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  #21  
Old 04-29-2010, 03:13 AM
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Re: Unnecessary Handling of Reptiles: Good or Bad? Debate V1.0

And this time people received infractions.

Please, keep it on topic.
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Old 04-29-2010, 02:11 PM
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Re: Unnecessary Handling of Reptiles: Good or Bad? Debate V1.0

Unnecessary handling of reptiles (Snakes) can cause excessive stress and then health problems follow starting with regurgitating etc.
A reptile is not a cute fluffy pet but some take the handling a little better than others.
Try be reasonable and avoid over doing it.
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Old 04-30-2010, 06:12 AM
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Re: Unnecessary Handling of Reptiles: Good or Bad? Debate V1.0

It would be wonderful if we were all endowed with an equal measure of empathy for whatever reptiles we keep! With luck, empathy is something most of us learn over time. I'll be the first to encourage all new pet owners to only watch at least 99% of the time! Can excessive handling cause stress & resulting health problems? Without a doubt! On the other hand, so can NOT handling!!! I would ask you to try to imagine the utter boredom of an unchanging and undersized environment....no cage can replace the wild!... the lack of adequate physical exercise (all those easy to clean perfectly flat cage floors don't help!?)... the lack of mental stimulation in captivity (snakes learn their way around in the wild very effectively! and think of all the wonderful scents in nature! and holes to explore in the search for food!) and the unvarying temperature/humidity which actually makes them more suseptible to disease (something I read a long time ago, wish I could quote the study!). For many years I have kept numerous species of snakes, some wild-caught &/or rescues, and it is my considered opinion that a snake that is never handled is living in abject fear of that big ugly predator out there! (that's us folks!) Even a venomous species that cannot be handled can be calmed down by becoming familiar with their keeper. (I used to identify myself by scent to any upset, ie. rattling, rattlesnakes under my care...and I found that nearly all seemed to learn to recognize me, becoming far quieter/calmer/and better feeding.) For those that can safely be handled, I believe that most* learn to overcome their instinctive fear of being picked up (only predators pick them up in the wild!) and many seem to enjoy gentle handling. *Yes there are exceptions, & if you have one, don't handle it! But to the extent that you are sensitive in the way you handle a reptile, they learn some measure of trust that reduces their stress when you HAVE to clean or medicate. I also am a big fan of strolling the outdoors in good weather/temperatures with my snakes (one at a time)...I believe many benefit from a few natural rays of sunshine. (I have seen non-feeders suddenly decide to eat!) In answering this topic, I suppose all the educational talks I've given would constitute "unnecessary handling" too? But in the hopes of opening closed minds, and reducing the number of clueless humans who kill every snake they see, I have to say that is pretty justified! (Imagine me doing a program and never handling a snake? That would send the wrong message! It's only when you show people that snakes are not mean that they believe it!) As far as any risks to me, the handler, I have cheerfully accepted those...(things like salmonella are more likely with turtles I think...?? I have never had it!) Anyway, these are my opinions...and I might add that I have had numerous snakes live very long lives with me, strongly suggesting that they have not suffered from cuddling-stress? (One more thing: if you hold a snake in a dangling fashion, or worse, hold it tightly behind the head so it can't bite you...that is VERY stressful! If you cuddle it so it feels secure, not likely to fall and not 'exposed', it's a whole other ball-game! Whenever possible I encourage my snakes to settle onto my shoulders, around my neck...but please, don't do that with your big stuff!)
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:03 AM
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Re: Unnecessary Handling of Reptiles: Good or Bad? Debate V1.0

I know this is a little bit of an older thread and I know its been off topic but sorry I have to post this. And I don't want to make anyone angry, nor do I want a fight, animals is my passion as is behaviorism. I study them and their behaviors heavily in hope of one day become PhD in it..

I can say that I have ten years of studies and training of severely aggressive dogs under my belt as a lot of reading in the area.

1. Science has proven that size of brain do not matter for intelligence. The bigger the body, the bigger the brain which is often related to control of the body. Granted there's still a lot of unproven things but...

2. Can all animals feel love for us, that I doubt, can some animals do it as horses, dogs etc yes that i belive firmly in. I have seen dogs lost when loosing their owners, not so much cause of change but out of love. My dog worships me and I have no doubt in that question.

