Serpent brain structure

The Elbert-Gong-sea-serpent is an oceanic reptile of huge proportions. It is as a small cruise ship, approximately 700 feet, with a body 30 feet thick. It is greenish-blue, scaly, and doesn’t have arms or legs or anything. It can be found half a mile below the surface of the ocean. It lives near the equator. Its diet consists mainly of wooden boats. Now that most boats are being constructed out of metal, the sea serpent population has experienced massive decline.

To construct this animal’s brain, I started with an approximate combination of a shark’s and a reptile’s brain structure. My reasoning was that since the sea serpent resembles a snake, its brain would share the most similarities with the snake brain; however, in order for it to swim it would also share some characteristics with the shark. Sharks and other swimming animals have a relatively large cerebellum to maintain precise balance and body control in a complicated 3-D environment. Therefore, the serpent has a similarly large cerebellum. For both the serpent and the shark, body control is especially important: if you stop swimming, you’ll just automatically sink. Like the reptile and the shark, the sea serpent also has long and prominent olfactory bulbs. Smell is quite important to the serpent– it needs to be able to detect food from long distances and, being in the water, it cannot rely so much on sight. It also needs good hearing, since sound travels faster in water, thus, it has a large inferior colliculus (which can’t be seen).

The sea serpent also needs to have the instincts and intelligence of a deadly predator. It is not a clumsy hunter: despite its physical gifts, it needs to be stealthy in order to catch fast boats, and it needs a certain amount of reasoning/logic to understand how to overcome the intelligence of its prey. It needs to be able to interpret the sounds and smells of the ocean, differentiating food from not-food. Thus, it has a larger neocortex than most reptiles. Also, it can’t bask in the sun like a lizard, so it needs to be able to regulate its own body temperature. So, I couldn’t show this in the drawing, but it has a large hypothalamus.

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Picture from aaron-radney.deviantart.com

One response to “Serpent brain structure”

  1. Madiha Shafquat says:

    I like the detail you’ve gone into in considering the sensory requirements of your serpent.

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