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Posted by deathstalker on March 01, 2003 at 15:17:32:
In Reply to: Re: My answer and clarification... posted by chrish on February 28, 2003 at 22:24:46:
"Just because all two year old are sexually mature doesn't mean that it is the age that determines the onset of sexual maturity. - LOL You kind of contradict yourself here--just wanted to address this first. Anyway...
"I agree that most two year olds are sexually mature (and there is field data to support that), but I feel it is an issue of the size of the animal at two years of age, not the age itself. And my compromise to this is...
A female hognose snake will be sexually mature and able to breed at two (2) years of age IF kept at optimum weight and health.
"Here you are discussing a separate issue. An underweight 10 year old female may not have the body condition necessary to reproduce, but she is still sexually mature. (An amenorrheaic twenty five year old woman is sexually mature, but she can't reproduce. An eight year old girl is unlikely to be sexually mature, regardless of how big she is or her physical condition. Neither girl can reproduce, but only in the second case does it have anything to do with maturity.)
A very good argument here, indeed! But the only point I was trying to make, and on slight behalf of you, is that weight and health do in fact have something to do with being safely able to breed although both the five-year-old and ten-year-old females are still, technically speaking, sexually mature in reproductive system development terms.
"I guess our differences lie in why the undersized two year old can't breed. You suggest it is simply a matter of condition. I believe the onset of sexual maturity itself would be delayed by the lack of condition. I haven't seen any research on this other than somewhat anectdotal information (like Platt, 1969) and inferences made from captive populations. Frankly, I am not sure how you would differentiate those two snakes (the poorly conditioned sexually mature 2 year old from the non-sexually mature 2 year old). I guess with some sort of endocrine assay you might be able to pinpoint the beginnings of sexual maturation.
I believe I finally see what you're saying, but it's almost along the same lines as me. It's on the condition matter. I believe that no matter what, a female hognose snake's reproductive system will be sexually mature at two (2) years of age, but to safely breed it also has to be of optimum weight and health. You, on the other hand, believe that a female hognose snake's reproductive system may in fact NOT be developed if kept in poor conditions? Hm...this is a very good argument indeed! I will seriously consider this and make something of it via more research. See, I told you I can still learn more! :) Now, I am not saying I agree with you just yet, but rather I will "elaborate" on your statement for proof and a possible change in my theory.
To conclude, I just want to state my compromise again to indicate where I presently stand theoretically and that I partly, if not actually fully, agree with you. A female hognose snake will be sexually mature and able to breed at two (2) years of age IF kept at optimum weight and health. I think we can almost both agree on the two years factor--especially since you did provide some support for me earlier in your response--if females are kept at optimum weight and health, or more easily said, if kept at optimum conditions. Sound good? Does to me. Let me know.
"I appreciate you taking the time to answer. I guess we will have to agree to disagree in the absence of some scientific evidence one way or another." To you, too, and I agree for the need of decent, approved scienific evidence.