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Negator
06-10-2008, 11:21 AM
How smart they are? i mean crocodile-like - pure instincts and nothing else, or they actually can recognize different humans, act creatively etc? I wll be thankful if someone would provide some stories of their geckos behavior in support of their cleverness\stupidity.

Ingo
06-11-2008, 03:47 AM
Depends on how you define smart. Of course they do have a reptilian brain and follow the restrictions of this.
So they will never feel befriended to their owner, play or love handling.
But still they have some amazing abilities. Above all, they learn to know each other personally and devlop a stron pair bond. If a female of a bonded pair dies, the male searxches and calls endlessly for her. Even if a nice replacemtn female is made available. Also they obviously remember "tokay faces" for a long time as I conclude from their behaviour after withdrawal of cagemates and reintroduction of the same sepcimen after several years.
Also they can learn to soem extent to differentiater between "known" and "unknown" humans independent from their respective clothing.

audio
06-16-2008, 01:47 AM
i've found that if you pet them when you hold them they eventually find that enjoyable, but they still don't really know how to react. mine would perk it's head up to enforce my petting it, but then later it would go back to running/biting

i'd say it's mostly instinct, and very defensive instinct at that

Ingo
06-16-2008, 01:51 AM
Nice case of anthropomorphistic interpretation of stress behaviour.
Tokays are not equipped to "enjoy" petting.
They can learn to tolerate it, but it will stay a stressfull procedure with no benefit at all for the animal.

Ingo

audio
06-16-2008, 02:34 AM
.....what???

just politely say i was wrong, damn

'stoph
06-16-2008, 04:09 AM
The fact both parents will protect their eggs/offspring is interesting as well.

audio
06-16-2008, 02:04 PM
i think that'd just be instinctive though, they don't know not to damage the eggs

invertkurt
08-05-2008, 11:44 PM
There's no reason why reptiles can't enjoy things. Technically speaking, birds are reptiles and many birds are as smart or smarter than most mammals. Some invertebrates are also incredibly smart. I can't speak on gecko intelligence, but turtles and some lizards may be roughly as smart as many small mammals. Any social animal has some level of 'smarts'. The big problem with discussing animal intelligence is that you can't just ask them. I have personally experienced anecdotal evidence that turtles recognize their owners and consider them part of their social group. I have also seen certain lizards recognize sounds, sights, and smells and connect them to positive experiences.

But as far as a tokay gecko goes... It probably falls somewhere above non-social reptiles and below highly social reptiles. So... Smarter than a worm snake but not as smart as a giant land turtle or an alligator.

cw777
04-18-2014, 02:44 PM
My Tokay Gecko either likes me and/or is fascinated by movement and her environment. At night (she is noctrunal) she sits in her terrarium and stares through the glass at me, seeming to focus on my eyes. If I move my feet, she looks there. She also likes watching television, obviously fascinated by the color and movement. My late wife used to half-jokingly say that Flappy's favorite program was Animal Planet.
It sure seems that Flappy recognizes individuals - Lisa could pick her up and pet her, but Flappy will only let me move her to the other side of the cage, gets squirmy if I try to lift her out. She is one of the rare Tokays that eventually became tame. Can Tokays connect in some way to humans? It sure seems so.

billewicz
04-23-2014, 07:40 PM
My Tokay Gecko either likes me and/or is fascinated by movement and her environment. At night (she is noctrunal) she sits in her terrarium and stares through the glass at me, seeming to focus on my eyes. If I move my feet, she looks there. She also likes watching television, obviously fascinated by the color and movement. My late wife used to half-jokingly say that Flappy's favorite program was Animal Planet.
It sure seems that Flappy recognizes individuals - Lisa could pick her up and pet her, but Flappy will only let me move her to the other side of the cage, gets squirmy if I try to lift her out. She is one of the rare Tokays that eventually became tame. Can Tokays connect in some way to humans? It sure seems so.

For the most part, you are observing their hunting behavior. They are laser focused on movement. They also have a feeding response to sounds, like me banging the crickets out of the plastic pitcher, and smell, like the smell of the crickets and especially of the dusting powder. They could care lerr about me other than the fact I bring food. And so they watch, and watch, and watch.

Kita
06-11-2014, 08:56 AM
Tokays can learn how to wedge open sliding glass tank doors, which I have experienced personally and this individual was able to video his doing so.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc8mLlaM4SI

They do recognize common handlers by smell/licking as well.

billewicz
06-11-2014, 11:55 AM
Pushing the slider open is awesome! I've left door latches unlocked by accident and they will test the door to see if it will open. Once out, I've left their enclosure door open and found them back inside by morning, sitting in their usual hiding place.

Aimless
06-11-2014, 02:58 PM
completely cool.

and I'm firmly convinced that they're smarter than most of the other geckos I've kept or known.

the egg thing was posted a long time ago, but in my mind guarding the eggs and offspring is more like intelligence and less like instinct. many gecko species cannibalize eggs and/or babies.

Aimless
06-11-2014, 02:59 PM
the question is, do they behave the same toward another pair's eggs or hatchlings? wouldn't that be an interesting thing to test?

billewicz
06-11-2014, 04:58 PM
Female Tokay will eat the eggs from another unrelated female. Males will eat any hatchling that is not his.

Communal nesting has been observed in the wild, and in my reptile rooms. I usually have a loose male in each room to clean-up escaped crickets. In one room I had a trio of sibling females escape their enclosure. Some months later we had hatchling running all over the place. I discovered their egg laying site which had over 50 eggs. Some had already hatched obviously. When I revisited the site from time to time, any one of the females or the male and one of the females were on either side of the multi-rows of eggs.

