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RE: New To Horned Lizards

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Posted by: fireside3 at Mon Jul 28 06:24:39 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by fireside3 ]  

And sometimes being simplistic, you run the risk of your messages containing no usable information at all.

There are probably hundreds of genera of ants and thousands of species. Red, black, and orange are the predominant colors for probably more than 99% of the worlds ants, so this does not tell anyone much. The description of nest construction and habitat preferences where found would be more useful. Different ants like to build nests different ways, and in different areas and types of soil, and you don't have to have much education to use that information or understand it's importance.

I don't believe in talking down to people in simplistic terms and saving them from having to think or research. If someone's brain hurts at the thought of reading Latin or about identifying ants, or metabolic processes, then they probably should stick to just ordering what experience shows is good food, until they can learn a little more about HLs. Or stay away from HLs. If I use a word that is too big, well that's what google is for. Maybe they will learn something, how terrible is that!

Persons who don't make great keepers of reptiles, tend to be the people who are too bothered with details and learning "jargon". The majority of the breakthroughs and contributions to the husbandry of HLs has come from, and will always come from, those who have a little dedication to learn something technical and write in technical terms. Mark understands that, Collet understands that, I understand that; and so does anyone else who is taken seriously in this game.

Nobody took it easy on me, and that's how I learned, and learned well. When I jumped into snakes 20 years ago, I had to learn what an L. alterna and a C. atrox was, as everyone around me was speaking rapid fire Latin and taking shop. There are far too many common names for the same animals. Rather than go through all that trouble debating names ( like "Puff Adder" for what people around these parts also call a "Hognose snake" ), I prefer to use a common scientific vocabulary that is already established and used by the educated, because I seek to be educated.

One does not have to be a pedigreed academic, but some dedication to following scientific methods and understanding "jargon" is necessary, if one really wants to contribute something and be understood. Scientific "jargon" provides a common specific vocabulary, and I find it works much better than pointing and grunting, or saying "red".

I don't have a degree to my name, yet writing a 40 page manual on HLs has gotten professional herpetologists and zoologist contacting me to speak about what I have written. It got me an invite to speak at the International Herpetological Symposium, even though they already had Sherbrooke booked as well. I think that is a great honor and says something in itself to even be asked to present. I could not make it this year in time, but I plan to present next year in Mexico City. Not bad for someone who started learning HLs 5-6 years ago.

Why is identifying ants so hard? If you have the proper book, I see no reason why someone can't read that fancy book and understand pictures, the same as any wet-eared 20 year old college student can. I feel bad for those who only learned what they know from regurgitation and lecture, and had to have book contents explained to them. I can pretty well read a book, and figure it out without a professor holding my hand. Identification keys are not hard to follow. I also have 2 decades of field experience, which in my opinion, trumps a pedigree from a university any day.

"Real education" is a mindset, and you either have it or you don't. It isn't acquired in school.
Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue
Harvester Ants


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