When I referred to peer reviewed journals, I specifically mentioned materials and methods. As I said, science is not infallible, but if you want to pass judgement you have to read the materials and methods yourself to get a better understanding of whether or not their procedures were likely to produce biased results. You're assuming they have (as is everyone else, it seems) because I keep reading 'maybe savannah monitors elsewhere are bigger/have more rodents/eat rodents'. Do you know whether or not they studied museum specimens from different areas as well as live animals? Do we know for a fact there weren't many rodents available that were small enough to eat? Do we know that there are other populations of larger, rodent eating savannah monitors 'somewhere else'?
As I said before, if you want to feed a captive savannah monitor rodents then do so, but if you want to justify it then justify it on the basis of your success/failure, rather than reverse-engineering a study you haven't yet read by saying they were 'wrong' about savannah monitor diets because you think they only looked at only 200 savannah monitors in the only part of Africa in which small, non-rodent-feeding savannah monitors are known to occur.
For example, if they were mice, it would mean possibly a small monitor was cohabiting, perhaps a hatchling coming in at 5 to 6g (according to Daniel Bennett, that`s the average size in the areas he studied them), obviously they grow quite quickly, but even juveniles seem to be relatively small.
Of course, a larger monitor could make the hole bigger to suit, but would the original occupier stay there in that case? Questions and more questions..
Thanks for clarifying. According to Bentley's studies, they have been found in a number of rodent species holes, including rats, mice, and larger species (though I can't remember what larger species).
I know I read of the younger Savs eating crickets and occupying their holes, but older Savs did not eat as many as they could no longer fit into the holes.
EDIT: ok I don't recall reading that.
Must be in an agricultural area then with crops that there would be rats around.
Mike, it was in both Bennett's and Bently's studies, though I can't recall which, and I don't have them on this piece of junk computer. If you haven't found them by the big "I've got my computer back" announcement, PM me an email address and I'll send them you're way.
They are known to occupy the burrows of crickets, but some of those insects are over 10cm (4inches) long.
I think what needs to be done by the "doubters" re feeding vertebrates inc. rodents to captives, is that they contact the authors and ask why they both recommended feeding some rodents to captives.. (I already have the answer, I`m not going to put it up again)! ;)
I have asked a few people. Their response was that it's cheap and easy, and oh, you should force handle your monitor, too.
Murrindindi, I will ask you AGAIN to please show proof to back your opinion of feeding rodents to savannah monitors is beneficial.