One eyed albino boa, should I kill him? - Page 6 - FaunaClassifieds
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View Poll Results: Kill it, or keep as a non breeder/pet
Keep as a pet 112 88.89%
kill it! 14 11.11%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 126. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-29-2006, 06:14 PM   #51
hhmoore
I think whether it makes you unpopular will depend on what you do with the offspring. Experimentation is one thing, that is part of how knowledge is acquired...I think I will refrain from further comment at this time
 
Old 10-29-2006, 06:20 PM   #52
Mokele
Quote:
Though it's probably going to make me somewhat unpopular, I fully intend to do some experimenting with the albino genes at a later date. This is the main reason I held back two from my litter. I want some definative answers that so far have just been speculated upon. Facts, numbers, son back to mom, brother and sister, grandson back to grandma, etc. etc. Things like this will reveal more of the nature behind the problem. As of yet, I don't think anyone has dedicated any breeding to this sort of effort.
A few things:

First, you should note that if you're starting with two albinos, there's already likely been some inbreeding depression, and which genes are fixed for what will be different compared to say, albino corns or piebald balls. So while your results will be applicable to the specific issue of eye problems in boids, it likely won't be generalizable well to other species and other issues.

Secondly, and pursuant to the above, there have already been numerous inbreeding experiments done in many species, the results of which can be found in the scientific literature. We've got quite a good handle on what inbreeding does in general, so if that's what you're after, I can send you the PDFs of some articles and save a lot of time and trouble.

Thirdly, these problems, being developmental, likely won't adhere to simple one-gene or two-gene mendelian models, so sorting out the heredity may be anything from difficult to impossible, especially with the complicating factor of environmental influences such as temperature (with the double-whammy of being inside a snake whose behavior you cannot absolutely control as compared to eggs, whose temperature conditions can be monitored and modified more easily). A large number of genes are involved in proper eye formation, and sorting out which and how many have been compromised from a limited number of offspring is going to be very difficult (this is why most genetics experiments involve high-reproduction species like fruit flies or plants).

Fourth, unless you up your sample size, you're going to run into the issue of psuedoreplication adversely affecting sample size. Repeated measures (clutches) can help alleviate this, but not entirely; a starting group of 6-10 would be more productive and less prone to errors and experimental complications. For example, what happens if your female gets injured and needs an X-ray? You've just bombarded the ovaries with mutation-inducing radiation, and from then on, can't be sure if problems come from that or the breedings? That's just one example, but the point is, small sample sizes make it hard to tell what's a real effect.

Fifth, what do you intend to do with the offspring? There'll be a lot of these things, and euthanizing all of them would be expensive. If you do, I'd reccommend doing full dissections of all of them, both eyes and body cavities, in search of other abormalities, plus some simple morphological examinations such as vertebral counts, since you'd have the bodies on hand. In that event, I can recommend sources for formaldehyde and ethanol for preservation.

Sixth, is it really worth it? We already know that albino snakes are inbred, and that inbreeding inevitably causes hidden genetic problems to manifest, including deformities. What would really be gained, other than an understanding of the particulars of a line which, given that already-apparent defects, is likely to become inviable anyway within a few more generations?

I'd recommend reading up on what's already known of inbreeding in the scientific literature first; it may be that this idea would give us only modest additional knowledge in return for great effort, time, and money on your part.

I don't mean to sound down on this; believe me, I'm the *last* person to disparage experimentation. But experimentation must be done right in order to produce valid results, and sometimes it turns out that we already know so much about a given topic that, unless there's a reason to suspect something terribly out of the ordinary in this case, it's not really worth the time to pursue. Although reptile development is complicated by fluctuations in temperature, there's still little I can see that would lead me to suspect there's more going on than simple inbreeding depression. Hard numbers would help solidify that, but those could be acquired through existing breeding records (assuming records have been adequately kept).

Henry
 
Old 10-29-2006, 07:03 PM   #53
The BoidSmith
Quote:
That may also have something to do with the pricing of Sharpe vs. Kahl. Since Kahl has always been the more affordable strain, just seems natural there would be more of them out there breeding, thus raising the chances of inbreeding albeit unknowingly.
Rick, I don't recall exactly on top of my head but if I remember right albino boas (Kahl) were far more expensive in the begining than what the Sharp strain is priced today. But you are right, with time the Kahl strain has becme more accesible to the general public, particularly animals with this genetic deffect. I'm pretty sure we are just scratching the tip of the iceberg, as we don't know how many "carriers" are out there.

Quote:
Though it's probably going to make me somewhat unpopular, I fully intend to do some experimenting with the albino genes at a later date. This is the main reason I held back two from my litter. I want some definative answers that so far have just been speculated upon. Facts, numbers, son back to mom, brother and sister, grandson back to grandma, etc. etc. Things like this will reveal more of the nature behind the problem. As of yet, I don't think anyone has dedicated any breeding to this sort of effort.
No criticism whatosever but I'm in absolute agreement with Henry on this one. You will get into a lot of trouble, expenses, etc. and you will not be able to get any statistically valid results.

Regards.
 
Old 10-29-2006, 08:13 PM   #54
crotalusadamanteus
Wow, that's a hell of a post Henry. Definately more to think about than I was aware of. I understood a larger scale operation would give better answers and all, and I am not large scale at all, and the big guys don't seem to talk about it much. LOL But there is a lot I didn't concider. Thanks for the eye opener.

