Some more sites you might like...

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
I've never kept a whole clutch together. I have always kept them in groups of half a dozen or so because of the size of the cages I used. I would separate them when they were a couple of months old or take out any that couldn't handle being in a group or were bullies. Everyone has their own ideas on what's best. You should talk to Jannb about it.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks people!

I try to post information from what I hope are reliable sources although I can't guarantee that they all are. I sometimes post sites more than once eventually or sites that someone else may have posted at some point because I'm old and forgetful! :( Sorry about that but there's no cure for me!
 

Kristen Wilkins

Chameleon Enthusiast

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
You're welcome.

I've raised lots of hatchlings separately and in small groups and I'm not really sure hat it made a difference...but I also wasn't studying that aspect of raising hatchlings...and if it is true, it might be true in some species and not in others.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Last edited:

DeremensisBlue

Chameleon Enthusiast
Site Sponsor
You're welcome.

I've raised lots of hatchlings separately and in small groups and I'm not really sure hat it made a difference...but I also wasn't studying that aspect of raising hatchlings...and if it is true, it might be true in some species and not in others.
Here is an alternative view on this study.
All they did is show that you can teach a chameleon to panic eat and fight. I don't think it is surprising that if you put a group of kids together with the "if you don't get the food first you go hungry" dynamic then you will train them to be aggressive in going for food. The problem with the conclusions of this study is that adding "Fear Of Missing Out" to the feeding response is considered better. Why would this be better? Do we really need veiled chameleons with an even higher drive to eat? We can test whether it is healthy to increase the feeding response by testing whether veiled chameleons raised individually forget how to eat. Of course, we all know they don't. They have a normal feeding response. They just don't have the fear that they will miss out on lunch. So, yes, this study showed that you can increase the feeding response by introducing competition, but why would we want to do that? What is the benefit we are trying to achieve?

They also showed that if you raise babies together they are more aggressive. This also makes sense. if they have to always be competing and posturing and fighting for their spot on the best branch they will develop aggression and know how to defend their space. And it makes sense that if you put a chameleon that lives like this with a chameleon that is used to having their own room, the street-wise chameleon will take the top bunk and the other one will have to toughen up to deal with the new situation. Once again, the study arbitrarily decided that knowing how to defend yourself against other chameleons is desirable. Definitely true in the wild. But what benefit does it give captive chameleons that will not be kept with other chameleons? These chameleons need to learn to deal with humans, not other chameleons.

We can all observe the bullying that goes on with baby chameleons. We all have to constantly move them around so bigger ones are not with smaller ones. We all know that keeping chameleons together in the same small space leads to the weaker ones withering away if we don't intervene. So with this experience under our community belt we have to ask - what benefit would co-habitation bring that is worth this obvious, potentially deadly, issue?

There has been speculation that close proximity can help babies know how to socialize in later interactions such as mating. Some people say they are convinced of this. I'd like to see more evidence, but it certainly makes sense. Chameleons see each other in the wild frequently enough. But this is the difference between socialization and co-habitation. If there is benefit to be had from social interaction it will be much more sight based rather than cohabitation in small cages. It would be placing cages so that the babies could see each other. Perhaps even "play dates" in a common area to have brief interactions. But a co-habitation arrangement doesn't start to get viable until the space becomes large enough that they can practice chameleon social language fully. This means enough space to escape.

So there are valid reasons to work with socialization and see what is healthy. This socialization study that was performed only showed that chameleon behavior could be modified by cohabitation. It didn't show that any of this modification was desirable. It showed that you could increase anxiety over getting food. It showed that you can train them to defend themselves against other chameleons. And then the researchers made the unsubstantiated leap that these things were desirable in captivity. I don't see that they are. My individually raised veiled chameleons have no problem eating and I still have to limit their intake so they don't get obese.

And it is worth thinking about these details and what they mean. People always love to say "what you have been told is all wrong!". There is a certain thrill we get to breaking out of what the masses believe and being an enlightened being. We see this every time someone discovers that their chameleon will drink from a bowl of water and they come on all excited that everything we been told is wrong! (No, it is just simplified). There is more study being done with socialization in ways beyond this study so this will be more and more of a topic in our community. Let's just keep in mind that socialization and cohabitation are two different things. There will be some overlap, but we do not have to throw out the decades of experience regarding the dangers of cohabitation to explore the benefits of socialization. And finding benefits to socialization does not mean cohabitation - at least how it is usually done presently - is the best way to accomplish this.

