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RE: The description relates well to me...

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Posted by: BoaMorph at Tue Jun 20 01:41:58 2006   [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by BoaMorph ]  
   

Ch.E. 1989 University of Colorado, Boulder. Congrats on your acceptance to Cornell - excellent school. Do they have much of a herp program? One of the advantages for me at CU (though I didn't know it when I started there) was that they had (and still do have) one of the better herp programs in the country. My reptilian interests led me to start breeding snakes, and to completing about 3 years of snake-related independent study work under David Chiszar while completing my engineering degree. Most of my work was related to locomotion of brown tree snakes (Boiga irregularis) in support of finding a solution to the Boiga infestation on Guam. Also did work on rattlesnake prey-tracking studies, and assisted with care of the collection - moccasins, cantils, red spitters, Russels vipers, death adders, lots of venomous stuff. I got to present a paper on the Boiga work that I authored and co-researched with David and Hobart Smith. Hobart is one of the original legends of the herpetology field and it was quite an honor to get to work with him. Talk about a guy with good stories to tell! Anyway, I hope you find some similar opportunities to expand your studies beyond engineering and expore your other interests as well.

My real job now is with an environmental consulting firm on a high-profile project for a major aerospace client. My work is all related to groundwater flow and contaminant transport in a fractured sandstone and shale environment. My other job is breeding and caring for a much greater number of boas than is reasonable -LOL, currently well over 100.

Interesting that the breeder's solution you mentioned implies to me not a problem with ability to absorb or retain heat, but that if offered too broad of a temperature gradient a gravid albino may "choose" to thermoregulate at too low a temperature. I personally have no idea if that may be true or not; I have a gravid coral albino female that is currently doing a fine job maintaining 88F. Since the male that bred her is a Motley 50% possible het albino, I've been paying just a bit of attention to her!

I dare say there is approximately zero university funding for research on boa breeding and genetics, so all we have to go on is our collective experience and observations. No neat clean studies with statistically significant populations and controls. What works for one often does not work for another. As difficult as successfully breeding boas can be, it is also interesting that they will reproduce under a remarkable variety of conditions. Just shows how little we really know, and is a part of what keeps it all interesting to me!

Steve Reiners

www.BoaMorph.com


   

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