Do Snakes Have a Brain?

Snakes are wild creatures with tiny heads that are known to be often venomous and dangerous. Since their heads are so small, you might wonder if they have a brain.

Snakes have a brain, but it’s tiny compared to a human brain, so they don’t learn what we do or develop companionships with anyone. They are also unlikely to remember people, even if the person is the snake owner. However, they do need their brain to moderate body temperature and find food.

Understanding snakes’ brains is an exciting topic, and this article will discuss the issue in more detail. So, keep reading if you want to learn more!

Do Cobras Have Brains? 

Cobras have brains like all other snakes. The king cobra is generally classed as the most intelligent snake species due to its brain function but not as bright as other animals. King cobras can identify their handlers and understand their surroundings to a certain degree.

Here are two main reasons king cobras are considered the most intelligent snake species:

  • They can differentiate their owner/handler from everyone else.
  • They understand territorial issues better than other snakes.

Are Snakes Intelligent?

Snakes are not very intelligent because their brains are tiny and lack the same complexity as other brains, including human ones. For example, snakes can’t talk or communicate, they can’t develop companionships, and they don’t remember much.

Although snakes have simple brains and aren’t highly intelligent, a 1999 study by Rochester University concluded that they might have a surprising ability to learn. However, they might not learn as much as many other animals, like giant tortoises and monitor lizards. 

And even if they can learn small and simple things, it’s not to the same extent as other animals and reptiles, including monitor lizards. 

How Smart Are Snakes?

Snakes are a little smart. They can survive in the wild by hunting and catching food and know how to regulate their body temperatures by changing their surroundings accordingly. However, they can’t learn much from humans, so their brain capacity is limited.

Can Snakes Learn Their Name?

Snakes can’t learn their name because they don’t have the brain power to learn it or someone else’s name. Also, they don’t have external ears like humans, so they can’t learn anything from words. 

You must remember that snakes don’t hear things as we do. While we have external ears, snakes must rely on vibrations to hear and sense things. So, it’s more about what they can feel with their bodies rather than noises. 

Therefore, it would be impossible for a snake to learn its name.

Can Snakes Think? 

Snakes can’t think like we can, such as with emotions or feelings. They can only think about their current situation and surroundings to ensure survival, but even this type of thinking is limited. 

Snakes are also solitary creatures, so they don’t think about their owners or other snakes, nor do they care. They like to be alone and have no feelings toward others, unlike humans and many other animals, such as dogs and cats.

Can a Snake Survive Without Its Head?

A snake can survive without its head, but not for long. In some cases, it will die within a few minutes, while in others, it can die within a few hours. There have been cases of decapitated snake heads biting people.

For example, a couple in Texas found a snake in their yard, and the husband cut its head off. Moments later, he bent over, and the decapitated head bit him, so he had to be rushed to the hospital.


Although snakes have brains, they have limited capacity and are generally not considered intelligent. Due to their limited brain function, snakes don’t develop feelings for others and are unlikely to learn things/tricks from humans. 

However, the most intelligent snake in the world is the king cobra, which can sometimes differentiate between its handler and other people.

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