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View Full Version : Reptiles, amphibians, invertebates and fishes do not bond with owners?



Inclusa
2013-Aug-13, 05:27 AM
Some fishes are certainly "lazybone's pet", the very good example is the all-too-common betta fishes.
To some, these fishes live a rather boring life; solitary life in a small tank, very little interaction with owners.
I guess fishes differ by species, but at least they are no "escape artists".
So many people (including children) shout "cute" at the sight of frogs; that's exactly why plush frogs are all-too-common as well.
Keeping frogs or other amphibians may not be as simple as it seems, though.
Pet invertebrates are not that common at all, and they aren't even intelligent at all, so I'm not too certain about bonding with owners.
Reptiles are increasingly common, and certain reptilians have the reputation being cute. (Ball pythons, day geckos, chameleons.)
Snakes are known for being escape artists, and someone recalled that tortoises and turtles are notorious for this as well.
Chameleons are extremely slow critters for sure.
Day geckos are certainly cute little critters, but I'm not too sure if they escape?
Most people consider mammalians and avians as more advanced critters in intelligence and cognition, though.

BigDon
2013-Aug-16, 03:24 PM
Not something to say in front of somebody who is both a master fish breeder and herptile specialist for over 30 years... :)

I don't even know where to begin.

So first off let's get something out of the way. Your more "aware" non-mammals like crocs, monitors and some species of snakes are able to perform several mammal-like forebrain functions with other parts of their brains than what mammals use to do the same job. (As far as I know fish haven't been checked for this yet.)

The majority of cichlids, (pronounced SICK-lid) for example, become very aware of who feeds them. And a lot of species of triggerfish fall in love with their first owners, making it very difficult to adjust to a second owner. They miss them. (Time and space are too limited for me to expand on this at the present time.)

Now, as far as re-viewable, televised events, take the time Steve Irwin was accidently bitten by one of his show crocs. She immediately realized her error and quickly released him. Think about that. She *released* him! That is not what a predatory or angry salt water crocodile does to a "target" after it closes its jaws on something. Oh, also don't make the same mistake Mr. Irwin did immediately after the fact. (I've seen other accident victims do the same thing though.) If you've cut your hand so badly that you've exposed tendon, even if you are not in immediate pain Do Not Touch The Exposed Tendon with your other hand! Exposed tendons do NOT like to be touched and that endorphin buzz with dissipate like fog in a high wind.

Of fresh water fishes cichlids and spiny eels of the genus Mastacembelus like the fire eel or the tire track eel out perform some of the simpler mammals on intelligence tests. The spiny eel can be taught to count to four! Myself I would also include the leopard ctenopoma as one of your more highly intelligent fish.

I've seen larger cichlids keep smaller, normally prey sized fish as pets.

Man, I have a LOT of fish stories to tell and almost no time to tell them!

I'll be sure to check this thread again incase you or anybody else wishes an elaboration on some point.

HenrikOlsen
2013-Aug-16, 03:38 PM
I was waiting for this response before posting my own observations.
My mosquito rasboras (boraras brigittae) are definitely aware of me to the point where they change to a tight school front and center when I'm close to the tank. For them its preparation to feeding.
I haven't tested whether they'll do it with other people, I'd expect them to do so.

PetersCreek
2013-Aug-16, 05:35 PM
Some fishes are certainly "lazybone's pet", the very good example is the all-too-common betta fishes.
To some, these fishes live a rather boring life; solitary life in a small tank, very little interaction with owners.

These fishes (Betta splendens, et al) also lead solitary lives in the wild, staking out small territories.


Pet invertebrates are not that common at all, and they aren't even intelligent at all, so I'm not too certain about bonding with owners.

You've never met an octopus, have you? No, they're not common as pets and they're challenging to keep but kept, they are. Extremely intelligent with problem solving skills and (IIRC) the ability to recognize individual humans. That intelligence, coupled with the ability squeeze through almost any opening that will accommdate its horny beak, probably makes it the ultimate aquatic escape artist.

As for fish...as Don mentioned, cichlids often demonstrate intelligent and somewhat traditional pet-like behavior such as distinguishing their owners from other people and allowing and seeming to enjoy physical contact akin to petting. A friend's oscar (Astronotus ocellatus, who went by the name 'Pug') was one such fish. He 'begged' for head rubs from his owner while he begrudgingly tolerated them from others, like me. He also had a 'pet' goldfish. It was originally a feeder fish that he didn't get around to eating one day and never did. From then on, it was his tankmate.

