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    Lightbulb Morph discussion...


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    As this can be a touchy subject, please remember to keep discussion on an adult and constructive level. Respect each others opinions even if you don't happen to agree...

    Morphs: Have we gone too far? -
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    To a degree, I think we have gone a bit too far. There are things like Enigma leopard geckos and spider ball pythons being bred simply for aesthetic value, with no thought given to the neurological (among other) conditions of the animals. When people are so concerned with the paint job that what's under the hood no longer matters, that's when I have a problem with it. I'm the first to admit that I think certain morphs look awesome (blue headed green tokay comes to mind), but there has to be a balance of figuring out the genetics so that you can create morphs that don't have a negative impact on the animals well being. Certain genes will cause the expression of others, it's a fact. So why not run a genetic analysis on the species to figure out where the problematic genes are in relation to the color/pattern/etc genes and try to avoid the problematic genes.
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    Interesting article with some good suggestions for where to be cautious. I can see how breeding for a trait that could ultimately be harmful to the gecko, or extensive inbreeding to fix a trait can be a big problem. However, I take issue with the assumption that breeding for specific morphs is necessarily going down that road. A responsible breeder, in my opinion, outcrosses judiciously, is willing to pass on a particular pairing or line development if there's evidence of undesirable traits showing up, and is constantly weighing the most interesting and the healthiest outcome in making decisions about what to breed.
    There is another interesting article about wild type vs. designer morphs that we published recently in Gecko Time. You can find it here: ?Natural? vs. ?Man-made?: Facts and Myths about Morphs in the Leopard Gecko | Gecko Time

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    To ask have we gone to far is sort of open ended and subjective. I would be willing to up the ante and say that based on the selective breeding that has been done with Leopard geckos they have been outright domesticated. Yep, I said it domesticated.

    So to ask the question, have we gone too far, I guess that depends. If you feel the animals have been domesticated than you have not gone to far, you are already there.

    Domestication is the end result.

    Leopard Geckos meet all of the criteria for domesticated animals. I suspect that 20 - 30 years from now you will see Leopard geckos with some new traits such as the following:

    1. Larger overall sizes.
    2. new color morphs and patterns
    3. Animals that eat processed foods such as pellets, no longer necessitating the use of a varied diet or supplements.
    4. Animals that start to spend more time out during daytime hours.

    I think that the surface has only been scratched.

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    For me, the leopard gecko is the pinnacle of having gone too far. It's almost impossible at this point to find a true, wild type leopard gecko that has a true family history of having ZERO morphed genetics in it. I am one of the few breeders that still works to keep true, unmolested leopard geckos in the hobby. And, if by "domesticated" you mean an animal that is far weaker, has far more health and feeding issues, and shows none of the traits of the animal that it truly is...then I guess we've achieved that. But I don't think it's a positive thing. That's just my opinion though. I think it's sad that people have lost sight of the beauty of the natural state and the natural behaviors of the species.

    As for tokays, hopefully we aren't walking down the same road. But I fear that we are. Every day I see more and more people talking about "taming" their tokay. And I see more people jumping in to try and breed the morphs simply to try to cash in. It makes my stomach churn. At this point we're able to get plenty of wild caught animals to keep fresh bloodlines going. But if imports were to dry up like they did with leos, it wouldn't be all that long before tokays might suffer the same fate.
    Ethan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverside Reptiles View Post
    For me, the leopard gecko is the pinnacle of having gone too far. It's almost impossible at this point to find a true, wild type leopard gecko that has a true family history of having ZERO morphed genetics in it. I am one of the few breeders that still works to keep true, unmolested leopard geckos in the hobby. And, if by "domesticated" you mean an animal that is far weaker, has far more health and feeding issues, and shows none of the traits of the animal that it truly is...then I guess we've achieved that. But I don't think it's a positive thing. That's just my opinion though. I think it's sad that people have lost sight of the beauty of the natural state and the natural behaviors of the species.

    As for tokays, hopefully we aren't walking down the same road. But I fear that we are. Every day I see more and more people talking about "taming" their tokay. And I see more people jumping in to try and breed the morphs simply to try to cash in. It makes my stomach churn. At this point we're able to get plenty of wild caught animals to keep fresh bloodlines going. But if imports were to dry up like they did with leos, it wouldn't be all that long before tokays might suffer the same fate.
    Domestication does not just result in animals that are weaker and have more health issues. You sound like you are referring to animals that have been domesticated and raised for food, ie. chickens and turkeys.

