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mike
18th March 2004, 00:35
A friend reported one of his albino S.s.terrestris had died recently. This 7 cm juvenile was kept with it's siblings in a naturalistic setup, (soil substrate and moss), which was completely changed on a monthly basis. It had apparently succumbed to a bacterial septicaemia.
I have personally seen a newly metamorphosed albino, which "sported" a puffy throat, and consequently could not eat crickets, but happily fed on worms, as they "slide down easily". Is this a genetic abnormality, or possibly a liver/heart/kidney malfunction? (See recent postings in Axolotl Help). This individual is now in it's second year, but is a slow grower.
Could these two incidents just be bad luck? or are these animals prone to ill-health, due, possibly to there being too small a gene pool?
I have been told that all terrestris albinos originate from just one pair!

sergé
18th March 2004, 11:43
Don't think inbreeding has anything to do with it. Albino animals are just several times weaker than normal animals, as the lack several hormones and other normal available functions (hey, they are albino's, which already shows the lack the ability to create a decent skin coloration!).
The point is of course that selection on these animals than of course creates an even more genetic restriction. So inbreeding could be a secundary effect, but the origin to my opinion lies in the weakness of these animals.

mike
18th March 2004, 12:54
Perhaps the breeders of these albinos should then out-cross them with normal coloured animals, the offspring could then be paired back for the albino trait to combat "inbreeding depression".
I remember when albino Burmese Pythons first came on the market, at exorbitant prices, the people who could afford these animals fed them so that within twelve months they grew to three to four metres, and could then reproduce.
They put this down to "Hybrid Vigour".

sergé
22nd March 2004, 07:45
Yes, that would be the only sensible way, but that takes more time, more risks and people desperately want these (to my opinionhttp://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/lol.gif ugly and disabled) animals. Problem still is that these animals are more vulnerable than normal coloured specimen.