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Old 09-12-17, 08:34 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Re: What's the deal with scaleless snakes?

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Originally Posted by scales.jp View Post
I certainly agree when the animal has unfortunately been born like this naturally, but strongly disagree when it's purposefully done to produce something 'unique'. This is just my opinion, but all designer morphs have something missing (I mean animals that have been repeatedly inbred to achieve a desired look). Not to go on a rant, but it makes me laugh when breeders post their latest offerings on this or that SNS saying that they have 'created' or 'produced' a new morph/combo as if they've improved on something designed by millennia of evolution.
To be fair, basically any commonly available reptile that is commonly captive bred is a result of at minimum line breeding. The carpet pythons, corn snakes and other various commonly kept species have been over time selected for the best looking individuals.

For example this corn snake, while definitely pretty in it's own right, is a far more common example of the species:




Than for example this amazing piece of art:



Now, those do occur in the wild. But we got them and bred them together to create various lines. Sort of what you see with keeping "locality" animals pure (something the carpet python people could learn from lol).

Kathy Love who was one of the very first people, along with her husband to be major players in the snake breeding and morph industry said it best in regards to the criticisms of morphs (paraphrasing) "The snakes you're buying are nothing close to the snakes we first started with, even the most "normal" captive bred corn snake looks vastly better than the average wild specimen due to generations of selecting the best of the best snakes"

Like I said, morphs aren't really my thing. But I know for a fact that my Baird's Rat Snakes that everyone on the forums likes so much are a result of Tim Gebhard keeping his line pure and only breeding the best of the best over years and years, only introducing new animals from that same area.

That's not really THAT much different than a morph which is why I sort of softened my opinion of them over the years to be honest.

The same goes for basically any other species we keep regularly.
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Old 09-12-17, 10:54 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Re: What's the deal with scaleless snakes?

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"... I know for a fact that my Baird's Rat Snakes that everyone on the forums likes so much are a result of Tim Gebhard keeping his line pure and only breeding the best of the best over years and years, only introducing new animals from that same area.
But breeding the best of the best from a certain locality isn't the same as breeding the offspring back to the parents, then their offspring back to the parents/grandparents, then the best looking offspring with each other, which is what happens. I'd rather it didn't, but maybe that's just because I don't know enough about genetics in reptile breeding. The 2014 CB Angolan python I'm in love with was almost certainly the result of inbreeding at some level just because there weren't really enough unrelated animals around for it to have been otherwise.
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Old 09-12-17, 11:09 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Re: What's the deal with scaleless snakes?

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"... I know for a fact that my Baird's Rat Snakes that everyone on the forums likes so much are a result of Tim Gebhard keeping his line pure and only breeding the best of the best over years and years, only introducing new animals from that same area.
But breeding the best of the best from a certain locality isn't the same as breeding the offspring back to the parents, then their offspring back to the parents/grandparents, then the best looking offspring with each other, which is what happens. I'd rather it didn't, but maybe that's just because I don't know enough about genetics in reptile breeding. I know the 2014 CB Angolan python I'm in love with was almost certainly the result of inbreeding just because there weren't really enough unrelated animals around for it to have been otherwise.
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Old 09-13-17, 05:07 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Re: What's the deal with scaleless snakes?

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But breeding the best of the best from a certain locality isn't the same as breeding the offspring back to the parents, then their offspring back to the parents/grandparents, then the best looking offspring with each other, which is what happens. I'd rather it didn't, but maybe that's just because I don't know enough about genetics in reptile breeding. I know the 2014 CB Angolan python I'm in love with was almost certainly the result of inbreeding just because there weren't really enough unrelated animals around for it to have been otherwise.

Do you think new blood gets introduced to the galapagos islands all the time? Island locality boas? Locality animals in general? They are distinct largely as a result of related animals with the same distinct attributes interbreeding with each other. Why it is that we have a problem with it in captivity when it happens VERY often everywhere in the wild? Is it because people get stuck on the whole "morph" thing? Just semantics? It's something I don't understand. Inbreeding is natural for these and many other animals. Anyone who denies this musn't have thought things through.
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Old 09-13-17, 06:26 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Re: What's the deal with scaleless snakes?

