued to there backs then released,do they behave the same as if none of that happened,sure they may settle in time,but studyers are tracking them,recapturing ect ect and back oacks only last till they shed,so not a long time frame

we are always learning,nothing is set in concrete,always good to keep an open mind

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