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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
morphs, designer animals.

reptile keeping and pet keeping.

what are people's opinions on these so-called morphs and their impact on the hobby of keeping and studying reptiles and amphibians?

there was a time not all that long ago when there were no morphs. people kept herps and they were all naturally patterned and colored... herps keeping wasn't a mainstream, acceptable hobby in general. there were no books really to speak of and certainly no products made specifically for them. most of us went to the fish section of pet shops and made due with aquariums and what few useful things we could scrounge...

not many people profited from the hobby, that's for sure...

then things heated up. i remember well when products began coming out... magazines and books began to be written. pet shops began to ramp up on herps and marketing them with kits and such... breeders began to make wild caught animals a thing of the past... and of course, variations began to appear on the infant market... these morphs began springing up just as more people started to warm up to the idea of keeping herps... the products and equipment developed along with supplements and better husbandry information... the internet began and reptiles were no longer the red headed step child of the pet and hobbyist industry...

the whole thing became popular... people were spending good money and a market with strong demands came into being and breeders and pet product manufacturers were happy to provide ever more sophisticated and better animals and accessories for those demands...

the beginning of what we see today in herps and their captive care was born... and it's never looked back.

... what i have see over the years as the hobby evolved was the shifting to the designer animals... the morphs as they are commonly referred to.

they have had the arguably biggest impact and influence is the hobby and it's direction...

all this said, what i want to do is get people's views on the designer/morph aspect of reptile keeping.

what have been the good things and bad that these morphs have brought?

pro's and con's and where this thing is all going.

what is good about all these morphs and what is bad.

there seems to me at least to be two main camps in the hobby today... and they overlap in many areas... firstly there are the reptile keepers... those who have a passion for the animals and study them to different degrees and breed them as well... these are the guys who read the natural histories and taxonomy of the animals to better understand them and increase their own knowledge and expertise...

these are the guys who know the difference between a labial pit and a ventral scute...

then there are the pet keepers... the people who read a care sheet or a book and follow a recipe of sorts in order to keep a snake or lizard...

their animals are their 'pets' and they love them... but they aren't all into the biology or husbandry aspect of the animals... they want a cool pet or ten...

they are not sure what the real difference in the various families and genera of herps are... and likely don't care... they want their beloved pet to be happy and thrive under their care and aren't trying to be amateur herpetologists at all... they just want a cool kingsnake or bearded dragon... which is perfectly fine in my humble opinion.

but in my readings over the past couple of years i have noticed how morphs influence keepers of all types... as if they are taking over the entire hobby or at least providing most of the momentum and direction we see today in herp keeping.

as with most things in life, there are good aspects and bad.

i would like for our members here to weigh in as the see fit and give their perspective on these things i have laid on the table. what are the good, the bad... and the ugly in the herp hobby today?

what about these designer animals and their influence on breeding and the market? how are they influencing new keepers, whether serious minded ones or casual?

what about breeders cashing in on the latest 'thing'? and buyers wanting the latest thing?

... let's dissect the dynamics of the hobby and where it appears to be heading and where we as enthusiasts, wish it to go...

what are the ramifications of breeding, morphs, bloodlines, the pet industry and all the variables that swirl around to make what the hobby is today and will be tomorrow.

are these designer animals a good thing or bad?... what's the upside and the down?

are the purists like me living fossils anymore?

will snakes and lizards go the way of goldfish and guppies?

will snakes be like the generic hamsters and budgies that we see in shops all the time, an undecipherable blend of myriad mutations and bloodlines to the point where we no longer know what they are?... just different colors and lengths of fur and for lack of a better word, mutts?

will we see people when asked what kind of kingsnake or boa they have be unable to say much more than "it's a yellow one"?

