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Fan-foots are getting bolder

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by , 01-28-2011 at 11:48 PM (616 Views)
It has been a while since the last entry was made - not a wkile when it comes to me, but anyway... - and my last entry is still up. Oh well, I am done asking for someone else to post over my last entry.

Not much has happened so far, but there have been improvements. The two fan-toed/fan-footed (I call them both from time to time) geckos are getting bolder now. A few nights ago I saw one on the glass wall closest to me, and when I leaned closer for a better look, he (or she?) didn't shy away very much. I think now they are learning that they don't quite need to scurry away whenever I get too close to them. There have been a few instances where my hand would come quite close to the floor of the tank, either to dispense crickets or remove something, and I would not realize there was a gecko only inches from underneath my hand until the very last minute.

I figure these geckos are very used to camoflauge in their natural habitat. So much so, in fact, that they will even risk hiding out in the opening wherever they happen to be over hiding in a crevice or some other area that is notably inaccessable to their persuer. This makes sense, given their colouration, but I was previously unaware of the extent to which they would do so. This suggests a rather high reliance on camoflauge alone, something I am not used to seeing in most lizard species. Especially the small fast ones, which typically take every possible opportunity to disappear to somewhere that will physically conceal them, even if they happen to be well concealed on their own prior to the disturbance.

From a rational perspective, given that ectothermic animals need to conserve as much energy as they possibly can and therefore use it only whenever they need to, camoflauge makes excellent sense. The reward of saving a lot of energy that might otherwise be used for escaping a possible threat or other disturbance outweighs the amount of energy that might be used up when one is uncertain that the disturbance might be aware of your presence or even want to harm you. The loss of the latter also outweighs the loss of the former when one assumes that no matter how fast you can run, you will never outrun your persuer. This is a much simpler concept than that of assuming your speed may be just enough to do the job, since one is firstly unaware of how fast one can run, and one is secondly unaware of how fast one's persuer can run. Such a concept as the latter requires that one compare and evaluate the capabilities of oneself and one's attacker, and this may be too complex a concept to develop. It may not even be worth it, given the uncertainty of the end result, so a much more likely concept is that of assuming that if you run, your persuer will catch you. In which case, given how well you can remain undetected on your own, it may make more sense not to risk running in the first place. This is where the evolution of camoflauge comes into play. Once exceeding a certain degree of success, some species become reliant of their own camoflauge to such an extent that they are willing to rish enormous odds to use it for the sake of efficiency and rationality in terms of energy expenditure.

This impressed me, if at least a little bit, whenever I tried to approach one of the two fan-foots, so I thought I woud type about it.

And now I have a problem.

Last night I brought home two dozen medium-sized crickets from the pet store and put them in the small Kritter Keeper I have at home. Then I looked at them. There were probably only half a dozen 1/4 size crickets in there. The rest were all 1/2 sized. I had never really gotten the chance to measure how large the two geckos were , or - more importantly - how large their heads were, so I had to go with 1/4 size as a good estimate of what I could give them. Therefore, I had to pick out most of the crickets manually and place them in a seperate container before I could do anything with what I had left. The 1/2 size crickets all went to Quetzal, but only minutes after I poured them in there, they started escaping. When I came home tonight the dish was empty, so I am assuming (and hoping) that Quetzal ate them.

Anyway, after doing that, I was able to pour the rest of the crickets from the Kritter Keeper I had been keeping them in to a clear plastic cylindrical cup-like thing that I often use for dispensing crickets into food dishes. I decided this time to dispense the 1/4 size crickets into another clear glass bowl for the two fan-foots. As I look in there at this moment very moment, ...there are a few crickets still in the bowl, a few crickets running around outside near the base of the bowl, and one of the geckos on the glass wall on the far side of the tank, the same side that the food dish is on. I don't know where the other gecko is, and I don't know whether either of them have eaten any of the crickets. I do know that I do not want to go through the same selecting process every time I dispense crickets for these guys.

Most of the medium-sized crickets I get at the pet store will be about 1/2 size, with only a quarter being any smaller than that. I asked one of the employees there at the counter what they were feeding the two geckos while they still had them, and she told me that the geckos got medium crickets... Some of those crickets looked awfully big to be eaten by a 4 to 6 inch gecko... Maybe I could be less selective when I sort out the medium crickets, or maybe I could stop picking them out altogether. Still, I don't like the idea of crickets about a quarter the size of the geckos that are supposed to be eating them running around in the tank like that. The thought of crickets mobbing and chewing up lizards in their sleep still disturbs me so I don't want to take the chance.

Good news is that I may be able to start giving Quetzal large-sized crickets soon. I figure about two dozen crickets at a time will give Abuto, Pepé and Quetzal at least 8 crickets each, which is a good number. It will be a bit more expensive though, and I will be buying them about four times a week. If they are large crickets, however, I will be able to snip their legs more easily and that will make it more difficult for them to escape Quetzal's food dish. That was what the whole leg-snipping thing was supposed to do in the first place.

Not much else to say. Pepé is back to his usual eating pattern now. He was eating less a while back but now I have kept the number of crickets down to 6 for a while so he has gotten into the habit of being hungry more often and more regularly. I wonder how this new schedule with the two dozen crickets being divided into three will work out... Abuto hasn't changed much. I saw her near the mouth of her cave a few nights back so I know she is still with me.

And that is about it. Thanks for reading.
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