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Posted by MiserMike on April 17, 2003 at 13:56:09:
In Reply to: Re: (more philosophy)reproduction is not happiness? posted by Kanuck on April 16, 2003 at 14:29:51:
I can only quote Ian Malcolm the chaos theorist in "Jurassic Park" when asked how an all-female dino population starts reproducing. (This is before they discover the rana-DNA splice, and, being a mathematician and not a geneticist, he wouldn't make that connection anyway.) He says, "Somehow, Nature finds a way." Sometimes we give ourselves too much credit, sometimes too much blame, for breeding success/failure. I used to sweat bullets trying to get boas to breed reliably. This spring I put two boas together due to cage shortage. Both were recent adoptees, that had been badly neglected. The male in particular was emaciated -- a real concentration-camp survivor. I'd done nothing with photoperiod / temp / humidity to cycle them. Within 24 hours they were breeding.
In spite of all that, I too anthropomorphize my herps and think they appreciate more "naturaloid" conditions. That means that in the winter, my ally gets a floating plastic lid to hide under rather than driftwood. I'd never keep him in a bare tank with no hide area. Summers, he has an outdoor pond, and he - of course - smiles when I move him out.
:Very interesting observations, I can't dispute what you have to say in regards to the examples you've given. You may well be right and the fact that I'm able to reproduce my turtles has nothing to do with how "happy" they are with the setup I've provided for them. I will add however, that in the 20 plus years I've been keeping turtles and tortoises(geez I'm getting old) I've found that by tweeking the conditions that they were living in(giving them more space, cutting down on number of individuals per tank, giving them better hides, more suitable substrates etc) I've seen an increase in breeding success. I equate that to them being happier with their living space. But maybe thats just me anthropomorphising. Maybe breeding success is nothing more than providing adequate food, temperatures, substrate and compatible members of the opposite sex. Anyway you've given me some good food for thought.