Gutload, are we overthinking it?

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thought I have seen the whole leaf in poop, I have also see slightly broken down. I could see some things getting digested. I do not believe the plant eating is what we think. I have been watching my female and she has been eating less plants, even though on a diet with decreased food. To me this suggests plant eating is not a food source. Now weather it is digestive, for moisture, or just something they do. I do not know.
Point is just by chewing I am sure some is digested, particularly Yemen Chameleon

Some plant eating is a result of the tongue getting stuck to the leaf when eating or drinking. Some is speculated to be used to clean the gut/aid in digestion to some degree.

My female veiled enjoys eating plants. She enjoys kale quite a bit - but she will strip a plant bare tasting it (nips / rips leaves and/or goes for the stems). No clue why, but she eats a lot of foliage.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
"Bee pollen benefits are a potent source of enzymes including: diatase, amylase, phosphatase, pectase, transferase and catalase. These substances are significantly helpful as digestive aids to help break down our food into usable nutrition and energy. This enables us to get more out of the foods we eat, so we don't have eat as much to feel nutritionally satisfied"...
https://www.kimikimorganics.sg/blogs/news/the-benefits-of-bee-pollen

If this is true then would these enzymes not digest leaves, greens, veggies, etc that are in the insects' guts?
 

Kristen Wilkins

Chameleon Enthusiast
Where did the plant matter come from? Are you saying you are seeing undigested plant matter from an Insect? Or does your Cham eat leaves? I'm saying that Petr has shown Fecals to Veiled that have eaten leaves, and they poop out the entire leaf.




Well thats sort of where Petr is coming from with the Pollen only diet, is the natural diet. Vs how we feed, whether that be a supplement cocktail to give balanced nutrition array that over supplements surely in some areas and not enough in others.

The reason for Petrs Pollen only idea, is pretty simple. 90% of Chameleons wild diet, consists of Bees / Wasps / (Pollen) Beetles / Flies. The LARGE majority of the diet, will either have nothing in the gut (Flies dont eat) or Pollen. Thats it.

The Grubs of the Beetles tend to eat leaf litter and decaying hardwood, the fly maggots tend to eat carrion. However thats not gut content when consumed. There is a splash of leaf eaters, in the diet, but those are not eating greens, or fruits that we have, as those type of crops dont grow in the rain forests of Madagascar. (IDK about Yemen, doubt they grow there either though?)

Bee Pollen is also an Excellent Food Source, if it is Nutrition worthy enough. It doesn't mold or go bad, or rot ect. Thats a huge advantage of gut loading with it, in a syrup, powder, or gel.
My phoebe demolishes leafs . Strips for plants and not once have I ever seen undigested anything with her poop . I keep my girls much lower temps then any standard as well .
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
My phoebe demolishes leafs . Strips for plants and not once have I ever seen undigested anything with her poop . I keep my girls much lower temps then any standard as well .

Have you busted the fecal to see if there is undigested leaf? You should next time she poos after eating a leaf.

No one is amazing they don't eat leaves BTW, to be clear. Just that they cannot digest it.

As to the later, for those wanting to know more, Kaizen made a great blog on it.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/chameleon-herbivory.2426/

Pretty juch every study us showing the same thing. That chamleons are not built to process leaves. Herbivory requires certain enzymes and a long digestive track, chameleons have neither. I actually didn't know the later until after making this post.

So I wiuld give that a read, as it seems that enzymes may not be enough.

However in Kristen's case, lower heat, may slow digestion allowing more time for the leaves to breakdown?? That could be a factor as well???
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
I still have one question I haven't found an answer to...if veiled chameleons eat vegetation to aid in passage of insects through their intestines why is it that female veiled chameleons strip plants bare and male veileds don't?

@cyberlocc said..."Herbivory requires certain enzymes "... the link about the bee pollen I gave above I think gave a possible answer to that ...as long as they are getting beepollen.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
I still have one question I haven't found an answer to...if veiled chameleons eat vegetation to aid in passage of insects through their intestines why is it that female veiled chameleons strip plants bare and male veileds don't?

@cyberlocc said..."Herbivory requires certain enzymes "... the link about the bee pollen I gave above I think gave a possible answer to that ...as long as they are getting beepollen.

IK it did, however Kaizens blog covered that. Stating that the enzymes alone might not be enough.

Herivores and ominovores have long intestinal tracts. This includes omnivorous reptiles like iguanas. Chameleons Intestine is as long or shorter than the stomach. They are not built the same way as other Reptiles that are Herbivory.

At least that is what the studies are saying.

It seems its a 2 part thing. You need the enzymes and you need the time, which is allowed via the long intestines. Now maybe a low basking temp can replicate this, maybe not IDK.

There does seem to be an ability to digest fruit by some species. It was mentioned in the blog as well. Os and Velieds seem to know how and maybe do eat fruit. However greens are pretty much agreed not able to be digested.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
You said..."Herivores and ominovores have long intestinal tracts. This includes omnivorous reptiles like iguanas. Chameleons Intestine is as long or shorter than the stomach. They are not built the same way as other Reptiles that are Herbivory"...I realize that too...I'm working on this! :)
 

Kristen Wilkins

Chameleon Enthusiast
Have you busted the fecal to see if there is undigested leaf? You should next time she poos after eating a leaf.

No one is amazing they don't eat leaves BTW, to be clear. Just that they cannot digest it.

As to the later, for those wanting to know more, Kaizen made a great blog on it.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/chameleon-herbivory.2426/

Pretty juch every study us showing the same thing. That chamleons are not built to process leaves. Herbivory requires certain enzymes and a long digestive track, chameleons have neither. I actually didn't know the later until after making this post.

So I wiuld give that a read, as it seems that enzymes may not be enough.

However in Kristen's case, lower heat, may slow digestion allowing more time for the leaves to breakdown?? That could be a factor as well???
I will cut it up and post so all can see . That’s why I posted as well temps are lower then recommended . That’s my thought something do to her low temps . Wasabi and clelia here and there will eat leaves but not like phoeb’s.
 
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