Dillon Damuth is a small scale breeder, Gecko Labs. He would like to start off by thanking the Late Night Leos crew for the tremendous moral support in the early stages of this project and for their help in promoting the project thus far. (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/latenightleos) Dillon has owned leopard geckos since 2002. Recently graduating from Elmira College with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry, Dillon went straight on to graduate school at Georgetown University, where he is now pursuing his PhD in Biology while studying developmental neuroscience using frogs as a model organism. Dillon enjoys spending time immersing himself in nature, be it through hiking, camping, snowboarding, or simply spending time at the area’s zoos.
Biology of Breeding: Considerations for Maximizing Genetic Diversity of Breeding Groups
When a person joins the hobby of reptile keeping and makes the decision to breed animals of any species, they silently make the acknowledgement that they are going to be playing god with the species they choose to reproduce. Not only accelerating evolution through artificial selection, but also picking and choosing which ecological and evolutionary forces, or lack thereof affect their breeding populations. More
Leopard Geckos: A Hobby Developing to an Artistic Science
Eublepharis macularius, the leopard gecko, is an animal we have all come to know and love. They are easy to care for and make great pets, but what has become so eye catching about them is the vast diversity of their appearance. Through the many decades of captive breeding of these animals, several traits have randomly mutated and popped out, such as the three strains of albinism (Tremper, Bell, and Rainwater.) Other traits have affected the visual appearance of the eye or the pigmentation patterns on the body. For years now, these traits have been mislabeled as ‘genes’ due to seemingly following simple inheritance patterns (aside from polygenic traits.) The truth is, we have no idea what these traits are. The fact that they are inherited consistently and reproducibly, however, does mean they are part of the genetic material of the animal. More