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Old 05-31-12, 10:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
botis
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Re: Fecal matter retention- evolutionary adaptation and consequences to the animals

Very interesting read. I've read about the large Bitis using the added weight in their rear to anchor their powerfull strikes, but this is the first I've heard that the arboreals use it as a counterbalance. I keep a 3 ft male Gaboon, and he is no exception to the rule. He deposites urates fairly regularly, but typically defecates only twice per year. When he finally go's, it's enormous. About 3 weeks ago, he left a half-softball size pile for me. I also keep a variety of arboreal vipers, and I find that fecal retention is very prevalent in the females, but not so much with the males. Also, I think the size and lifestyle of the individual plays a role. The smaller, more active snakes (males, young females) tend to go more often. As they get more heavy set, they seem to take on a more sedentary lifestyle, and defecate much more infrequently. My adult female Eyelash vipers generally defecate ever 4 months, give or take.

BTW: I'm new here, and I'll make another post to better introduce myself.
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