cognitive skills of herptiles

That´s the place to discuss on sytematics, distribution, etc.

Re: cognitive skills of herptiles

Postby Ruggero Morimando » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:59 am

I too think that your gecko is simply digging.
I've read on the web this species digs.
Clearly a side effect of digging is the creation of heaps: we could even say it's building a monument in honour of us, but we should substain the theory... :lol:
Jokes apart, I don't think the substrate you are using is a very good or comfortable one: I'm not an expert but the digging activity we see could be related to the unpleasant and very dry and coarse substrate used... Let us know!
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Re: cognitive skills of herptiles

Postby Ruggero Morimando » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:09 am

https://zoomed.com/hydroballs/

I suspect your substrate gravel is this one. Or not?
But it's created to be used underneath a substrate, and not alone.
I fear your gecko can hurt itself by rubbing continuously over this hard and rough substrate, trying to build a burrow... Why not using simply a paper substrate with a moist chamber with sphagnum or peat?
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Re: cognitive skills of herptiles

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:35 am

Ruggero Morimando wrote:https://zoomed.com/hydroballs/

I suspect your substrate gravel is this one. Or not?
But it's created to be used underneath a substrate, and not alone.
I fear your gecko can hurt itself by rubbing continuously over this hard and rough substrate, trying to build a burrow... Why not using simply a paper substrate with a moist chamber with sphagnum or peat?

Terrarium is big and I wanted it to look nice.

Ruggero Morimando wrote:I too think that your gecko is simply digging.
I've read on the web this species digs.
Clearly a side effect of digging is the creation of heaps: we could even say it's building a monument in honour of us, but we should substain the theory... :lol:
Jokes apart, I don't think the substrate you are using is a very good or comfortable one: I'm not an expert but the digging activity we see could be related to the unpleasant and very dry and coarse substrate used... Let us know!

This species lives in semi-deserts.
The Leopard Gecko is found in Southeastern Afghanistan, Western India, Pakistan, Iraq, and Iran, where it frequents semi-deserts and arid grasslands.
Leopard Gecko habitat is characterized by sandy-gravel, rocks, hard clay, coarse grasses and drought-resistant shrubs

http://blogs.thatpetplace.com/thatrepti ... pular-pet/
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Re: cognitive skills of herptiles

Postby Ilian Velikov » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:42 am

Michal, I think Ruggero has a point about the substrate. I don't think what you have is the best for your gecko. Most Leopard Gecko terrariums I've seen have fine sand as substrate, even the ones from the website you linked to are on sand. Besides if you put sand and a couple of stones/rocks it would look much more natural and much closer to their semi-desert sandy-gravel, rock natural habitat than those artificial looking balls.

Also don't forget that there's a big difference between an animal in captivity and a wild one. In their natural habitat there's a combination of multiple factors which makes it suitable for them. It is very hard to recreate all this in a terrarium, i.e. putting just rocks at the bottom without having all the other conditions present in a semi-desert could have a negative rather than positive effect. Another good example are turtles - a lot of the aquatic ones live in the wild in waters with very muddy bottom where they burrow themselves but you can't keep a turtle in a tank full of mud and black water where it would certainly get some decease or infection.
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Re: cognitive skills of herptiles

Postby Ruggero Morimando » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:48 am

Thanks Michal.

But it's almost impossible to compare a terrarium with a natural habitat. We all know that people are often able to dig and find drinkable water even in deserts. A reptile can live in arid or semiarid region but this fact does not mean it's not able, also with the help of digging, to find moist and relatively cool places.
If you put in a terrarium totally dry expanded clay gravel, this micro "habitat" is absolutely not comparable to a wide natural habitat, with digging possibilities, even if that habitat is an almost desertic or semiarid one...
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Re: cognitive skills of herptiles

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:53 am

Ilian Velikov wrote:Michal, I think Ruggero has a point about the substrate. I don't think what you have is the best for your gecko. Most Leopard Gecko terrariums I've seen have fine sand as substrate, even the ones from the website you linked to are on sand. Besides if you put sand and a couple of stones/rocks it would look much more natural and much closer to their semi-desert sandy-gravel, rock natural habitat than those artificial looking balls.

Also don't forget that there's a big difference between an animal in captivity and a wild one. In their natural habitat there's a combination of multiple factors which makes it suitable for them. It is very hard to recreate all this in a terrarium, i.e. putting just rocks at the bottom without having all the other conditions present in a semi-desert could have a negative rather than positive effect. Another good example are turtles - a lot of the aquatic ones live in the wild in waters with very muddy bottom where they burrow themselves but you can't keep a turtle in a tank full of mud and black water where it would certainly get some decease or infection.

Over Polish internet people dissuade from having sand with this species as it can eat sand and get their digestive system obstructed.
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Re: cognitive skills of herptiles

Postby Ruggero Morimando » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:36 am

Michal Szkudlarek wrote:
Ilian Velikov wrote:Michal, I think Ruggero has a point about the substrate. I don't think what you have is the best for your gecko. Most Leopard Gecko terrariums I've seen have fine sand as substrate, even the ones from the website you linked to are on sand. Besides if you put sand and a couple of stones/rocks it would look much more natural and much closer to their semi-desert sandy-gravel, rock natural habitat than those artificial looking balls.

Also don't forget that there's a big difference between an animal in captivity and a wild one. In their natural habitat there's a combination of multiple factors which makes it suitable for them. It is very hard to recreate all this in a terrarium, i.e. putting just rocks at the bottom without having all the other conditions present in a semi-desert could have a negative rather than positive effect. Another good example are turtles - a lot of the aquatic ones live in the wild in waters with very muddy bottom where they burrow themselves but you can't keep a turtle in a tank full of mud and black water where it would certainly get some decease or infection.

Over Polish internet people dissuade from having sand with this species as it can eat sand and get their digestive system obstructed.


I knew the problem, and, in fact, I did not recommended sand to you. But the problem of ingestion is not solved with your clay, which contains always many smaller pieces which can be ingested, and which is prone to be broken anyway in smaller pieces.
The problem of substrate in terraristic is the biggest problems of all, I think, but probably on this forum we are not allowed to write about terraristic. Or not?
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Re: cognitive skills of herptiles

Postby Kai Kolodziej » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:50 pm

Hello everybody,

Michal your substrate isn't good, but also fine sand isn't the right way to go. I would mix sand with clay, that would be a nice and hard substrate which the gecko is able to dig and create even tunnels, if it wants to.

Regarding the behaviour I share the opinion of Ruggero.

cheers Kai
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Re: cognitive skills of herptiles

Postby Ilian Velikov » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:47 pm

Well, I'm certainly no expert on captivity and was just suggesting a better alternative to clay balls. To be honest I'm not a big fan of the paper towel method which so many people use. Kai's suggestion sounds good though.
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