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Do you think new blood gets introduced to the galapagos islands all the time? Island locality boas? Locality animals in general? They are distinct largely as a result of related animals with the same distinct attributes interbreeding with each other. Why it is that we have a problem with it in captivity when it happens VERY often everywhere in the wild? Is it because people get stuck on the whole "morph" thing? Just semantics? It's something I don't understand. Inbreeding is natural for these and many other animals. Anyone who denies this musn't have thought things through.
Which is why I specifically said "... but maybe that's just because I don't know enough about genetics in reptile breeding." I think most people, myself included, view inbreeding from a human standpoint because that's where we've been taught it's a bad thing. It can cause numerous health problems, deformities and death. You've seen Deliverance, right? (if blind, scaleless snakes ever end up playing a mean banjo, we'll know we've taken things too far).

As for inbreeding amongst wild animals, it can get pretty crazy!:
"Adactylidium: The single male offspring mite mates with all the daughters when they are still in the mother. The females, now impregnated, cut holes in their mother's body so that they can emerge to find new thrips eggs. The male emerges as well, but does not look for food or new mates, and dies after a few hours. The females die at the age of 4 days, when their own offspring eat them alive from the inside." (Wikipedia)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inbreeding
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Old 09-13-17, 07:25 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Re: What's the deal with scaleless snakes?

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Originally Posted by scales.jp View Post
But breeding the best of the best from a certain locality isn't the same as breeding the offspring back to the parents, then their offspring back to the parents/grandparents, then the best looking offspring with each other, which is what happens. I'd rather it didn't, but maybe that's just because I don't know enough about genetics in reptile breeding. The 2014 CB Angolan python I'm in love with was almost certainly the result of inbreeding at some level just because there weren't really enough unrelated animals around for it to have been otherwise.
It actually does mean breeding parents/grandparents and more often, siblings to one another to enhance the traits selected.

I'm personally about trying to diversify when and where possible. Ball pythons actually are relatively genetically diverse compared to other species.

For decades we continually pulled wild caught animals from Africa for breeding new morphs or just because we needed normal females to breed our morph boys to. The morph craze gets a lot of flack but it actually helped in a number of ways.

It's only been in recent years that breeders are buying less and less wild caught or farmed normals to add to their collection.
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Old 09-13-17, 07:45 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Re: What's the deal with scaleless snakes?

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Which is why I specifically said "... but maybe that's just because I don't know enough about genetics in reptile breeding." I think most people, myself included, view inbreeding from a human standpoint because that's where we've been taught it's a bad thing. It can cause numerous health problems, deformities and death. You've seen Deliverance, right? (if blind, scaleless snakes ever end up playing a mean banjo, we'll know we've taken things too far).
Ha! It happens with "uncivilized" (read tribal) humans all the time as well where the gene pool is pretty small. Royalty also used to get a little cozy with family members. Once you can consider the whole picture and break the habit of what we have been taught, you will begin to realize that some things simply don't transfer over into other species. I'm not saying that anybopdy should make babies with their cousins, but reptiles, mammals, fish and birds do it all the time...as well as the aforementioned "uncivilized" humans.


At least you're honest in saying that you don't know a lot about reptile breeding and genetics and for that I give you credit and respect for. I really shouldn't have quoted just you. A few members who have demonstrated their thoughts on inbreeding in captivity have not thought out their own words in regards to wild populations yet they apparently feel they have superior vast self knowledge in regards to genetics. Quite elitist, not to mention incorrect. Everyone can believe what they want, but pushing an opinion on people while trying to shame them when it goes against reality isn't fair. It's not the first time a bias has overshadowed common practice accompanied by a misapplied concept or theory to support personal bias and feelings.

You are not an example of what I mention above.

Last edited by Andy_G; 09-13-17 at 07:51 AM..
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Old 09-13-17, 09:00 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Re: What's the deal with scaleless snakes?

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Originally Posted by Andy_G View Post
Ha! It happens with "uncivilized" (read tribal) humans all the time as well where the gene pool is pretty small. Royalty also used to get a little cozy with family members. Once you can consider the whole picture and break the habit of what we have been taught, you will begin to realize that some things simply don't transfer over into other species. I'm not saying that anybopdy should make babies with their cousins, but reptiles, mammals, fish and birds do it all the time...as well as the aforementioned "uncivilized" humans.