... what when all these mutations in color and pattern and crosses all intermingle and become something almost generic as we see with all the mixed, fancy hamsters?

i'm just throwing this out there as i thought it a decent discussion and more filling than another "what should i name my lizard" thread.

say what you need to say here... all are welcome.

or i just might post pics... and we all know how tiresome that becomes.:lol2:
 

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Interesting posting well written. I have for a long time been meaning to pen a piece “Captive Breeding and the Demise of Herpetology” – one day
 

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To many morphs and to few spieces in the hobby these days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Interesting posting well written. I have for a long time been meaning to pen a piece “Captive Breeding and the Demise of Herpetology” – one day

one thing that i do know for sure and that is, back in the day we all fancied ourselves budding herpetologists... after all, about all the information availible were ancient books about giant snakes that had zilch concerning actually keeping them... just observations and adventures...

and a few entries in encyclopedias... descriptive stuff.

we all cut our teeth on reptile classification which was all there realistically was to satisfy our hunger for learning... we experimented and read all we could on various habitats... like detectives... we looked for clues to solve the husbandry mysteries...


below is about all one had to go on if he wanted to have a green anaconda... you were on your own... but it made us good, innate observers of our charges... no caresheet/recipe... you had to develop a "feel" for what you were doing...

people are so fortunate today... if i had this internet back in the mid 70's, i'd be rich and famous now...:lol2:

Green anaconda

The green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) is the largest member of the boa family of snakes and the most heavy bodied member of the super-order Squamata.




The primary overall color of Eunectes murinus is an olive green, with black blotches that run the length of the body. Their head is narrow compared to the rest of the body, with most exhibiting distinctive orange-yellow striping on either side. Their eyes are set high on their head so as to allow the snake to be able to see out of the water without exposing the rest of its body; likewise the nostrils are set high so the animals can breathe while largely submerged.
Green anacondas are found mainly in northern South America (Amazon and Orinoco basins), in Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, northern Bolivia, northeast Peru, Guyana, and the island of Trinidad.
The green anaconda is among the largest snakes in the world, with recorded (but unverified) measurements of 9.45 meters (29.7 feet) and 11 meters (33.5 feet). It rivals the reticulated python for length, but is typically considerably heavier. Females are significantly larger than males, having the largest sexual dimorphism of all the snakes.
Green anacondas, like all anacondas, are primarily aquatic. They eat a wide variety of prey, almost anything they can manage to overpower, including: fish, birds, a variety of mammals, and other reptiles. Particularly large anacondas may even consume large prey such as tapir, deer, capybara, caiman, and sometimes crocodiles and jaguars, but such large meals are not regularly consumed. They employ constriction to subdue their prey. Cannibalism among green anacondas is also known, most recorded cases involving a larger female consuming a smaller male. Scientists cite several possible reasons for this, including the dramatic sexual dimorphism in the species and the possibility that female anacondas require additional food intake after breeding to sustain their long gestation period and the male simply being an opportunistic prey item; however, the exact reason is not understood (Rivas and Owens 2000).
Anacondas are ovoviviparous. Copulation takes place during the rainy season, typically in the water. The spurs of the males are used to stimulate the females. Gestation is approximately six months. Litter size averages 20-40 young, but as many as 100 are possible. Sexual maturity is reached between two and three years of age.

as a matter of fact, i remember my first green anaconda... 1976 i think...

ordered it from an outfit in florida... an animal wholeseller...

$5 a foot!

... so i ordered one... a 4 footer i believe... and it arrived just fine at the airport... when i opened the crate i realized they had slipped a couple feet in on me!:lol2:

built a cage out of an old kitchen cabinet... thing was mean as the dickens and had ticks ... who knows what else...

it was very nice though... took quite a while to get it feeding...

tinker... trial and error... a lot of head scratching... mistakes too.
 

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I think morphs have their place within reason,, hell theyve been around long enough with many species, but totally agree with above, theres not enough species kept these days, theres a massive proportion of the hobby that only keeps within 5 maybe 6 species and there is way too many "investment" breeder for my liking, i think the hobbys worse for that side, but who am i to question it
 

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I keep and breed a couple of pet species of snakes, and I no more consider myself a herpetologist than I would consider myself a mammalogist for keeping and breeding a few different mammals. I also don't think that hamster keeping, rat keeping, or cat keeping suffered any for additional colour and pattern mutations becoming available.

