FaunaClassifieds - View Single Post - Interesting but unethical Hybrid attempt.
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Old 12-08-2005, 12:01 AM   #2
Southwick Herps
There's a whole topic on kingsnake about hybrids... I think people are losing their mind.
Snakes are not dogs. Dog breeds are all compatible because they are all at worst in the same kingdom, phylum, class, order, and family. The genus and species can change, but from what I have come to understand about genetics, speciation, and such it would make dogs all of the same genus and species, because what classifies a population as a species is the ability to interbreed successfully (produce vital offspring with reproductive capabilities). Dogs all came from one source, the wolve anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 years ago, and not because of domestication. As landfills arose, some wolves made life a hell of a lot easier by just eating food they found on dumps. The wolves that could tolerate humans, and not run when a human approached lasted longer on the dumps, and gathered more food, which in turn made them the most successful breeders. Low and behold, natural selection favored these wolves. As the need lessened to be able to hunt, track, and all of these highly specialized hunting behaviors decreased, so did the brain size. Eventually, they were calm enough to own as pets. Breeding the calmness into the genes generation after generation is what brought about some common canine characteristics... It is completely illogical to assume that slective breeding created floppy ears, and upwardly curving tails, actually there is a quite interesting report on how this happened. Adrenaline is directly linked to parts of the DNA that control melanism, and certain physical traits, which created a varying coat coloration, not one solid color like seen on wolves, and brought it to the patchy color we see today, and lowered the ears and raised the tails...

Snakes however did not all generate from one species. Not all snakes derived from a common ancestor. Thats why there are so many different types of snakes. Colubrids, Pythons, Boas... Arboreal Snakes, terrestrial snakes, aquatic snakes. these all evolved in different parts of the world, from different ancestors to fulfill different survival needs, whereas the dog arose from one common ancestor and ballooned out to spread across the globe.

My point is, you can't just pick and choose the snake species you wish to breed because "the outcome would be cool". Snakes are highly specialized, and very well adapted to their environment, and to breed with the same species, and occasionally close relatives like we see with different US colubrid integrades that only occur because of territorial overlaping and being able to overcome Mechanical Isolation, Geographical Isolation, Behavioral Isolation, and in some cases even Temporal Isolation...
I think that people should stop hybridizing snakes. Get real, the majority only do it to make an insane profit on their creations like with the Borneo Bat Eaters. They make quite a profit. Buy simple, cheap burms and retics, and breed em together, and sell for thousands upon thousands...
The intentions might be just, trying to downsize a larger species for those who cannot accomodate such a hefty sized snake, but if you cant house it, own a different snake or wait for dwarf's to be found and bred like the Dwarf Tic's... If all else fails, you can selectively breed for size... How do you think we got certain dog traits? Pure chance, no people took those animals with desired traits and bred them and other likes in the species to produce the smaller sized snake. It would take years and years, and maybe never happen, but there is no need for hybridization.