3. Can most animals learn to use us, now THIS one I belive firmly in, I have seen goldfishes do fetch, see example:
YouTube - Unbelievable Goldfish Fetch Hoop! and if you can win a goldfish's trust and train them, I am sure you can with other less
"brainy" animals. This is called conditioning or positive reinforcement or shaping, I use it always when working with any animal. It's also what is encourged for bonding with a monitor, you forcehandle them they relate you too scary and as they grow stronger they fight harder, they relate you to food (positive association) then they like you. Granted out of survival and egotistical behavior but none the less they will like you.

4. Did you know that bees can count? Squids and octopusses has solved pussled and labyrints. I have personally seen rays beg for food, JUMPING up trying to get to the people to GET food cause people can feed them.
See image here, this one is taken by me and as everyone knows Ray is a fish, oh they love people alright for food.
He came to me, not vice versa..



5. My beardie demands attention, not joking you. any beardie owner who handles their animals will be able to tell you this, they talk. At first when I heard beardie owners say it, I was yeah right, they overexaterate, I got proven wrong. My beardie will when she wakes up stare at me, being all dark, (she's a citrus mix and rather yellow when happy), that means give me my morning bath. She gets her bath, she gets light, starts pancaking and then I put her to bask. After about 2 hours, she will jump down and start staring at me again, going darker, darker and darker... This time it's FEED ME.. so I feed her.. after that I go to work.. now when I come home around 11.10 she will jump down, and start climbing around. Going darker and darker again, till I take her out, this time she wants to run around, play, and hang out, she will come TO us, climb ON us. One night, I was playing with my bf's kitten, all of a sudden I look over and I see Herculette almost pitch black, I threw a fit, thinking she was sick, I was terrified. I lifted her up, felt her belly, checked her airways, she seemd fine, I checked the temps, they were normal. And after as little as 2 minutes she started to go yellow again, she was glaring at the cat though and she dont even bother about other animals normally like some beardies can do. After about 5 minutes, she walks over to me, and climbs up on my arm, and SNUGGLES in with her head, nozzeling it in my arm. she has never done it before and she did it while glaring at the cat. I am sorry, I am sure my beardie has feelings for me, if it is possessiveness cause I am food source I dont know but there's something there.

Example, I have spent the last two days for my lil lizard, the savannah.. So yesterday I had bf bring her in the car when we went to Petco so she could get out a little. I often walk with her on the shoulder. Now when he came to me, she was having a few stressmarks on the tummy, it happens when she gets cranky or is in average mood (depending on how much they are spread). 2 minutes after being lifted over to me, she turned creamy white and bright yellow, she was looking around, ran around some in the car and had a blast. She would say hi to people in petco (quick lick with the tounge), and not once did she show any stressmarks, she was her happy color and was just hanging out.

and when I meet a grown Savannah in the petstore where I bought my little one, I scratched the side of his face and he leaned in to me, enjoyed the physical contact. After a little he would lift his head so I could get to his chin. After a while he was leaning towards my hand, now you tell me, he did not like physical contact and it stressed him out?

It might depend on the reptile, I don't think all reptiles are created for it, YET, but with science and evolution of captive breeding, and that each lizard or snake get handled more and more by generation and if we do more selected breeding on calm animals that tolerates a lot of handeling, I think that just as with domestication of other animals, I think we will see it more and more in these too. I dont know much about snakes, but I am sure this is part of the lizard world. My lizard has demands, and she will let me know when she wants something and she wants attention every so often. yes there are nights when she don't jump down and wants to come out, usually after eating a big meal cause she just wants to digest.

I think you have to go by the reptile individual than anything, but I do not buy that all reptiles get stressed out. I know my beardie would get stressed if I DIDN'T do it.

Sorry I had to write this post, its been itching in me

and yes I know there is people I will have to agree to disagree with and thats fine with me, just remember this post in 20-30 years when it happens.

"When comparing different species the ratio of brain weight to body weight does present a correlation with intelligence, though the actual brain weight has little or no effect. For example, the ratio of brain weight to body weight for fish is 1:5000; for reptiles it is about 1:1500; for birds, 1:220; for most mammals, 1:180, and for humans, 1:50."
Neuroscience and intelligence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quick genetic change in only 40 years, example of study in foxes.
The domestication of the russian silver fox. (40 year fast track evolution)

Last edited by Monkey; 07-13-2010 at 06:08 AM.
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  #25  
Old 07-13-2010, 06:40 AM
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Re: Unnecessary Handling of Reptiles: Good or Bad? Debate V1.0

About the brain weight of snakes....remember that they do not need a bigger brain to control all those extra limbs either....a more compact size goes further for them.
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