    Take a look at the domestication of some other species such as horses, dogs and cows. How about a thoroughbred like Secretariat. That would be domestication at it's finest. I don't think you would find anybody calling Secretariat a weakling and yet the horse still exhibits all of the characteristics of it's wild counterparts.

    Another advantage to domestication is that it does take pressure off of the wild populations.

    Selective breeding is the answer.

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    No, what I'm referring to is leopard geckos. They have not been domesticated, they have simply been severally over bred which has weakend the species greatly. I work with true wild type leos that have not been line bred and have zero morphed genetics in them at all and they are a completely different animal than all what is generally available on todays market. I've been around since before there were leopard gecko morphs, so I've seen the awful progression they've made over the years. Inbreeding does not equal domestication. Inbreeding equates to poor genetics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Conched View Post
    Domestication does not just result in animals that are weaker and have more health issues. You sound like you are referring to animals that have been domesticated and raised for food, ie. chickens and turkeys.

    Take a look at the domestication of some other species such as horses, dogs and cows. How about a thoroughbred like Secretariat. That would be domestication at it's finest. I don't think you would find anybody calling Secretariat a weakling and yet the horse still exhibits all of the characteristics of it's wild counterparts.

    Another advantage to domestication is that it does take pressure off of the wild populations.

    Selective breeding is the answer.
    Ethan
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    Riverside Reptiles Online

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    To ALL GU members, please take the time to look through old threads and/or use the search feature BEFORE asking questions. GU is a huge archive of information and most of the info that you're looking for is already there just waiting for you to find it.
    GU's search feature ----> Geckos Unlimited - Search Forums

    GU's Rules: http://www.geckosunlimited.com/commu...les-rules.html


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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverside Reptiles View Post
    No, what I'm referring to is leopard geckos. They have not been domesticated, they have simply been severally over bred which has weakend the species greatly. I work with true wild type leos that have not been line bred and have zero morphed genetics in them at all and they are a completely different animal than all what is generally available on todays market. I've been around since before there were leopard gecko morphs, so I've seen the awful progression they've made over the years. Inbreeding does not equal domestication. Inbreeding equates to poor genetics.
    O.K., I am interested to hear your observations.

    What is so different about the wild morphs you breed vs other line bred types ? Are they larger, stronger ? Do they produce more eggs are the offspring larger ?

    Curious, what do you have against selective breeding ? Do you not beleive in the merits of selective breeding ?

    As an aside, i do beleive that leopard geckos meet the criteria for domestication.

    While I am sure some breeders do produce certain heavily inbred specimens , I have seen plenty of animals from breeders that seem perfectly healthy.
    Last edited by Conched; 08-05-2013 at 09:23 PM.

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there some Scientific proof that most all Morph Leo's that are here today came from breeding Leo's with their different sub specie's or other Eu. specie's. I remember reading that some DNA and Gene test's were done on today's Leo's that proved that. So if that is the case, today's morph's are Hybrid's, not true Leo's, and these Hybrid's have some pretty dirty blood with multiple Eu. sub/species in them. So if that is the case, than there is a BIG difference between Morph Leo's and Wild Type Leo's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RuselBro View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there some Scientific proof that most all Morph Leo's that are here today came from breeding Leo's with their different sub specie's or other Eu. specie's. I remember reading that some DNA and Gene test's were done on today's Leo's that proved that. So if that is the case, today's morph's are Hybrid's, not true Leo's, and these Hybrid's have some pretty dirty blood with multiple Eu. sub/species in them. So if that is the case, than there is a BIG difference between Morph Leo's and Wild Type Leo's.
    Agreed, but they are still Leopard geckos. I believe this would further support selective breeding which in turn leads to a large commercial market. Classic example of domestication.

    In fact when you look at all the designer colors morphs as well as all of the products directly marketed for leopard Geckos I am not sure how one could argue against domestication. Domestication does not necessarily equate to dogs and cats, it is any large scale commercially bred animal that fills a niche in a particular market, food, pet, science use etc..

    However, I believe the thread was intended to reflect upon wether we have gone to far. The reality is the hobby has come too far to turn back.

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