Even Dr. Mader Knows Reptiles Show Affection to Their Owners

Discussion in 'General Photography' started by jannb, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. Fireborn

    Fireborn Avid Member

    Sometimes I've wondered if the animals that are being captured are either less evasive and perhaps other issues that resulted in their capture. How does that effect the captive gene pool as well.
  2. jajeanpierre

    jajeanpierre Chameleon Enthusiast

    These are professional collectors--they can find them, believe me. They collect from areas with as high densities as possible that are the easiest for them to get to. Sometimes the location they are collected from seems counterintuitive to where one would expect them to be collected from. For example, I know shipments of Madagascar animals that were collected much higher up the mountains and further awayfrom population centers than most people think they are collected from. That is simply because the density of animals is higher farther away and higher up the mountains.

    Each species is different, but I have never been afraid to just pick up a mature male parsons or Tanzanian melleri. I have a lot of respect for a melleri from Mozambique, though. They are really chippy although @jpowell86 tells me they settled down a lot since he figured out how to house his Mozambique animals. Now, a mature male veiled? They are fearsome creatures! (As an aside, I am possibly going to Saudi Arabia to collect a group of veileds so will hopefully get the opportunity to see if they are as ferocious in the wild as they are in a cage.)
  3. Matt Vanilla Gorilla

    Matt Vanilla Gorilla Chameleon Enthusiast

    Honestly, you are the one whom keeps giving us proof that all the time in the wold belongs to you! Check it out! It's on the WWW! Type in the words "genetics and longevity". It is practically an eternal black hole! Please go for it! I am so busy, I have three jobs! I need your help and you have proven yourself to be so helpful to others!
  4. Matt Vanilla Gorilla

    Matt Vanilla Gorilla Chameleon Enthusiast

    #144 Matt Vanilla Gorilla, Oct 13, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
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  5. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    @jajeanpierre said..."I think it should be made clear that this reference came from a $12 pocket book on chameleon care, not a scientific paper. While I agree with the author, this is still not a scientific reference"...this book was written by Francois LeBerre. Just because the comment is in a $12 book doesn't mean it had no validity. Do you know who Francois LeBerre is?
  6. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    @jann linked to an article on this above...
    First evidence that reptiles can learn through imitation - Bearded Dragon

    One of my veiled chameleon males would watch the latch on the cage door turn as I opened the door to put in the insects. After doing this a few times he would open the door by turning the latch after I left. Is that learning?

    I had a Fischer's and a common chameleon both open the sliding glass doors to!their cages after watching me repeatedly open them. Is that learning?

    I had a cone head (laemanctus longioes) do the same thing.
    #146 kinyonga, Oct 13, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  7. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    #147 kinyonga, Oct 13, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  8. jajeanpierre

    jajeanpierre Chameleon Enthusiast

    I was just pointing out that it was not a scientific paper. I didn't say I didn't agree with him. We were talking proof, not general wisdom. General wisdom might be correct, but it is not scientific proof. What he wrote was unsupported facts and opinions with some anecdotal evidence at best. Valid, but not empiracle. We need empiracle evidence, not anecdotal. Anecdotal is a good place to start an hypothesis but empiracle evidence proves the hypothesis.
    JacksJill likes this.
  9. Matt Vanilla Gorilla

    Matt Vanilla Gorilla Chameleon Enthusiast

    Wow, scientist found quite a few genes they call "longevity genes" or the "Methuselah" gene! One makes the heart beat stronger and longer. One starves cells of calories (a long known fact that animals that barely have their caloric needs met lives much longer) and even genes that boosts the bodies ability to search out and destroy cells that have changed from "normal"! All of them bein GENES by the way! I think we live in the era where people are going to live to be 200 years old!
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  10. Extensionofgreen

    Extensionofgreen Chameleon Enthusiast

    I think and my personal experience, having worked with many reptile species, chameleons, fish, invertebrates, plants, amphibians, birds, and other creatures, chameleons are creatures of high intelligence, driving a high degree of mistrust towards creatures larger than they are, that approach from above, have front facing eyes, and so forth. That said, they can learn to see us as not a threat and the bringer of food. They can learn and be trained, but some; not all. Some of my melleri would refuse food from other people and show distrust towards people other than myself. I had melleri that enjoyed and sought out my attention and this went beyond feeding time. I had a critically ill male, WC, in great pain and agony, come over to me and look at me, and in my head I heard him telling me he knew I was there to ease his suffering and that he was safe. He died on his own, without euthanasia, but he allowed me to care for him for a week and accept food from me, after seeing me feed and water the other melleri. That WC male, right out of the shipping crate, with swollen limbs from rampant, systemic osteomyelitis, by his own choice and will, made the clear choice to approach me and reach towards me. I have photographs of this. That animal KNEW I was going to help him, after watching me for minutes, taking care of the others. He was uncaged, outside, several feet from where I was working, in his own shrub, with my eye on him, as I watered and fed the others. He climbed down from the bush and over the tops of the enclosures, across the porch, to sit in front of me and look towards me.
    Madge, my other WC, female, was exceptionally companionable. She would allow me to travel to schools with her and feed her by hand, or allow the students to feed her from their hands. She would come down from her branches to watch me care for the enclosure or other chameleons. She would also be angry with me, if she witnessed me treating another Chameleon and causing it distress. When Madge died, it broke my heart and I left the Chameleon hobby, because of the hole she left in my heart. She was every bit as a companion as my dogs or cats over the years.
    All of that said, that’s 2 chameleons out of over 20 chameleons and at least 9 species. The odds are greater that your chameleons appreciate a hands off approach to their relationship with you.
    Monitors, tegus, some iguanas and geckos, some skinks, and certainly tortoises can become quite aware and show obvious affection towards their keepers.
    Again, I’d say that the animals are individuals and the expectation with any animal what isn’t truly domesticated is that you will have a hands-off arrangement with the creature and anything that develops beyond that is a truly wonderful thing and possible with the right approach and the right individual, but it IS an individual trait and not even members of the same species can be reliably expected to behave the same way. Some species show the ability to bond better than others and more often, but chameleons as a whole would not be on my list of most likely to bond.

