Are Snakes Smart Enough to Open Doors?

If you suffer from ophidiophobia — an irrational fear of snakes — you may want to think twice before watching the above video.

And if you assume that the albino Burmese python opened a closed door purely by accident, know this: Snakes and other reptiles are surprisingly clever.

A 2011 study published in the Journal of the Royal Society: Biology Letters found that lizards are smart enough to solve puzzles to help them find food, and could quickly adapt to changes in those puzzles, meaning they're as smart as some other vertebrates.

These findings upended previous assumptions about how higher intelligence is limited to social species with varied daily diets. Most reptiles are solitary creatures, and many will eat only occasionally, not every day.

Perhaps it's time to deadbolt your doors — and hide the key in a snake-proof container.

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Marc Lallanilla
Live Science Contributor
Marc Lallanilla has been a science writer and health editor at and a producer with His freelance writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and Marc has a Master's degree in environmental planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin.