Extensive Sav monitor care guide needed

Discussion in 'Monitors & Tegus' started by wearentfree420, Apr 28, 2009.

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  1. wearentfree420

    wearentfree420 Embryo

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    Hey, i wanted to know a link to a trusted extensive guide on caring for savannah monitors because i REALLY want to get one and i will as soon as i get this job promotion and learn up on them.

    Anyone got one? advice would be appreciated also. thnx
     
  2. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  3. bruno

    bruno Moderator

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    Hi,
    About the best caresheet can be found on Melissa Kaplins site HERE
    At the bottom of that page there are some "Related articles". All 6 items are worth reading, specially Micheal Balsai, he is one of the most respected monitor experts.
     
  4. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  5. wearentfree420

    wearentfree420 Embryo

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    thnx bruno, you always come through
     
  6. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  7. sidbarvin

    sidbarvin Embryo

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    This site contains the most up to date information on savanna monitor husbandry out there. Kaplan's caresheet is far outdated.
    http://www.savannahmonitor.org/
     
  8. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  9. bruno

    bruno Moderator

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    Thank you sidbarvin, looks like a good one.
    I have bookmarked it for future reference
     
  10. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  11. wearentfree420

    wearentfree420 Embryo

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    Thnx alot.

    There is a reptile expo here in phoenix in November, its supposed to be the biggest reptile expo for phoenix.
    So hopefully by then i'll have made enough money to have his husbandry set up and find a cheap sav.
     
  12. drgrey

    drgrey Embryo

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    http://www.savannahmonitor.org/
    i just had a look at that link.
    it's really quite a bit of trash.
    the amazing statistics have no references- but what would one expect?
    it really works best as an example of how anybody can make up anything and post it on the net- and have it cited as if it were established fact.
    i find it astonishingly bad enough to use it as an example of its kind.

    instead of dazzling oneself with new vocabulary words in the following manner:
    without ever having examined the teeth, it would be preferible to show the teeth of a bosc, thus:
    [​IMG]
    the photo is good enough that you can see the razor sharp edge on the teeth. they slice. i call this quality information. (i just happened to have the bones on my desk.)
    without having to test it one can see that if one receives a bite from a bosc, while he may complain of the crushing jaws, with respect to the teeth, his complaints will be of perforation and laceration, not crushing.


    the rest of the jr high book report style information on that site is similarly fanciful. the author has nothing to show- and the real bottom line for me, and for everyone else when the drugs wear off, is if you have nothing to show, it's out the door.
     
  13. crocdoc

    crocdoc Embryo

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    Are those Lilly's teeth?

    There's no doubt that the teeth at the front are pointy (for grasping onto prey) while the ones at the back are chunkier (better suited to crushing). But the ones at the front still aren't the sharp cutting teeth that most other monitor species have. They sort of remind me of crocodile teeth - some are conical and pointy, others heavier set and blunter, better suited to grasping and crushing (respectively) than to cutting (albeit with a small bit of an edge).
    Here's a mangrove monitor for comparison. You can see how slender and blade like the teeth are by looking at the ones on the near side lower jaw that are at a slightly different angle. By comparison, the savannah monitor teeth in your photo are more conical. Unless you have a photograph of them viewed edge on to indicate that they are thin, rather than conical, for they look conical in those photos.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. allergenic

    allergenic Embryo

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    Dr. Grey,

    Thank you for your reply. I am the creator of savannamonitor.org. I welcome any and all criticism as I'd like to improve the site as it develops. I'd like to address a few points, perhaps I can clarify.

    I created the site last week in just over 4 hours. I don't disagree with your "Jr. High book report" comment in the slightest. My answer is to consider the audience. The text is aimed directly at newcomers, trying to relay the basic husbandry information we regurgitate over and over again on newcomer forums (like this one). Having been on forums for several years, I've noticed the majority of forum users have little to no proper grasp of the English language. Writing husbandry articles on the level of publications like Biawak is going to do very little good.

    Regarding the blunt crushing teeth, my source is "Gray's Monitor Lizard" by Walter Auffenberg. On page 42 he states "The only other varanids with similar blunted teeth and heavily constructed skull (V. niloticus and V. exanthematicus) also feed on molluscs (Mertens, 1942; Cisse, 1972)..." In addition, Daniel Bennett's review of Sprackland's "Savannah Monitors", he states "The statement that V. exanthematicus teeth remain pointed throughout life whilst those of V. albigularis undergo an ontogenetic shift to become broad snail crushers, is incorrect; in both species a shift to heavier dentition is evident with age."

    Your photo of an exanthematicus skull is extremely helpful, and generous of you to post. I would argue, though, as crocdoc has, that the rear teeth are the same "blunt, crushing teeth" that Bennett and Auffenberg were referencing.

