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Old 03/06/2004, 12:17 PM   #14
M.Dandaneau
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: 1477 S. Prescott Ave., Clearwater, Florida. Phone: (727) 443-6459
Posts: 3,258
Ed brings up a good point here that I've never seen mentioned before.

Many predatory fish will adapt to captivity with little or no problem, eating whatever substitute foods are offered, and the results dependent upon the nutritional combination needed by that particular fish or species, but this doesn't take into account hunting instinct and the need to be what they have been molded into by evolution.

While it may be apples and oranges, three developments over the past few years do have some interesting implications:
1) Golden Lion Marmosets were once considered impossible to keep in captivity, until it was found the animals were dying from protein starvation from immaculately clean fruits and vegetables...in the wild, their food was riddled with fruit fly maggots and such which had become an essential part of diet.
2) Many snakes that had been deemed impossible to breed in captivity were found to be bored! Researchers were startled to discover that if two males were placed in with a female that was previously ignored, they would fight over her, with the victor claiming mating rights......who says jealousy is a purely destructive emotion? **grin**
And lastly, 3) Cheetahs were often notoriously hard to breed until it was discovered that inactivity seemed to be the missing link in the situation.......one of the national zoos has now started treating their cats to snacks on a line that zoom across the enclosure and have to be chased, much like the mechanical rabbits at a greyhound track and has reported a sharp rise in the fertility and mating activity of their animals.

The bottom line is that although proper nutrition has to be achieved for the successful rearing and maintenance of many species, it's beginning to become evident that when we try to make something into something it isn't supposed to be, we may be creating glitches that we simply haven't foreseen.
While freshwater fish aren't a good basic diet, there may be more worth in feeding them live treats than was previously realized, particularly in species where captive breeding is desired.

Our ability to supply live marine feeders may have much more to do with our lionfish breeding than I previously realized.

Mike


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