Saying that - some of the snakes I choose to keep as pets don't come in different colour or pattern mutations. That doesn't change my keeping of them any, but I am unlikely to keep as many (for example...) pygmy pythons as I do cornsnakes, simply because the additional colour and pattern morphs in cornsnakes make for more variety in a snake I enjoy keeping.

will snakes be like the generic hamsters and budgies that we see in shops all the time, an undecipherable blend of myriad mutations and bloodlines to the point where we no longer know what they are?... just different colors and lengths of fur and for lack of a better word, mutts?
I don't know about budgies, but I do about hamsters - and you don't get "mutts". Mongrel dogs occur when several breeds are crossed. Hamster varieties ("morphs") are all based on individual mutations, and they either display or do not display those particular mutations - so they are, or are not, one variety or another. An experienced hamster breeder/judge will be able to tell you which variety any particular hamster is - though yes, if there is more than one variety that is very similar genetically, some careful test breeding may be needed. But that confusion isn't to do with the myriad of mutations, all you need for confusion is two genes that produce quite similar effects.

will we see people when asked what kind of kingsnake or boa they have be unable to say much more than "it's a yellow one"?
Well, you could have that now with someone who is uneducated about the morphs they are looking at :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think morphs have their place within reason,, hell theyve been around long enough with many species, but totally agree with above, theres not enough species kept these days, theres a massive proportion of the hobby that only keeps within 5 maybe 6 species and there is way too many "investment" breeder for my liking, i think the hobbys worse for that side, but who am i to question it

yes but does the huge morph bandwagon unduly influence new keepers or attract people with the mentality of collecting things for the sake of aesthetics and prestige over the down to earth enjoyment and fascination of the species? ... like so many brightly colored or scarce marbles?

does the constant development of new variations of a theme and availability unduly corrupt a new keeper into the collecting aspect of designer reptiles over all else... ala' pokemon cards?

if say there were no morphs... would a good number of current enthusiasts find it dull and boring and walk away because their need for something different or unique would go unfulfilled?

would all the multitudes of royal python keepers, especially the younger ones be satisfied if all they could get was a standard issue, naturally patterned and colored python?

... i remember when you know, albino burms were hot and new to the general public... then greens and so on...

now albinos are nearly as common place as normals and nearly as cheap...

are these morphs guilty of attracting people that have a need to move on to the next best thing because they get bored?

long lived things we know do best with keepers that are in it for the long haul and will buy a retic and actually keep it for the duration of it's natural life...and not have one for a time and trade it or sell it in order to buy another animal that will temporarily catch their fleeting interest?

tens of thousands of burms and the like around and young ones typically at that at any given moment... will these youngsters mean that in a few years there will be tens of thousands of adult burms and retics around?

... or will an unacceptable percentage of these immature animals end up traded and sold to several new owners by the time they reach maturity and adult size?

all that i know is that here in yankee-doodle land, with all the breeding that takes place every year, and the bazillions of neonates produced...

america should be up to our necks in adult big boids by now...

it smells bad here to me sometimes. i get a whiff of a bad market where demand for small, baby snakes is strong but the more mature market is all but non-existent...

where do all the adults go i sometimes wonder?

do they mostly die or get let loose... and more than likely perish?

what i'm awkwardly driving at is... does this morph thing feed bad behaviors in some cases... attracting people who have only a passing fancy for something new and/or something small and will in all likelihood get rid of the animal after a time, after they get bored or it gets too big... or is just too much of a hassle when the thrill is gone?


does this inundation of new and cleverly named morphs we all see these days undermine our desire for people to be good and responsible keepers because there are just so many flavors of ice cream now that they want to 'try' them all... without ever finishing the flavor they have?


... do the morph enthusiast too often place looks and prestige over the the animals themselves? i mean a ball python is a ball python in spite of it's color, name or scarcity... right?...

... i'm just saying.

seems to me that especially new keepers too frequently know more about the various morphs and their brand names over their skills and knowledge of snake husbandry and species appreciation...

snakes are specimens to some, pets to others and i submit, '"collectibles" to a few others...

i'm not making accusations here... just laying out some reasonable possibilities as to what motivates some keepers and some of the potential fallout that may result.

also, and i'll shut up after this... but do the breeders both large and small sometimes in promoting their products add to the morph craze??

is this altogether a good thing in certain circumstances, with certain people?

how many of these young keepers we see today at maybe sixteen years of age, will be still in the hobby in ten years?... or five for that matter?


alright then, i am finished... i hope there is a sliver of merit in my post.

just some thoughts and observations on my part...: victory:


P.S.- these musings of mine aren't aimed at anyone in particular at all...
 

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personally i dont agree with how some people breed or buy just because it a certain morph etc especially how people breed albino etc because theyre worth more and it is actually a 'bad' trait that in no way benefits the animal


IMO i would like to learn quite alot about lizards rather than just know what i need to.I would like to do the biology side of stuff.I dont know that much atm and am still learning but i am happy to do so and would rather learn thing properly than rush it.I think all keepers should have a decent knownledge of the biology or atleast try
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I keep and breed a couple of pet species of snakes, and I no more consider myself a herpetologist than I would consider myself a mammalogist for keeping and breeding a few different mammals. I also don't think that hamster keeping, rat keeping, or cat keeping suffered any for additional colour and pattern mutations becoming available.

Saying that - some of the snakes I choose to keep as pets don't come in different colour or pattern mutations. That doesn't change my keeping of them any, but I am unlikely to keep as many (for example...) pygmy pythons as I do cornsnakes, simply because the additional colour and pattern morphs in cornsnakes make for more variety in a snake I enjoy keeping.



I don't know about budgies, but I do about hamsters - and you don't get "mutts". Mongrel dogs occur when several breeds are crossed. Hamster varieties ("morphs") are all based on individual mutations, and they either display or do not display those particular mutations - so they are, or are not, one variety or another. An experienced hamster breeder/judge will be able to tell you which variety any particular hamster is - though yes, if there is more than one variety that is very similar genetically, some careful test breeding may be needed. But that confusion isn't to do with the myriad of mutations, all you need for confusion is two genes that produce quite similar effects.



Well, you could have that now with someone who is uneducated about the morphs they are looking at :)

my bad... here in the states we say mutt as any mixed breed animal...

mongrel is more rarely used...


you brits are certainly sticklers for semantics... we also say poisionous in place of venomous!!!:gasp:


May 2002 - Ohio Reptiles - Poisonous Snakes

Kentucky Snakes - Thumbnails

Illinois Poisonous Snakes


and a biscuit is a cookie here i believe...: victory::lol2:
 

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yes but does the huge morph bandwagon unduly influence new keepers or attract people with the mentality of collecting things for the sake of aesthetics and prestige over the down to earth enjoyment and fascination of the species? ... like so many brightly colored or scarce marbles?

does the constant development of new variations of a theme and availability unduly corrupt a new keeper into the collecting aspect of designer reptiles over all else... ala' pokemon cards?

if say there were no morphs... would a good number of current enthusiasts find it dull and boring and walk away because their need for something different or unique would go unfulfilled?

would all the multitudes of royal python keepers, especially the younger ones be satisfied if all they could get was a standard issue, naturally patterned and colored python?

... i remember when you know, albino burms were hot and new to the general public... then greens and so on...

now albinos are nearly as common place as normals and nearly as cheap...

are these morphs guilty of attracting people that have a need to move on to the next best thing because they get bored?

long lived things we know do best with keepers that are in it for the long haul and will buy a retic and actually keep it for the duration of it's natural life...and not have one for a time and trade it or sell it in order to buy another animal that will temporarily catch their fleeting interest?

tens of thousands of burms and the like around and young ones typically at that at any given moment... will these youngsters mean that in a few years there will be tens of thousands of adult burms and retics around?

... or will an unacceptable percentage of these immature animals end up traded and sold to several new owners by the time they reach maturity and adult size?

all that i know is that here in yankee-doodle land, with all the breeding that takes place every year, and the bazillions of neonates produced...

america should be up to our necks in adult big boids by now...

it smells bad here to me sometimes. i get a whiff of a bad market where demand for small, baby snakes is strong but the more mature market is all but non-existent...

where do all the adults go i sometimes wonder?

do they mostly die or get let loose... and more than likely perish?

what i'm awkwardly driving at is... does this morph thing feed bad behaviors in some cases... attracting people who have only a passing fancy for something new and/or something small and will in all likelihood get rid of the animal after a time, after they get bored or it gets too big... or is just too much of a hassle when the thrill is gone?


does this inundation of new and cleverly named morphs we all see these days undermine our desire for people to be good and responsible keepers because there are just so many flavors of ice cream now that they want to 'try' them all... without ever finishing the flavor they have?


... do the morph enthusiast too often place looks and prestige over the the animals themselves? i mean a ball python is a ball python in spite of it's color, name or scarcity... right?...

... i'm just saying.

seems to me that especially new keepers too frequently know more about the various morphs and their brand names over their skills and knowledge of snake husbandry and species appreciation...

snakes are specimens to some, pets to others and i submit, '"collectibles" to a few others...

i'm not making accusations here... just laying out some reasonable possibilities as to what motivates some keepers and some of the potential fallout that may result.

also, and i'll shut up after this... but do the breeders both large and small sometimes in promoting their products add to the morph craze??

is this altogether a good thing in certain circumstances, with certain people?

how many of these young keepers we see today at maybe sixteen years of age, will be still in the hobby in ten years?... or five for that matter?


alright then, i am finished... i hope there is a sliver of merit in my post.

just some thoughts and observations on my part...: victory:


P.S.- these musings of mine aren't aimed at anyone in particular at all...
what i mean is things like say albino or hypo or melanistic species of say taiwanese beauties for instance isn't a bad thing but the royal market is just a headache waiting to happen(imho)

Royals are a good example, ive kept them for probably 15 years give or take, but suddenly theyve gone from the odd snake in many peoples collections to the next must have, its a good indicator of how morphs affect an individual species

I personally dislike the whole situation but people will continue to follow the trends, shame that people dont brave it alone and try different species but then people are people:lol2:
 

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Sorry if im saying something wrong here,but i think its not a hobby its just another quick way for money,for some anyways,fair play tho there are some lush colours of morphs out there but i wouldnt be spending over £100 for a snake or lizard,well i am intrested in the red eyed crocodile skinks but ill be looking for a better offer than £80,not haggling just looking for the cheapest seller.
 

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my bad... here in the states we say mutt as any mixed breed animal...

mongrel is more rarely used...


you brits are certainly sticklers for semantics... we also say poisionous in place of venomous!!!:gasp:
No, sorry, that wasn't my point - I mean in species where there are no purebred breeds, only colour/pattern varieties, you can't get mongrels. For example, in dogs if I breed a Yorkshire terrier with a shih tzu, the babies are all cross-breeds, and if I breed the babies from that with each other, the offspring are then all mongrels. But if I breed a topaz rat to a blue rat, I could get Siamese and agouti offspring, and then if I breed those together I could get champagne and opal rats. They're not mongrels, not like the dogs would be - they are still the recognised varieties.

In snakes if I breed two different colours of cornsnake together, the babies are still all cornsnakes of whatever colour, even if there's ten different morphs. They're not mongrels and the colours are no less distinct and don't get "muddied" together.


It does concern me that the number of fully adult snakes doesn't seem to match up with the number of babies produced, I totally agree - but I don't think morphs are to blame for that.
 

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without the large market out there as a result of morph breeding ,much of the groovy equipment we take for granted wouldnt have been developed! where there's money theres lots of ancilliary stuff to go with it,certainly without morphs of boas i wouldnt be able to make a living from snake breeding....................keep the morphs or gaz might starve!!:2thumb:
regards gaz
 

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Gaz beat me to my thought - really fascinating to read about the beginnings of the hobby Habu, but one of the things that struck me as 'good' from your timeline was the development of more specialist equipment that can more easily help us to provide a healthy environment for our animals.

Althoughhhh..... with big manufacturers out to reel us in, do we now all accept an orthodoxy on how to keep our snakes? Is it REALLY best to house/heat/feed/mist/whatever our snakes in the most widely accepted way, or could there be some better experiment that we're all missing out on whilst racking up our loyaly points with exoterra? I just wonder because sometimes someone will come on the forum and say they keep their snakes on this or that different substrate, or feed this or that random way, and we've all got a tendency to say YOUR SNAKE WILL DIEEEEEEEEEE, assuming that they're stupid when in fact they might be an experienced person who is onto something. I'm not on about anything specifically (if I had an idea maybe I would have tried it!), just a hypothetical thought that arose from reading Habu's experiences.

I'm a pet keeper bit by the info bug, to the point of collecting all the random natural history books I can find, and thinking about studying some zoology... but I've got some morphs first. Hopefully a lot of people might be spurred into an interest after their initial attraction, that would be an optimistic hope.
 

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Herp keeping has really exploded over the years, I have been in it 13 years now, not as long as some but long enough to see the changes and how the market has grown and grown. I think morphs are both good and bad because on the one hand you have people buying for nothing but investment thinking they can make money from it, no real love for the hobby thankfully those dont seem to stick around for long. But on the flip side you have the people who have never considered a snake but see the fantastic colours and consider it, then look into the hobby and another herp keeper is born.

I do find it strange that over the years the switch has very much gone from keeping to breeding. Near enough everyone who has a herp is intent on breeding it, most times not thinking of the long term of what to do when things dont sell, like the current market. Yet you see people buy dogs some pedigree and worth over £1000 but ask them if they would breed it and its unlikely.

It will be interesting to see the hobby in another 10 years time.

Edited to add: Another thing I have noticed lately is because reps are more readily available I think more people are buying without considering the actual needs of them as this year and last year I personally noticed a massive increase in the amount of poorly kept snakes in particular normal male royals as these tend to be the cheap option for those wanting a royal. To give you an idea this year alone I have helped out, taken in, had put to sleep, etc, 18 royals and im not a rescue centre just a person out to help where I can, most where short term feeding/shedding issues but some have been so severe that pts was the only option. Unfortunately that is a down side to such specialist creatures going main stream.
 

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Herp keeping has really exploded over the years, I have been in it 13 years now, not as long as some but long enough to see the changes and how the market has grown and grown. I think morphs are both good and bad because on the one hand you have people buying for nothing but investment thinking they can make money from it, no real love for the hobby thankfully those dont seem to stick around for long. But on the flip side you have the people who have never considered a snake but see the fantastic colours and consider it, then look into the hobby and another herp keeper is born.

I do find it strange that over the years the switch has very much gone from keeping to breeding. Near enough everyone who has a herp is intent on breeding it, most times not thinking of the long term of what to do when things dont sell, like the current market. Yet you see people buy dogs some pedigree and worth over £1000 but ask them if they would breed it and its unlikely.

It will be interesting to see the hobby in another 10 years time.

Edited to add: Another thing I have noticed lately is because reps are more readily available I think more people are buying without considering the actual needs of them as this year and last year I personally noticed a massive increase in the amount of poorly kept snakes in particular normal male royals as these tend to be the cheap option for those wanting a royal. To give you an idea this year alone I have helped out, taken in, had put to sleep, etc, 18 royals and im not a rescue centre just a person out to help where I can, most where short term feeding/shedding issues but some have been so severe that pts was the only option. Unfortunately that is a down side to such specialist creatures going main stream.

:no1:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
No, sorry, that wasn't my point - I mean in species where there are no purebred breeds, only colour/pattern varieties, you can't get mongrels. For example, in dogs if I breed a Yorkshire terrier with a shih tzu, the babies are all cross-breeds, and if I breed the babies from that with each other, the offspring are then all mongrels. But if I breed a topaz rat to a blue rat, I could get Siamese and agouti offspring, and then if I breed those together I could get champagne and opal rats. They're not mongrels, not like the dogs would be - they are still the recognised varieties.

In snakes if I breed two different colours of cornsnake together, the babies are still all cornsnakes of whatever colour, even if there's ten different morphs. They're not mongrels and the colours are no less distinct and don't get "muddied" together.


It does concern me that the number of fully adult snakes doesn't seem to match up with the number of babies produced, I totally agree - but I don't think morphs are to blame for that.
morphs are the precursors to true breeds within each species... we're already there it can be said even:

Breed
1. A race or variety of men or other animals (or of plants), perpetuating its special or distinctive characteristics by inheritance. Twice fifteen thousand hearts of England's breed. (Shak) Greyhounds of the best breed. (Carpenter)


mutts are when distinct breeds are mingled... after a while you can't tell what breed something is... it all becomes muddled... we see that already..

species, sub-species, localities, races, strains, breeds... the species stays the same but they are different...

some folks get these terms confused... and use breeds interchangeably with species or sub species...

there's only one dog and only one corn snake in real terms... what we see with snakes and dogs are morphs that we have selectively bred until we got an animal that will faithfully reproduce it's unique qualities faithfully...

breed 20 generations of dobermans and you'll never get a poodle in a litter...

these strains of morphs will do the same very often... producing 100% exact phenotypes of themselves...

mutts have multiple bloodlines from different breeds/morphs... what looks to be mostly doberman can indeed produce a poodle if the genes line up a certain way and they are expressed physically...

so here we are, going from a wild animal in it's natural form... to multiple domesticated breeds/morphs/races of animals that are entirely different from the ancestral, wild stock... as in wolf and pug... as in wild corn and blizzard or whatever designer corn strain you choose.

is it entirely a proper thing to do this to wild animals?... take a reticulated python and create things such as shar-peis?... but in a retic way?


a python equivalent of a pekingese?

it seems to be the way of the future...

i got into this stuff for the wildness of the animals... i wanted raptors/falcons... now the hobby is gravitating towards chickens/geese.


we are domesticating these wild things... and creating breeds... just as we did in the wolf/dog model... that is a very profound thing to me...


maybe i'm not expressing this well...: victory: anyone get my drift?

*** need more coffee...
 

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morphs are the precursors to true breeds within each species... we're already there it can be said even:

mutts are when distinct breeds are mingled... after a while you can't tell what breed something is... it all becomes muddled... we see that already..

[...]

breed 20 generations of dobermans and you'll never get a poodle in a litter...

these strains of morphs will do the same very often... producing 100% exact phenotypes of themselves...

No, you're incorrect - sorry. As an example, look at your doberman - doberman bred to doberman will produce all dobe puppies. A black Dobe to a fawn Dobe might well give red and blue puppies - but they're all still dobes. The colour is the "morph", the breed is much more than that, it's to do with physical changes too.

Breeding dobes to poodles will produce "mutts" that are neither-nor, but breeding different coloured dobes to each other will only ever produce one of the existing colours. Same with cornsnakes - breeding any colour of cornsnake to a ratsnake will produce hybrids (not mutts, since they're different species being crossed), but breeding different corns together of different morphs will only ever produce one of the genetically possible morphs from the parents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Gaz beat me to my thought - really fascinating to read about the beginnings of the hobby Habu, but one of the things that struck me as 'good' from your timeline was the development of more specialist equipment that can more easily help us to provide a healthy environment for our animals.

Althoughhhh..... with big manufacturers out to reel us in, do we now all accept an orthodoxy on how to keep our snakes? Is it REALLY best to house/heat/feed/mist/whatever our snakes in the most widely accepted way, or could there be some better experiment that we're all missing out on whilst racking up our loyaly points with exoterra? I just wonder because sometimes someone will come on the forum and say they keep their snakes on this or that different substrate, or feed this or that random way, and we've all got a tendency to say YOUR SNAKE WILL DIEEEEEEEEEE, assuming that they're stupid when in fact they might be an experienced person who is onto something. I'm not on about anything specifically (if I had an idea maybe I would have tried it!), just a hypothetical thought that arose from reading Habu's experiences.

I'm a pet keeper bit by the info bug, to the point of collecting all the random natural history books I can find, and thinking about studying some zoology... but I've got some morphs first. Hopefully a lot of people might be spurred into an interest after their initial attraction, that would be an optimistic hope.

old habits are hard to break... to this day when i want to take care of something and set up the right housing, i go directly to the habitat which it evolved from... mimic the habitat emphasising the beneficial aspects and you'll have a thriving animal... habitat in captivity is no less than a slice of the wild place your animal came from and putting it into your house in a sensible and practical way...

some snakes are more forgiving than others... and if you can do the fussy ones and make them comfortable then the less demanding ones are a cake walk...

i've made it a point to have visited most habitats generically... i've lived in the desert, rainforest and temperate zones from grassland to deciduous forest and everything in between... it helps give you a more realistic feel for what is right... than just reading and imagining these places...

back in the day going after the wild habitat first and trying to recreate it was all we had...

we didn't have much else to go on... desert animal?... read all about the desert and it's conditions and variables... also understanding micro-climates is hugely important... there are many micro-climates in any given ecosystem and area... often within feet of one another...: victory:
 
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