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Posted by Kevin Earley on June 23, 2002 at 22:03:39:
In Reply to: Re: obviously...originally WILD CAUGHT, posted by Maryann on June 22, 2002 at 21:27:42:
You have two gilas that are in excess of 25 years old? Wow. Some questions.
1. Did you acquire them as juveniles and then have had them for the 25+ years or did you obtain them as adults and have had them for 25+ years making them possibly over 30.
2. Have you noticed any markable signs of age. For example appetite changes or other habitual things that have lately taken on a new pattern.
Or an inability to maintain weight.
3. Are they still successfully reporoductive?
The reason I ask is that my oldest gila monster is approximately 8 years old. I haven't had it the length of its live. I am very curious as to what the actual longevty is on Heloderma. It has been reported approx. 30 years but I honestly feel that an animal with the physiological makeup of a Heloderm they would be longer lived animals. I also feel that given the remarkable leaps in husbandry in just the past 10 to 20 years of all reptiles in general that the future will hold that reptiles and some species in particular will live a lot longer than we imagine.
Theoretically a gila that is captive hatched has a better chance, provided it is taken care of optimally, at reaching a longer life due to a more regular diet, lack of predators, lack of pathogens etc. However the more regular diet may also be a downfall. If these animals are geared towards going from sporadic feeding to sporadic feeding and then are maintained all of their life on a lush diet, what long term effects could be expected. It is obvious to anyone that has maintained gilas even a little while that it is pretty easy to put the weight on a gila monster(I would assume beadeds are the same).
If you have had them the entire time I'm sure you could shed some light on what to expect from a gila as it ages into the presummed "golden years".