I'd love to read the PDF's on the subject though. rick@sunsetbci.com Feel free to send away. Can never learn too much.

Rick
 
Old 10-29-2006, 09:32 PM   #55
Mokele
Quote:
Wow, that's a hell of a post Henry. Definately more to think about than I was aware of. I understood a larger scale operation would give better answers and all, and I am not large scale at all, and the big guys don't seem to talk about it much. LOL But there is a lot I didn't concider. Thanks for the eye opener.
No problem. Experimental design can be extremely difficult, and in recent years has only gotten more complicated as we've found new problems that can ruin results; it's to the point that we've had to invent entirely new statistical methods for dealing with some questions.

Primary, though, is always the issue of sample size, and in breeding experiments, lineages are the proper sample size; no matter how many breedings there are, the results are always statistically non-independent (since, after all, one generation gives rise to the next one).

Quote:
I'd love to read the PDF's on the subject though. rick@sunsetbci.com Feel free to send away. Can never learn too much.
PM me to remind me if I forget; I'll have to wait until I'm back in lab tommorrow, as I don't have access from home to the full-text articles.

Henry
 
Old 10-30-2006, 11:53 PM   #56
Mokele
Just an addendum with a couple of articles I found that I feel are pertinent to this discussion. I'm pretty sure I can't just post full-text here, since it's copyright of the journal, but I can give the abstracts, and give PDFs to those interested.

A Comparison of Inbreeding Depression in Life-History and Morphological Traits in Animals
Marc A. DeRose, Derek A. Roff
Evolution, Vol. 53, No. 4 (Aug., 1999), pp. 1288-1292
Quote:
Originally Posted by abstract
The current study tests the hypothesis that life-history traits (closely related to fitness) show greater inbreeding depression than morphological traits (less closely related to fitness). The mean and median slope of the standardized coefficient of inbreeding depression (the slope of the linear relationship between F and the trait value) for life-history and morphological traits were compared. Slopes for life-history traits were higher than those for morphological traits. At F = 0.25 (full-sibling mating), life-history traits experienced a median reduction of 11.8% in trait value, whereas morphological traits showed a depression in trait value of approximately 2.2%.
This paper is significant to this discussion because it means we're looking for the wrong things: small size and physical abnormalities are noticably only long after there has been significant reduction in lifespan, fecundity, infant survival rate, etc. The problem is that life history traits are much less obvious and often require controlled observation and testing to detect. Essentially, by the time we're seeing morphological signs, we may have already done a lot of damage.



Inbreeding depression in an isolated population of adders Vipera berus
MADSEN T. ; STILLE B. ; SHINE R. ;
Biological conservation, 1996, vol. 75, no2, pp. 113-118
Quote:
Originally Posted by abstract
Although inbreeding depression is well-studied in captive animals, its role in natural populations remains controversial. We provide information on an isolated population of snakes (adders Vipera berus) that has been separated from neighbouring populations by the expansion of agricultural activities in southern Sweden. Total adult population size is < 40 adult individuals, and the mating system is such that a few males have disproportionate reproductive success and hence father most of the progeny each year. The isolation and small effective population size (< 15 adults) promote inbreeding. Compared to other non-isolated Swedish populations of adders, the isolated population shows (i) a smaller litter size relative to maternal body size ; (ii) a higher proportion of deformed and stillborn offspring ; (iii) a lower degree of genetic heterozygosity due to fixation or near-fixation of alleles ; and (iv) a higher genetic similarity among individuals (as measured by DNA fingerprinting). The incidence of inviable offspring was sharply reduced when we introduced males from other areas into the isolated population. These results suggest that the lower reproductive output and viability of adders in the isolated population result from inbreeding depression. We also present data to falsify two alternative hypotheses : the characteristics of the isolated population are not due to environmental contaminants (metal and pesticide residue levels are low) or to poor food supply (adult adders are in good physical condition and their neonates are of the same size as in other populations).
I present this one because it's directly studying snakes, showing that the same rules apply to snakes as other organisms studies more frequently.

I've got PDFs of both, if anyone wants them (just PM me).

This, of course, leads to a new question: is there a significant different in clutch number or total neonate mass (relative to maternal mass) in albino-line snakes than in normals from diverse backgrounds? I'd predict yes, and I'd be interested to see if the data from breeders supports that.

Henry
 
Old 11-04-2006, 11:41 PM   #57
Slithering Serpents
He didn't ask if he should keep it as a pet, but if he should sell it for a pet. Now that makes the answer stickier in my opinion. You'd almost have to keep it to be sure.

Caden
 
Old 11-05-2006, 12:16 AM   #58
northstarboasandmore
do you still have him/her? heck I would love to have it for a pet...keep the poor thing alive as long as it is healthy and eating fine...if every want to get rid of it..put me in line!
 
Old 11-14-2006, 12:33 PM   #59
ericfire
ill take it and pay shipping
its very nice regardless of the eye
i would only keep it for a pet though ,you wouldnt want to take a chance with the genetics
 
Old 11-25-2006, 02:21 AM   #60
Great Lakes Reptiles
Thanks guys, hes doing very well I'll try to get some better pics up soon, dont worry I'm not going to be breeding him, i have some bigger plans as far as males go
 

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