Where have I said they should not be fed inverts?
The onus IS on "you" to show vertebrates (inc. rodents), fed to a properly supported V. exanthematicus cause health problems... It`s "you" who are stating they do!? Show me/us....
I think it is advancing, all be it by blood and tears ;)
EDIT: I found this and is a good read.
Michael Balsai on the Savannah Monitor Diet
We`ve spoken too, of the commonly heard " advise" which states "they need huge ammounts", when in fact they need carefully regulated ammounts in captivity.
I disagree that they`re calorific requirements in the wild are very low (when, other than for a couple of months or so?), and there`s no real evidence that they remain completely inactive at that time either, or whether they might still take food if it`s available (Daniel Bennett, pers. comm.).
EDIT: It`s MUCH better to discuss these topics in public than in private!! ;)
But what I was trying to say and I could be wrong, was that they don't have a huge NEED of calories as one would suppose they do. Such as a mammal of the same size.
Certainly a difference in body sizes when you take what Dr. Bennett found and what you see them growing to in captivity.
Just tossing this out there, I was told more than once Chomper was heavy, yet I managed to overfeed him without any rodents.
Something to consider, snails, crickets, worms and bugs are gargantuan in Africa.
Crickets and grasshoppers are the size of locusts, and how many of these snails would equal the weight of a mouse?
All I am saying here is, there are plenty of food options available without questioning the studies performed by biologists.
Look back at my posts, I have not stated that a rodent diet causes anything. What I've stated repeatedly is that the available scientific evidence shows them to be mostly eating an invertebrate diet. Therefore if you want to say this isn't the BEST diet for them, you need to bring evidence to support that. I'm not saying they can't live on mice. I'm saying I try in all matters of husbandry to reproduce, as closely as I can, their natural environment. What is your reason for not feeding them their natural diet? I'm no expert, maybe there is some reason to switch. But that decision would based on someone producing scientific evidence showing that an invert diet is not good for them and how mice are better. So far no such evidence has been put forward.
First off, I'd like to point out that it's very possible to feed your monitors nothing but inverts and not go broke. I have thirteen monitors (yes, 13), and the majority of most of their diets is inverts. I keep several roach colonies, several cricket colonies, as well as breeding pond snails. I get crayfish cheaply online, and can get more snails, freshwater crab, and whole shrimp very cheaply at my Asian market. I am by no means rich, so please explain to me how it's impossible to feed one monitor soley an invert diet, when I have thirteen eating mostly inverts.
Secondly, savannah monitors have been discovered to take SOME vertibrate prey, fairly rarely. The vertibrates they do take are in the form of frogs, small lizards, and small snakes. Even more rare than that they will take the occasional fish and the occasional chick/developed egg.
Third, a lot of people are focusing on just the one study Bennett did that showed a roden in the diet. This is the only study that has shown rodents as prey, and yes, this was taken in a small area. What you must note is that there have been more studies, over more ranges, that show ZERO rodents as prey.
Fourthly, although we may not have a lot of African inverts to offer our monitors (we do have some available), you can feel free to check nutritional charts and compare what we do have to what they would naturally eat, and provide a properly balanced diet, WITHOUT the use of rodents.
Fifth, there is proof that rodents fed in captivity have had negative impacts on their health. I have already provided Murrindindi several times with these articles, yet he refuses to acknowledge them. If you must check again, please refer to my signature, specificly articles written up by Bentley.