I'll share from personal experience that cohabitation of babies does work, but it works in cages that are large and heavily planted. So much so that you go days without seeing each baby. You have to provide food and water and just trust that these babies will take care of themselves like they have for millions of years. I am doing experiments with large cage cohabitation and individual raising to see if I can see any difference in adult behavior, but that will take a lot of time and babies growing up. I'll report back in a couple of years.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Here is an alternative view on this study.
All they did is show that you can teach a chameleon to panic eat and fight. I don't think it is surprising that if you put a group of kids together with the "if you don't get the food first you go hungry" dynamic then you will train them to be aggressive in going for food. The problem with the conclusions of this study is that adding "Fear Of Missing Out" to the feeding response is considered better. Why would this be better? Do we really need veiled chameleons with an even higher drive to eat? We can test whether it is healthy to increase the feeding response by testing whether veiled chameleons raised individually forget how to eat. Of course, we all know they don't. They have a normal feeding response. They just don't have the fear that they will miss out on lunch. So, yes, this study showed that you can increase the feeding response by introducing competition, but why would we want to do that? What is the benefit we are trying to achieve?

They also showed that if you raise babies together they are more aggressive. This also makes sense. if they have to always be competing and posturing and fighting for their spot on the best branch they will develop aggression and know how to defend their space. And it makes sense that if you put a chameleon that lives like this with a chameleon that is used to having their own room, the street-wise chameleon will take the top bunk and the other one will have to toughen up to deal with the new situation. Once again, the study arbitrarily decided that knowing how to defend yourself against other chameleons is desirable. Definitely true in the wild. But what benefit does it give captive chameleons that will not be kept with other chameleons? These chameleons need to learn to deal with humans, not other chameleons.

We can all observe the bullying that goes on with baby chameleons. We all have to constantly move them around so bigger ones are not with smaller ones. We all know that keeping chameleons together in the same small space leads to the weaker ones withering away if we don't intervene. So with this experience under our community belt we have to ask - what benefit would co-habitation bring that is worth this obvious, potentially deadly, issue?

There has been speculation that close proximity can help babies know how to socialize in later interactions such as mating. Some people say they are convinced of this. I'd like to see more evidence, but it certainly makes sense. Chameleons see each other in the wild frequently enough. But this is the difference between socialization and co-habitation. If there is benefit to be had from social interaction it will be much more sight based rather than cohabitation in small cages. It would be placing cages so that the babies could see each other. Perhaps even "play dates" in a common area to have brief interactions. But a co-habitation arrangement doesn't start to get viable until the space becomes large enough that they can practice chameleon social language fully. This means enough space to escape.

So there are valid reasons to work with socialization and see what is healthy. This socialization study that was performed only showed that chameleon behavior could be modified by cohabitation. It didn't show that any of this modification was desirable. It showed that you could increase anxiety over getting food. It showed that you can train them to defend themselves against other chameleons. And then the researchers made the unsubstantiated leap that these things were desirable in captivity. I don't see that they are. My individually raised veiled chameleons have no problem eating and I still have to limit their intake so they don't get obese.

And it is worth thinking about these details and what they mean. People always love to say "what you have been told is all wrong!". There is a certain thrill we get to breaking out of what the masses believe and being an enlightened being. We see this every time someone discovers that their chameleon will drink from a bowl of water and they come on all excited that everything we been told is wrong! (No, it is just simplified). There is more study being done with socialization in ways beyond this study so this will be more and more of a topic in our community. Let's just keep in mind that socialization and cohabitation are two different things. There will be some overlap, but we do not have to throw out the decades of experience regarding the dangers of cohabitation to explore the benefits of socialization. And finding benefits to socialization does not mean cohabitation - at least how it is usually done presently - is the best way to accomplish this.

I'll share from personal experience that cohabitation of babies does work, but it works in cages that are large and heavily planted. So much so that you go days without seeing each baby. You have to provide food and water and just trust that these babies will take care of themselves like they have for millions of years. I am doing experiments with large cage cohabitation and individual raising to see if I can see any difference in adult behavior, but that will take a lot of time and babies growing up. I'll report back in a couple of years.
Very Good read, and you bring some very good points, I thought similar when reading the study, about the feeding response.

So when you say large caging what are we talking? Do you think it would be better to have 4 babies in Medium Atrium Size vs that broken down into 4 7.5"s? Densely planted, either way of course. Or was even bigger Space per cham in Mind?
 
Top Bottom