BigDon
2013-Aug-16, 07:27 PM
Mr. Creek, I've also raised several spiny eels of different types. The smallest species of this group who demonstrate superior personality traits are what are called lemon eels. Six to eight inches long. They are small, cute, and can quite happily live in a well planted ten gallon tank.

Won't eat flakes or pellets though.

Soft, slightly acidic water, frozen bloodworms and baby guppies will keep them a bright translucent yellow. I would just keep several (more colorful) feeder guppies in the tank as food dispensers. Normally ten guppies (eight female) would overrun a ten gallon tank in a matter of weeks. A yellow eel in the tank insures that doesn't happen, while leaving the adult guppies perfectly alone.

I had a cool peacock eel, (a much larger, more massive species) named Snoots because of his prehensile nose. Never bothered anybody that didn't bother him first. And at three feet long it was usually decisive when he was provoked.

I'll tell you a story about him tomorrow, as I just saw what time it was and I have company coming over tonight and the place is a mess. (It's noon thirty local)

BigDon
2013-Aug-16, 07:41 PM
and four of them just showed up six hours early...

caveman1917
2013-Aug-16, 11:53 PM
He also had a 'pet' goldfish. It was originally a feeder fish that he didn't get around to eating one day and never did. From then on, it was his tankmate.

Was it the same goldfish that he didn't eat? In the sense of when later a new bunch of goldfish were added for him to feed he would only eat those fish and leave the original one alone (and thus could individually distinguish them), or he would just eat random goldfish until again a single one remained, not necessarily the same one as before (by something like having become accustomed to having a goldfish around but not able to distinguish them individually).

PetersCreek
2013-Aug-17, 12:09 AM
Was it the same goldfish that he didn't eat? In the sense of when later a new bunch of goldfish were added for him to feed he would only eat those fish and leave the original one alone (and thus could individually distinguish them), or he would just eat random goldfish until again a single one remained, not necessarily the same one as before (by something like having become accustomed to having a goldfish around but not able to distinguish them individually).

Yep, the same one. It had a small but distinctive black marking near its tail. Although feeders of similar size and appearance were subsequently added, this one was never eaten. Of course, as time went on, the size disparity made it even easier to tell the difference. He eventually became pretty sizeable.

Inclusa
2013-Aug-18, 02:17 AM
Thank you! I have no experience with anything except for goldfish and betta fishes.
I don't pay much attention to these fishes beside feeding them anyway.

Romanus
2013-Aug-18, 02:25 AM
Everything in this thread is pleasantly new to me. :) Good stuff.

Inclusa
2013-Dec-21, 07:02 AM
I didn't know of cognitive behaviors from fishes before.
The Internet talks of green spotted puffers as being intelligent, though.

Inclusa
2015-Feb-14, 04:56 AM
Not something to say in front of somebody who is both a master fish breeder and herptile specialist for over 30 years... :)

I don't even know where to begin.

So first off let's get something out of the way. Your more "aware" non-mammals like crocs, monitors and some species of snakes are able to perform several mammal-like forebrain functions with other parts of their brains than what mammals use to do the same job. (As far as I know fish haven't been checked for this yet.)

The majority of cichlids, (pronounced SICK-lid) for example, become very aware of who feeds them. And a lot of species of triggerfish fall in love with their first owners, making it very difficult to adjust to a second owner. They miss them. (Time and space are too limited for me to expand on this at the present time.)

Now, as far as re-viewable, televised events, take the time Steve Irwin was accidently bitten by one of his show crocs. She immediately realized her error and quickly released him. Think about that. She *released* him! That is not what a predatory or angry salt water crocodile does to a "target" after it closes its jaws on something. Oh, also don't make the same mistake Mr. Irwin did immediately after the fact. (I've seen other accident victims do the same thing though.) If you've cut your hand so badly that you've exposed tendon, even if you are not in immediate pain Do Not Touch The Exposed Tendon with your other hand! Exposed tendons do NOT like to be touched and that endorphin buzz with dissipate like fog in a high wind.

Of fresh water fishes cichlids and spiny eels of the genus Mastacembelus like the fire eel or the tire track eel out perform some of the simpler mammals on intelligence tests. The spiny eel can be taught to count to four! Myself I would also include the leopard ctenopoma as one of your more highly intelligent fish.

