How To Include Non-Academic References In Literature Review Apa Style Do Snakes Take Revenge?

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Do Snakes Take Revenge?

Snakes are very common in tropical countries. In villages and bushy places, people encounter snakes everyday. Many beliefs have developed based on their experiences.One of them is the power of snakes to take remember someone and take revenge. The arrogance of human beings that we are the only brainy species on the globe very easily ruled out this possibility and started finding only ways of disproving it rather than going to find the truth. However, truly, I believe that it is only the human beings who have least pardoning /forgiving mentality in the universe compared to any species of life and highest instinct or anger for taking revenge.

There will be a lot of difference between the snakes under captivity and in wild. All studies performed were with the snakes under captivity. However, any myths or beliefs grow around interesting or good looking species only. Following this rule, almost all beliefs related to snakes are wound around COBRAS only. Also, there are many types of beliefs about cobras, but in this article, I will restrict myself to only their power to take revenge. With respect to their power to take revenge, there are several types of beliefs,

  • If a cobra escapes hurt, when we try to kill it, – it remembers and comes back to take revenge
  • If a male cobra or female cobra is killed, the spouse takes revenge and dies

In the famous book, Snakes of India by J. Deoras, he mentions that the most general cobra – Naja naja, when agitated or cornered, it raises its hood and anterior part of the body and if the attacker is in the vicinity of about two and a half feet circumference, it tries to attack for defense. If the person is far, it tries to retreat and escape, unless there is no way. In this regard, I myself have the personal experience. When I was doing my Ph. D. in Biochemistry at Osmania University, Hyderabad, India, due to heavy plantation and bushes, we often used encounter snakes, including cobras. One day, someone saw a cobra (Naja naja) going on the corridor. Because, the flooring is of polished stones, it was not able to move fast. So, we all went running to see it. It was just dragging its body with difficulty. Some mischievous guy, started imitating it and went very near. It immediately, turned back with a big hiss and hood expanded. The guy screamed and ran back. It did not show any interest in chasing us or the guy. Just turned its head back and escaped into the bushes.

In different scattered articles, several other authors mentioned that an African mumba had no difficulty in finding the attacker in a group.

One main argument between Snake revenge supporting and opposing people is, the former group says, “we have seen the snake again in the same place or attacker’s house. If it is not to take revenge, what could be the reason for it to appear again. Not to die”. Whereas the so called opponents dispute, by saying, “it is just incidental”.

But, nowhere we see a systematic study by either supporters to prove that it is the same snake which came back to the same area or by the opponents that it is not the same snake and appearance of the snake is for SURE, incidental. However, Science, says, “The size of snake’s brain is very small and it cannot remember for a long time to take revenge.” However, it is known that snakes have a very great power of smell and response to the transmission of vibrations through substratum or soil. Several recent studies prove that it is not good to judge intelligence based on brain – body mass ratio. For example: During the recent Tsunami, no squirrel has died. They did not import any earthquake or Tsunami detecting technology from USA. They sensing technology given by GOD. They all ran away and saved their lives. The arrogant human beings, thinking that they are brainy, died.

In the case of Dogs, we see the incidents of taking revenge beyond any doubt. However, possessing the power to remember an incident that happened some time back and taking revenge on an attacker are two different things. Even if a snake remembers also, it may not have the psychology of taking revenge, which we have.

However, remembering something and responding is possible at least in the case of the most clever and furious KING COBRA. Because, it is known that King cobra, male / female, take care of the eggs and when they sense some animal or persons approaching near their nest, the cobra attacks even before they face an attack. This tells that probably, they remember some experience of attack, sense it again and so attack without provocation. This only indicates that it can remember and attack, but does not clarify whether it takes revenge or not.

The second point which supporters of the snake revenge cite is that, the escaped snake later came when the person is sleeping and in some cases bitten the same person. However, in this case, there is no proof that it is the same snake that came again. Those who oppose, say that, ” when disturbed or during breeding season, the snakes emit a malodorous MUSK type of compound from their cloacal glands. Presence of some particles on the attacker’s clothes attract any other nearby snake to go to him”. But, again there is no evidence that it is a different snake. Also, snakes or opossums release smell, when threatened. Whether they go chasing the smell other than during breeding season is not clear. It is very well known that snakes chase /search their prey by smelling the air particles. So, in this case release of MUSK, when threatened could also be a method to easily find the attacker later, who knows.

So, my only argument is, the point of whether the snakes or at least cobras, take revenge or not has not been studied beyond doubt. Concluding that they cannot take revenge simply based on the brain to body mass ratio is not correct. They might have the power to remember and chase for a long time, whether they take revenge or not.

Coming to the point of male or female taking revenge if their counterpart is killed is a good romantic story. These stories are attributed to only divine snakes. So, this is all related to the belief in divinity and God. God is a belief, so is this. In addition, in India, there is a state called “Nagaland”, means land of cobras. In mythology also, references have been made about Nagalokam means World of Cobras. So, may be those people who pray cobras as their God and wear dress and ornaments depicting Cobras are thought as divine cobras which attained human form. So, if they happened take revenge, may be it was thought that Cobras also do the same.

However, an UNAMBIGUOUS STUDY on this topic is still lacking.

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