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  1. #21
    BPnet Veteran Snagrio's Avatar
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    I've decided upon a personal rule of thumb when it comes to the morphs and ethics debacle:

    I ask myself, could a given morph survive competently if it was a wild specimen? Could it feed itself, maintain good health within reasonable parameters, and potentially mate without creating offspring destined to have a worse off start automatically due to known genetic anomalies within said morph? If no to any of these, that's where I question the ethics of propagating a given morph.

    The only exception to these questions is "Would it get eaten due to different coloration ruining its camouflage?" since that doesn't affect how the animal would be able to live otherwise in terms of a self-sustaining existence and doesn't translate to a domestic setting like the other examples do for obvious reasons.

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    Crowfingers (09-19-2022)

  3. #22
    Registered User Animallover3541's Avatar
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    Re: The Ethics of the Scaleless Morph

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    I would agree with you, but I think that to encourage any gene that impacts the health & survival of the animal is just obviously the wrong direction to go. Which is why these animals evolved with scales in the first place, eh? A bad trait is a bad trait, no matter the amount, & what's more important to protect than a creatures head, anyway? Can't survive with brain damage, or eye damage, or problems eating...if anything needs scales, a snake's head does.

    Again- if having no scales on their head was somehow an advantage, snakes would have evolved that way- like the way turkey vultures evolved without feathers on their heads, so that they stay cleaner when scavenging carrion. But that has no possible advantage for snakes whatsoever. In fact, when they grab their prey, & the prey fights back with either teeth or claws, what's going to happen to the snake's unprotected head? Keeping a bad trait, no matter how minimal, is never good for the animals, which is why natural selection weeds them out.
    I was not promoting the breeding of scaleless ball pythons possessing missing head scales in the slightest. I still think it is unethical and would never purchase an animal like that unless I was taking in a rescue. I was just stating a fact. Sorry about the confusion!
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    Bogertophis (09-19-2022)

  5. #23
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    Re: The Ethics of the Scaleless Morph

    Quote Originally Posted by Animallover3541 View Post
    I was not promoting the breeding of scaleless ball pythons possessing missing head scales in the slightest. I still think it is unethical and would never purchase an animal like that unless I was taking in a rescue. I was just stating a fact. Sorry about the confusion!
    Oh, I understood what you meant- no confusion & not to worry- we're in agreement.

    I was trying to say that I basically agree with "natural selection" -that the best idea is to do away with the trait altogether, rather than have it pop back up recessively, even on a limited basis. It's not a trait that enhances survival at any level, & "deserves" to be gone.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  7. #24
    BPnet Lifer dakski's Avatar
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    Re: The Ethics of the Scaleless Morph

    I cannot speak on Scaleless BP's, but from what I've heard, they have many more issues than scaleless corns, which I have one, Solana.

    Does she have more issues than non-scaleless corn snakes. A little. She had a mouth issue because of a nick from feeding. To be clear, she only gets F/T and I would recommend against feeding any scaleless snake live. 2 weeks of vet prescribed topical meds and a shed and she was back to 100%. Secondly, she needs extra humidity to have a great shed, but the few times I've missed it, sheds easily with a little soak.

    If I had to do it over again, would I get a scaleless snake? Not sure. Solana was the only snake in the country that looked like her and had her genes when I acquired her. Knowing what I know now, and that she does need a little extra love, not sure I would get another scaleless snake. However, I am committed to Solana.

    I think they are much more self sufficient than Bearded Dragons who when scaleless, need creams rubbed on them to keep them healthy, or so I've heard. Also, scaleless corns are not completely scaleless. Solana has a few scales around her mouth and eyes for protection and belly scales so her locomotion is fine.

    The ethics of it is complicated IMO.

    Most morphs wouldn't survive in the wild. So I don't agree with that argument. Not too many Sunglow boas roaming around the jungle. However, people are happy to buy those as pets.

    The issue with scaleless animals in captivity is whether or not they are comfortable and able to live good lives in captivity. In general, that's up to to keeper. I put in the work, and Solana seems to do well. Again this falls on the keeper.

    Another issue is pushing the envelope often helps to promote reptiles in captivity. People seem interested in morphs, and the latest and greatest seem to raise interest. I think that's a good thing.

    I think saying it's unethical is fine, but that assumes the person saying that has only locale species and has no wild caught specimens. Once you get into morphs, or taking animals from the wild (which is another ethics question), I think it's a slippery slope to be critical of scaleless animals in captivity.

    That's my opinion. Not trying to be combative and feel everyone is entitled to an opinion on the subject. Just being clear on what I think and feel and keeping a scaleless snake, I have some authority on the subject.

    I imagine this will spark some more debate, but felt compelled to share here.

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