I've seen larger cichlids keep smaller, normally prey sized fish as pets.

Man, I have a LOT of fish stories to tell and almost no time to tell them!

I'll be sure to check this thread again incase you or anybody else wishes an elaboration on some point.

Pet fishes keeping their own pets?!

BigDon
2015-Mar-01, 09:22 PM
I didn't know of cognitive behaviors from fishes before.
The Internet talks of green spotted puffers as being intelligent, though.

Inc, I'm sure it won't surprise you to know I've kept greenspots on many occasions. Puffers are intelligent enough to be individuals and it's their ability to focus both of there forward facing eyes on an object like their owner's face that endears them to a lot of people. Larger ones like the porcupine puffer, which have faces over five inches across, are really noticeably looking at you.

One curious thing I've noted over years of raising and selling them is homosexual men *really* get fascinated, sometimes embarrassingly so, over porcupine puffers and their child-like faces with their highly iridescent corneas.

BigDon
2015-Mar-01, 09:35 PM
Caveman, Mr. Creek is quite correct.

Also, you know how people who actually raise horses have ability to pick individuals out of a herd of similar horses, even if all the same color?

Same thing with fish breeders. I would be able to tell even if they were all uniformly orange.

Curious fact.

Most of you have never seen a goldfish.

At the time the goldfish was developed, Chinese royalty had a color restriction on the color yellow as European royalty had a color restriction on the color purple.

So commoners were stuck with the international orange variety.

The actual golden metallic goldfish are rare and hard to come by, as well as breathtakingly beautiful. You understand how they got the name then.

Inc, I'm going to have to come back later. I need to rest my eyes.

Inclusa
2015-Mar-14, 11:21 PM
Inc, I'm sure it won't surprise you to know I've kept greenspots on many occasions. Puffers are intelligent enough to be individuals and it's their ability to focus both of there forward facing eyes on an object like their owner's face that endears them to a lot of people. Larger ones like the porcupine puffer, which have faces over five inches across, are really noticeably looking at you.

One curious thing I've noted over years of raising and selling them is homosexual men *really* get fascinated, sometimes embarrassingly so, over porcupine puffers and their child-like faces with their highly iridescent corneas.

The first time I heard about "cuteness" of puffers was way back in college years: I once talked about the Japanese eating puffers, and my "friend at the time" told me that puffers are cute fishes; what a shame to eat them.
Oh well, due to the snail issues, many people purchase brackish and freshwater puffers to get rid of the snails.
I remembered that goldfishes are just as good as puffers for snail controls.

DaveC426913
2015-Mar-15, 07:23 PM
Some fishes are certainly "lazybone's pet", the very good example is the all-too-common betta fishes.
To some, these fishes live a rather boring life; solitary life in a small tank, very little interaction with owners.

I have had exactly the opposite experience. I have kept many a Betta over the years. I find them by far the most personable and entertaining. They are quite intelligent, inquisitive and fearless. Completely the opposite of all of the schooling types I've kept. Harlequin Rasboras, Neon Tetras and even Tiger Barbs got nothin' on a good perky Betta.

DaveC426913
2015-Mar-15, 07:26 PM
These fishes (Betta splendens, et al) also lead solitary lives in the wild, staking out small territories.

I have had good luck with keeping them in community tanks with other species. You just gotta be careful what you keep with them. Definitely not fin-nippers like Tiger Barbs, And Rd-tailed sharks get extremely ornery and territorial as they age.

DaveC426913
2015-Mar-15, 07:28 PM
You've never met an octopus, have you? No, they're not common as pets and they're challenging to keep but kept, they are. Extremely intelligent with problem solving skills and (IIRC) the ability to recognize individual humans. That intelligence, coupled with the ability squeeze through almost any opening that will accommdate its horny beak, probably makes it the ultimate aquatic escape artist.
Aw! You beat me to it. I've always wanted an octopus.

One of the other big negatives with them as a pet is that they have a very short lifespan - like less than a year.

BigDon
2015-Mar-15, 09:54 PM
Interesting fact about bettas. If you set a pack of Marlboro cigarettes next to their bowl they will attack it until they die of exhaustion. Same with mirrors.

You can't keep brightly colored objects next to betta bowls.