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Thread: Waiting a long, long time....

  1. #1
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    Default Waiting a long, long time....

    It has taken quite some time, issues of getting more corroborating data and polishing our findings, but my groups' data is finally getting some publications. Perhaps not too interesting to the typical hobbyist, but hopefully it will help some understand their tegus a little more:

    http://link.springer.com/article/10....360-015-0927-3

    http://link.springer.com/article/10....360-015-0928-2

  2. #2
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    Congratulations on being published and thanks for linking us to the abstracts, as well I usually scan through the references for even more reading material. Must have been interesting to work on.

    I thought Tupinambis merianae was now Salvator merianae - has that not been well accepted or has it been reverted?

    Also, there was a thread regarding longevity, do you have any data on that, captive or wild?

  3. #3
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    They are Salvator merianae. Problem is that many physiologists are not that up-to-date on taxonomic changes, and I didn't get to have a say on that before this paper was submitted for publication (ie. I am not the only author, and while the papers reflect a lot of my work, there are others involved too).

    As for longevity...I don't think there's a good value for that yet to truly say. The problem with most captive tegus is they are overfed and under-exercised, which would lead to shortening of life. In the wild, well, life is hard and they still likely wouldn't live that long. I don't see why a tegu can't reach 20 years if properly cared for, but I don't have anything to really back that up.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the info. It's a bit unfortunate that new taxonomic changes aren't reflected in current research papers because that is one way that I would go about deciding if a new change was well accepted by the community - by reading current literature - but I understand why not as well.

    I also agree on the overfed/under-exercised problem. If your goal for your pets is longevity, and it should be (as well as high quality of life), then feeding the proper amount is vital, I think for people as well, especially as they are past the "growth" stage. I work at a zoo and receive a certain amount of flack from non-understanding public when I tell them this, but I want my animals to live long healthy lives. Best to avoid that subject with most people, but if I'm teaching new owners/keepers, that is something I will stress.
    Last edited by dpjm; 08-23-2015 at 03:33 AM.

  5. #5
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    The problem with expecting taxonomic changes to be completely adopted by everyone is that taxonomy is its own science, and not all scientists follow its changes. Think what it's like getting you and 10 friends to agree on a place to go eat. Multiply that by several hundred thousand. Or, to put it another way, I STILL fight with people on the scientific name of the common red-eared slider, and that change was done something like 30-40 years ago and hasn't changed since.

    As for the feeding and exercise, well, just look at the common advice given on these forums "feed them as much as they'll eat every day", sometimes even more. The average hobbyist's goal is ridiculous: get them as big as they can get as fast as you can. They all worry about small tegus and think this is a health problem, none worry about obesity or bone issues until it's too late. For as skinny as wild tegus often appear to be, I can say I have never seen a captive tegu move with as much speed or dexterity as a wild tegu. The comparison is shocking.

  6. #6
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    Definitely, people are always proud to have big animals, as if they have accomplished some major feat. Of less interest is whether the animal is actually healthy, but the common conception is that if they are big and eating they must be healthy. I suppose size is an easy thing to visualize, whereas better indicators of health are more difficult to see without blood tests, x-rays, etc.

    I have only seen video of wild tegus but you are right, they are faster and more agile. A problem I suppose is that, being fairly generalist omnivores in the wild (as far as I know), their diet is hard to approximate, especially considering that it can be difficult to get a captive tegu to accept anything other than meat or fruit, both of which should probably be fed in low amounts. Fruits that we grow for ourselves are so high in sugar compared to what a wild tegu would have access to that they should be considered as candy more than anything else. Vegetables are a much harder sell and require work to get acceptance, but I would argue that they are quite an important part of the captive diet for b&w tegus.

  7. #7
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    This is so awesome. Congrats on getting published. Job well done. Thank you for posting the links on here. I'm glad your back. I don't want to tell you what to do. But your information is so great that it would be nice if you could put your thread under the helpful section and then sticky it.
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