    And yes, I watched my female melleri dig and lay, in person, but sitting still and in dim light, not glaring over her. I don’t think that means much, considering she wasn’t even one of the melleri I considered affectionate.
    #150 Extensionofgreen, Oct 13, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  11. Matt Vanilla Gorilla

    Matt Vanilla Gorilla Chameleon Enthusiast

    Thanks for the goose bumps!!!
  12. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    I had a water dragon with an infection in the gular pouch area. The first time I have him the antibiotic shot he fought me like crazy. He was one of the biggest male water dragons I'd seen so it was a lot of muscle. For the rest of the shots he just let me give them to him. I swear he knew the shits were helping.

    I had a chameleon and she had an infection but it was cured with antibiotics...baytril actually. Every time I gave her the dose she would take on a pattern and color thatmi never saw any other time. Several years later out if the blue she took on that pattern and color again. Turns out she had another infection and I can't help but feel she was telling me that she needed the meds.

    Since there's no scientific proof that this can happen I guess it's just me wanting it to be true. Who knows.
  13. Kristen Wilkins

    Kristen Wilkins Chameleon Enthusiast

    I completely believe she was telling you . I don’t have tons of experience with chameleons , 16 months . Frances tells me daily what she wants and does not . She is very bosy not even a joke . Septiseye he’s a little love and I’m kidding you not he was shaking the door right at his lock pouting he could not come out because I was running and all he wanted to do is get on me and he was going to get hurt . I sent pics off to @Matt Vanilla Gorilla . I know so many would say no way it’s you loving them and wanting this to be but it’s just not it’s impossible. That’s ok I saw what I saw :love: .
  14. Virgil1972

    Virgil1972 Avid Member

    That made me laugh.
  15. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    Oops...white were helping! :)
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  16. Decadancin

    Decadancin Moderatoris Americanus
    Staff Member

    I think you meant "shots" were helping. They usually help me...
  17. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    Darnspell check...shots is exactly what I meant.
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  18. Extensionofgreen

    Extensionofgreen Chameleon Enthusiast

    I think that it’s important to note that an animal born in captivity will have altered behaviors and dispositions, since they don’t experience the sudden shock of confinement and don’t suffer the parasite blooms, dehydration, sudden reduction in recognized and varied prey, the change to artificial light, and so forth. They would be much less stressed by the presence of humans, if they are a consistent part of the environment from the beginning. That’s not every Chameleon, just like it’s not every dog, cat, bird, fish, or any other “typical” pet. Reptile brains are less advanced than our own, but certain other aspects of their senses are better/different than we can even imagine, so it’s hard to put a limit on what the potential for an animal to learn or to be domesticated is, without advanced and thorough evaluation.
    It’s also a good idea to remember that everyone has different and unique experiences, based on their unique situations and perecptions/interpretations of the “data” in their environment. It’s ok to have different experiences and opinions, but try to remember that no one is being malicious with their ideas and everyone’s input has value in helping people be informed.
    I think chameleons can be curious and want to be around people for reasons attributed to various needs. Dogs and cats associate with us for their needs, horses and birds as well, aquarium mammals, and virtually any animal in captivity with the ability to learn to associate us with meeting their needs. I do agree that Chameleon likely wouldn’t miss their keeper. In melleri and likely other animals, an adjustment to a new keeper can be a very difficult experience on the animal and it’s certain that it’s not just the change in location. I don’t think they will retain the memory of the original keeper for very long, once a new routine is established. Long-term memory doesn’t make sense for an animal that lives it’s life in the present and during moments of opportunity. They do learn, but they also forget things quickly, once the repetition stops.
    In my opinion, chameleons are certainly among the more intelligent of reptiles, not the most, but overall more so than snakes, other lizards, and amphibians. But, the term “intelligent” will be interpreted and have different qualifying criteria to each person. To me, and animal that becomes stressed and suffers so seriously from it has obvious acute awareness of the world and routine. They do not have great problem solving abilities. Again, because to learn, they require many repetitions and that doesn’t happen in nature. Nature is not monotonous or repetitive. Food is different day to day, temperatures, humidity, sun intensity, perching height/texture/width, foliage cover, all are constantly changing. I’m captivity, life is more repetitive, so it’s likely some remarkable animals show signs of seeking out humans and being relaxed and perfectly healthy being allowed to be apart of the family. I think they are still unique and few and far between individuals, as far as chameleons and shouldn’t be imposed or expected of chameleons of any species. A solid keeper lets their Chameleon lead the way and ignores their own desires to endure things that cause it distress. I don’t think there’s any harm I gentle encouragement, and attempting to condition your animals to at least tolerate handling for health inspection and needed trips for check ups or relocations, what have you. Bottom line is that if your animal is not healthy, something in your approach is likely wrong. You can do everything “right” and something can not be what the Chameleon interprets its needs to be. I have always taken a let the chamelons come to me approach to handling them and treating them as “pets” and very few have chosen to allow close contact voluntarily. I’ve also worked with mostly WC animals and that is a huge factor. I’ve seen truly amazing relationships develop between people and reptiles, chameleons included, with persistence and perfect chemistry.

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