Conversely, over the years I',e tried a couple of different unrelated females in a room and in large enclosures and they have always eaten each others' eggs.

Also, if you have a freshly paired female lay eggs that were from held sperm due to a previous breeding by another male, the new male will eat the hatchling.

Aimless
06-12-2014, 01:36 PM
thank you for the detailed information! yes, I'd say that's beyond mere instinct. I can see evolutionary advantage, of course, but that's a very subtle series of interactions.

zuper8
06-20-2014, 04:31 PM
I loved going through this thread and seeing what experienced keepers say. Because for me, this is the first reptile I have ever interacted with, and I am learning new things about her every day. Definitely a thinking creature. I can see her rationalize things.

I have also observed a Pavlovian response to me pumping the pressure mister. When I am pumping the mister, I am planning to open the side door and mist the enclosure. She will march right on over to where the door opens waiting for the inevitable (wanting out of course). She responds to the visual, as well as the sound alone when I purposely hide myself from her view.

She's always watching me, even if I'm just laying perfectly still in bed watching a movie. She sits right out in the open and just stares at me lol! It's really cute, and I wonder why, since there is no movement coming from me. She's also not making any effort to conceal herself.

Also, sometimes she will wait by the door in case I might open it. When I do, she walks up a vine that I have slanted by the door, gets really close to my face, and licks to smell me. She will also sometimes look right at my face, licking her upper jaw in front repeatedly. I wonder what this means? I have actually tried to imitate these behaviors, and she will do it back. Sometimes when I imitate her, she gets really interested and gets even closer to my face. A very brave animal, and she at least has the mental facilities to significantly alter her former view of humans as predators.

billewicz
06-20-2014, 05:05 PM
:biggrin:Pavlovian yes. Licking is a sign they are too dry. I suspect she is anticipating the misting. Watching is how they hunt. She's looking for movement.

I'm glad you are enjoying your Tokay interaction.:biggrin:

zuper8
06-20-2014, 08:59 PM
she definitely doesn't like it when I mist her directly, she tries to avoid it. She rarely drinks in front of me. She does try to walk out the door when I open it.

How come she is watching my head for extended periods when I am producing no movement? Is she hunting me? If she can tell it's me when I'm opening her cage, I'm pretty sure she could tell it's me 7 feet away in the bed. I just don't understand why she is fixated on my motionless head when she is supposed to be "hunting" meaning looking for movement.

and yes she is a delightful creature. never imagined I would get this much enjoyment out of the experience.

billewicz
06-20-2014, 09:24 PM
She could also be making sure you're not going to eat her. Her instinct is to consider a larger 'animal', as predator. (And no, I'm not insinuating that you are either.;-))

And you are still the food provider. So some association with your face and presence means possibly getting fed.

Riverside Reptiles
06-20-2014, 10:27 PM
I find them to be pretty high on the gecko scale of intelligence. But still, geckos in general are a pretty basic life form and live a pretty simplistic life. As for Aimee's question about how they deal with other tokays eggs/babies, I have a trio of tokays (1.2) in a very large enclosure with lots of hides, etc. They have lived together for probably 10 years or so now. THey all get along just fine. However, when it comes to eggs, the females almost always eat each others eggs. On a very rare occasion some will get overlooked and end up hatching out. But mostly they are gone before I ever even see them. I only know that they lay eggs regularly because I see the spots where they were glued. Every now and then (maybe once a year), I'll actually come across a baby that happened to make it and I'll remove it right away.

bad_attitude
07-06-2014, 10:24 PM
My female tokay learned to recognize me. She trained me to feed her when I was anywhere near her tank by coming over to me, wiggling her head, and licking her lips. She never exhibited this behavior with anyone else. (I was the only one who fed her.) Since the top of the tank was mostly covered in the cooler months, she must have recognized me by sight.

She also let me handle her without getting too upset, although I never tried to train her and only picked her up for tank cleaning (and the occasional vet visit). She wouldn't let anyone else get close to her.

None of this corresponds to wild behavior, and she figured it all out herself; I didn't try to teach her. Seems pretty "smart" to me, although that term is kind of hard to define in any useful way here.

Stellarreality
09-26-2015, 10:03 AM
I've actually noticed that when handling my tokay she seem to be able to determine if the handler isn't me...

If I pick her up, she will hike her head up in the air and stare at me until I put my finger near her mouth; she will then briefly lick it and promptly after that will lay back down in my hand and chill. Any time I move her majorly when I'm handling she will throw the head in the air until I let her smell me, then goes to laying back down.

Now I tried a little experiment where I took her out and let her smell me. Then I sat her on the bed, and realizing she wasn't in my hand anymore she stuck her head in the air looking for my finger to smell. So I had my friend go over to her instead of me; he let her smell his finger and as soon as she smelled it instead of laying down she started gaping at him and wouldn't let him pick her up.

Oddly enough when I went to her and put my finger lightly on her nose she closed her mouth, then smelled me and layed back down.

DragonsDen
09-29-2016, 07:29 AM
Now that... THAT is cool. Lol, I'm new to the Tokay scene...got a juvie pair from a friend of mine who is terrified of being bitten....they are beautiful. Looking forward to interacting with mine once they are adjusted to their new home. :)

billewicz
09-29-2016, 11:37 AM
Now that... THAT is cool. Lol, I'm new to the Tokay scene...got a juvie pair from a friend of mine who is terrified of being bitten....they are beautiful. Looking forward to interacting with mine once they are adjusted to their new home. :)

Welcome. Feel free to read through the many treads pertaining to husbandry, feeding, health, nutrition, handling, breeding, sexing, etc., of Tokay. It's all here, somewhere. :biggrin: