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Posted by Marty Feldner on December 31, 2002 at 02:24:42:
In Reply to: S. varius hibernation observation............. posted by tgreb on December 30, 2002 at 10:11:00:
Are you brumating the varius that long because it's convenient or because you think it's best for the lizards? I would think actual brumation time for varius in the wild is a good month or more shorter than than your planned brumation. I find adult chucks with what looks to be fresh green staining on their mouths into late October/early November - and it stays warmer longer in the gulf. If adult chucks are eating that late in the year it wouldn't surprise me if they often had partially digested plant material in their system when heading down for a long nap. I wonder if an herbivorous lizard like a chuck is physiologically adapted to cope with some of the toxic byproducts that accompany decay? Or, maybe the answer is even simpler (if we're actually looking for an answer). Maybe under cold conditions plant matter decays slowly (the colder the temps the slower the decay) and isn't prone to rot like live, whole foods so the lizard isn't harmed by sleeping on a full stomach...or several variations or combinations of the two ideas. Maybe someone needs to study chuckwalla pooping behaviour in the wild. Some interesting stuff might "come out" in that research.
PS. I could easily envision a restless chuck emerging from its crack on a warm December day, grabbing the newspaper, and wreaking (reeking) havoc on the neighborhood.