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Old 06-29-03, 11:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Whats your take on this?

Why are nearly all snakes found in the wild filled with parasites? I doubt they all are sick like this if so the species will probley be eliminated within the next couple 1000 years or is it we are only really able to catch the sick ones

I realize that before snakes are shippe dthey are all put in one feed trough thing and stressed and parasites are also passed there That seems to be the the most logical routebut whats you take this is a question I mainly ask people who go herping and catch snakes do you often find Snakes with parasites and do you think its because the healthy ones knew yo were coming 10 minutes before the sickly ones did or because there all sick?
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Old 06-30-03, 12:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Snakes with parasites in the wild aren't necessarily sick. They (parasite and snake) usually live in harmony where the snake is able to keep parasite levels stable with it's own immune system. In other words, they are mere hosts. Now when they get stressed, immune system get majorly upset and throws everything out of whack and parasite levels increase to a point where it is harmful to the snake.

Although there are parasites out there which can and do kill snakes in the wild. But the majority of the ones we find while herping fall into the above category.

Kinda like Psoriasis which can be aggravated or surface all of a sudden when someone who has it gets really stressed.

It's all about the immune system.
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Old 06-30-03, 12:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I know they can live with parasites but naturally there immune system will want to reject the worms or fungi and destroy it for good

But as snakes get older like people there immune system gets weaker then they would have no chance in the wild

Is the relationship between the parasite and snake symbiotic (Sp?) if so how does the snake benifit?
And In the wild would snake not be exposed to constant stress temp drops preditors lack of food meaning that the parasite could take the upper hand and kill the snake and they are exposed to that all the time so parasite would kill most of the population?
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Old 06-30-03, 12:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The relationship is not symbiotic, but parasitic, and can range from severe to unnoticeable. Think about it : (hypothetically) you could have lice or ringworm, and yes your body might try to combat this but not very hard because it doesn't really affect you over all. Your body also contains bacteria like Eshcerichia Coli which your body needs but can also be fatal. You could also some parasites or even worms in your body - they eat some of your food, maybe drink some of your blood, but they don't affect your body enough to kill you. You could also have a tapeworm - a much, much more severe parasite, that could kill you.

Just as snakes could have pin worms, and in the wild these won't affect a snake too much negatively, or a snake could have a tapeworm and die from it.

It's all relative and dependant on external factors such as food supply, climate, and stress.

Last edited by Zoe; 06-30-03 at 10:36 AM..
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Old 06-30-03, 12:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Just for the record.
Most people know that in the wild, reptiles harbour parasites. However, there are many people who wrongly think that captive bred reptiles will not have parasites. In the wild most reptiles probably have a small parasite load. This may not cause too much of a problem in the wild since, wild reptiles are not confined to a small space, they can move around, away from their feces and shed skins (both of which can harbour parasites) and can also get away from any parasite eggs which may have been laid in the vicinity. However, captive conditions do not allow this freedom and parasite problems can get out of hand very quickly. In captivity, the habitat conditions are very favourable for your reptile, and are fairly constant. This also means that it is the ideal environment for survival of the parasite..

.. Also for the fact I cant delete my message that Zoe already beat me to saying, I might as well edit it with something..


Last edited by KrokadilyanGuy3; 06-30-03 at 12:51 AM..
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