    Your criticism of my statistics on the life span of exanthematicus in captivity is warranted. The statistics are a conglomeration of various conversations with people, summarizing our collective experiences. There is no true way of knowing the average life span, the most we can accurately measure in captivity is the maximum life span, reported by individuals. Again, the statistics are simply an impression of the rampant problem of impulse purchases and poor husbandry information, watching people on forums for years going through the same mistakes, over and over. Some of what I typed on the site is meant to be somewhat in the nature of shock value, trying to get people to perhaps take better care of their animals, that are generally thrown into fish aquariums after doing little to no research. If I am to continue with the site, I will indeed post something more concrete.

    The closest inference I have to concrete statistics come from Michael Cota's reference to the CITES species importation databases. According to CITES, roughly 50K wild caught exanthematicus are imported into the US every year, recorded for the last 20 years. That equals 1M Savannah Monitors that are supposed to be alive in captivity in the US, at the current moment. Where then, are all these adult monitors?

    I welcome any other points you'd like to make, as they can only improve the site. I do feel, however, that I can stand by the husbandry and "taming" information, as they have worked for me and are a staple of conversation among serious monitor keepers.

    Now that work has died down, I am able to revisit the site and add sources, if that's what you believe would give it more credibility. I will definitely make concrete changes to the opening statistics, though I'd like to retain some shred of shock value. Overall, I would like to think that, small criticisms aside, I at least am aiming in the right direction and doing a service.

    Thank you,
    Bill
     
  15. drgrey

    drgrey Embryo

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    there is nothing that can improve that site but deletion.
    look how much improved the conversation is already when somebody insists on minimum standard. now we are talking about actual teeth instead of fantasy teeth.
    studying is done much better without children raving and regurgitating all over the place- there is no neutral ground where crap has a place alongside science. they call that religion instead. your site is where you preach and you do an awful job of it, imo.

    the failure of the site arises from the fact that it is none of it first hand- it is all performance regurgitation - not even self trained.
    a prime example is you citing michael cota as source for CITES statistics.
    (look up the word 'inference' sometime, too)

    show the actual CITES stats, which i have previously posted on this forum, obtained from the source. there is no excuse for laziness and laziness does not justify a passing grade.

    then, you determine and conclude the longevity statistics and cause of death of thousands of bosc monitors you never saw and only heard of from m. cota. this is what you call your best effort? is it actually your best effort?

    you show no growth charts to substantiate any claims about diet yet you have very specific advice. you show no adults to prove familiarity or success in raising them, but you hold forth on the proper way to do it. you show no monitors that can be considered tame but you advise on animal training, you have no experience observing them in nature but you are a wealth of information on how they forage, burrow and conduct their daily affairs. this is what you call your best effort? is it actually your best effort?

    in short- you are faking it all the way.
    if you have something to show, show it or out the door. if you are depending on me or anybody else to provide your content, out the door.
    your site is not about Varanus exanthematicus, it's an exhibit of bill's unjustifiable vanity - it's a blog. your shock and awe is puerile and there is no other content. its value lies in service as an object lesson on miserable inadequacy or for the psychologist who can use an example of how neglect of a child's education leads to his attempt to mimic the appearance of authority to compensate for a deep inner lack of certainty due to the fundamental belief that his own mind is inadequate- something that needs to be taught to him. the easiest way to do this is to praise him for being stupid. is that the reward you seek? i'm sure there's a guru who can show you that door.
     
  16. allergenic

    allergenic Embryo

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    Dr. Grey,

    I'm fairly appalled at your overall response, I constructed what I thought to be an understanding and civil reply. I'm afraid your descent into personal attacks and pseudo-psychoanalysis says more about your character than it does mine. I will refrain from responding in kind.

    I will go ahead and continue to improve the admittedly quickly thrown together site, and chalk this thread up to not being able to please everyone, all the time.

    Thanks,
    Bill
     
  17. crocdoc

    crocdoc Embryo

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    I think the main point that is being missed here is this:

    Every year we all see dozens of new monitor keepers appearing on assorted fora in a blind panic because they're having troubles with their baby savannah monitor, despite following the pet store's advice on how to keep it. Rather than repeat the same advice on post after post, year after year, Bill chose to address this issue by putting together a simple website in his free time. I repeat, in his own free time. He has no agenda other than to help a few new keepers. To me, that is a generous move and one that deserves commendation rather than condemnation. He's asked for constructive criticism in a very polite manner but got a contentless post in return.

    drgrey, I presume by your response that you have a better alternative - ie a freely available care sheet style web page accessible to newbies to learn from and other keepers to offer their constructive criticism?
     
  18. wearentfree420

    wearentfree420 Embryo

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    If that site is wrong, then can you please link me to a sourced care sheet on savannah monitors please?

    I'm really serious on researching these as i really want to get one eventually.
     
  19. allergenic

    allergenic Embryo

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    It makes sense now, you are danceswithsavs/kaffir2. I have a screenshot of your own "blog" where you talk about purposely drowning your own animals, before you edited out that section. I wondered why someone who talked the talk would bother with this obscure newcomer forum, it's because you've been banned from every other forum worth anything.

    No wonder you scoff at any reference to published herpetologists, perhaps you would rather people get their information on exanthematicus from your dancing rainbow music videos?