At least you're honest in saying that you don't know a lot about reptile breeding and genetics and for that I give you credit and respect for. I really shouldn't have quoted just you. A few members who have demonstrated their thoughts on inbreeding in captivity have not thought out their own words in regards to wild populations yet they apparently feel they have superior vast self knowledge in regards to genetics. Quite elitist, not to mention incorrect. Everyone can believe what they want, but pushing an opinion on people while trying to shame them when it goes against reality isn't fair. It's not the first time a bias has overshadowed common practice accompanied by a misapplied concept or theory to support personal bias and feelings.

You are not an example of what I mention above.
Excuse you, I know I have a superior vast self knowledge.
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Old 09-13-17, 09:14 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Re: What's the deal with scaleless snakes?

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Excuse you, I know I have a superior vast self knowledge.
HAHA! I concede!
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Old 09-13-17, 01:01 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Re: What's the deal with scaleless snakes?

I don't think that inbreeding is as common in wild reptiles as people think. Aside frm the random islands and very strict ranges at least. I think the only way to know for sure would be to track and see how far baby snakes/other reptiles actually spread out from where they are born. It'd be an incredibly interesting case study.

Frogs at a pond, how far would they really spread in range after being born there?

In general inbreeding isn't as big a deal for me as purposefully breeding for physical defects that cause the animal problems. I've been assured in this thread the scaless animals are fine so I'm cool with it. I would be kinda butt hurt if I had a random one pop out of a supposedly pure rat snake.

I know that the scaleless Texas Rats came in first, I find it hard to believe that the scaleless corn snakes don't have that blood in them.
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Old 09-13-17, 01:59 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Re: What's the deal with scaleless snakes?

I still believe it's not the best to breed sibling among each other or the next generation back to the first. I get it why it's done, but one could just as well create major health issues with the same practice of getting an extra nice yellow (or whatever) animal because besides creating certain gene combinations for this yellow you could also simultaneously, and without knowing, create any unwanted and usually dormant genetic trait that has major drawbacks. At least we humans understand that you shouldn't mix blood, so it speak. It didn't just come out of nowhere or because civilization wanted it, there's plenty of research to back it up. Why would it be good to increase homozygosity in animals?

I get that in the wild it happens, but how many times, and does it repeatedly happen to the same snakes? I really doubt that.. The number of individuals that you need to maintain a viable gene pool isn't that big. I don't think we should justify the practice because populations in the wild also sometimes breed between related animals, there is still plenty of diversity there compared to animals which may have gone through various breeding programs to create morph 1, out of that created morph 2, and then make yet another morph with the same practice. There are plenty of examples around in animals that suffer greatly and have "race specific illnesses" ... that should ring some bells, I'd say.

Last edited by TRD; 09-13-17 at 02:10 PM..
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Old 09-13-17, 02:14 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Re: What's the deal with scaleless snakes?

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I still believe it's not the best to breed sibling among each other or the next generation back to the first. I get it why it's done, but one could just as well create major health issues with the same practice of getting an extra nice yellow (or whatever) animal because besides creating certain gene combinations for this yellow you could also simultaneously, and without knowing, create any unwanted and usually dormant genetic trait that has major drawbacks. At least we humans understand that you shouldn't mix blood, so it speak. It didn't just come out of nowhere or because civilization wanted it, there's plenty of research to back it up. Why would it be good to increase homozygosity in animals?
I think that the more complex the animal the more likely it is to cause major drawbacks. We're seeing tigers in captivity with downs syndrome for example.

But then again like mentioned before there are still small uncontacted island tribes with maybe a pool of 30 people or so still going strong after who knows how long so its definitely an interesting and complex subject.
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Old 09-13-17, 04:39 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Re: What's the deal with scaleless snakes?

Is this the eyeless snake in question? (not sure if the link will work unless you log into Instagram first):
https://www.instagram.com/p/BMOHwLPh...d=eyelesssnake

With comments being made like "She's so cute", it could put ideas in unscrupulous breeders minds.
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Old 09-13-17, 05:43 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Re: What's the deal with scaleless snakes?

Nope, the snake mentioned was a ball python and that one is a reticulated python.

I don't think comments on a post such as that one would inspire a breeder to select for any trait, harmful or otherwise. What breeders tend to do is look at the market and see what is selling and what isn't, listen to requests from customers ("Hey, do you have any of XYZ? Will you in the future?") and also look at what their colleagues and the big players are doing. You want to breed what you love but also have to consider if you'll be able to find homes for the babies.
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Old 09-13-17, 05:53 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Re: What's the deal with scaleless snakes?

I'm waiting for a 'cyclops' retic...
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