    From everything I've read that's come from your fingertips, you have some apparent issues. It makes sense why you would become downright enraged at someone's simple Savannah Monitor site. Referring to statistics, I'd be interested in seeing exactly how many monitors have become hollow shells of the creatures they once were, due to your youtube following.

    To return the favor of playing dimestore psychologist, anyone with a basic grasp of the DSM-IV could peg you as a severe narcissist. I could smell the gratification you were receiving in the last half of your second reply, indulging in rampant character assassination to overcompensate for your complete internal vacancy and bankruptcy. Why else would you become obsessed with forcing submission from creatures much smaller than us?

    Thanks and take care,
    Bill
     
  20. bruno

    bruno Moderator

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    Hi,
    I would still go along with Melissa Kaplin's guide, Savannah Monitors, despite a previous post saying it was out dated.
    The site DOES state it was updated October 2 2008., that would be my choice, unless the other posters on here has a better one, other than the one being discussed.
     
  21. allergenic

    allergenic Embryo

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    Hi Bruno (and to the OP),

    Kaplan advocates using aquariums, feeding an all-rodent diet, and force handling to "make the animal tame". I believe this is why the previous commenter suggested the information was outdated. Though that school of thought remains active in many places, it has been shown not to work, and the problems we see on message board after message board resulting from these methods are precisely the reason I created the site.

    I think I could say two more things.

    First, as I said before, the dissenting opinion regarding savannahmonitor.org is coming from someone who has, in the past, drowned his reptiles in an effort to "rescue them" to show them the keeper is the hero in the relationship, in his "conditioning/training methods".

    Secondly, you are free to not listen to a word I say. I would encourage you, and the OP, to go to the RepticZone monitor forum, frequented by serious monitor keepers from other closed forums. It should be noted that kaffir2/drgrey has been run out of there. Ask the same questions, and ask if the information on savannahmonitor.org is accurate. You may find some nitpicky criticisms which I don't mind (I do not disagree with the problem of my statistics), but all in all you will see that the information regarding enclosures, responsibility, a varied diet, aquariums, force handling, and humidity are all echoed by many more people than just me.

    Thanks and take care,
    Bill
     
  22. bruno

    bruno Moderator

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    GENTLEMEN
    May I respectfully remind you of the RULES of the FORUM.

    This is getting near the limits.

    So can we please answer the OP's question.

    Thank you.
     
  23. sidbarvin

    sidbarvin Embryo

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  24. drgrey

    drgrey Embryo

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    kaplan's site is good enough.

    there is no need for UV, with proper diet, but minor quibbles don't affect the substantial adequacy of the information.

    this is substantially false:
     
  25. sidbarvin

    sidbarvin Embryo

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    The internet is a funny place. Sometimes all it takes to establish credibility is to simply add DR. to any name at all. Many of us have dealt with this drgrey many times under many different screen names. The result is always the same, a series of verbal bashings, slanderous comments, and outright abuse both on the public fora and via PM toward anyone who disagrees with him or points out any of the multitude of inconsistencies contained within his so called "scientiffic data and fact". As has been mentioned, he has been banned from nearly every varanid forum on the internet for this very reason. It's easy to see right here on this thread.

    The original poster can research the matter should he wish. The husbandry outlined on Kaplans site has been the standard for decades. Anyone can take any off the shelf, entry level monitor husbandry book dating back as far as the late 80s and get nearly the exact same information. Very little has changed untill the last ten years or so. Balsai's book, copyright 1997 is no different, in fact I have a copy right here. It seems to me Kaplans info was taken nearly verbatum from this book.

    Even as late as 97, only a small handfull of keepers were able to successfully breed monitors with any regularity. Being the pinnacle of modern varanid husbandry to many, myself included, many are now adopting the techniques set forth on Mr. Walshs' site and hatching a variety of species. The sharing of information via the inter-net has caused our understanding of these animals and how they can thrive in captivity has grown in leaps and bounds.

    The truth of the matter is, proper husbandry for mid to large size monitors is anything but convenient. It takes time, effort and money to support these animals in such a way as to ensure health and longevity. Not exactly good selling points for a pet trade selling $15 savs to any kid who sees one in a petshop and takes a fancy. Not to mention the fact that a keeper can set up a nice enclosure without purchasing one single product sold in pet stores using the care methods on Mr. Walshs' site.

    Another attraction to the type of husbandry our friend "drgrey" is promoting here, is the fact that monitors kept in such conditions tend to be somewhat docile, lending to the perpetuation of the "tame" monitor myth. A healthy, well heated and hydrated varanid is not likely to lend itself to the whims of keepers entertaining notions of petting and waliking on leashes. Monitor behavior is a direct result of environment in many ways.

    Sub par conditions of the type explained in Kaplans care sheet play host to a multitude of health issues, including obesity, extreme and chronic dehydration, and metabolic bone disease are but a few of the most common. We see evidence of this every day on monitor fora all over the internet. A bit of research, both of the experiences of various keepers and the actual biology of these animals will reveal the truth of the matter to anyone so inclined to provide their charges with the best of care.
     
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