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Old 01-12-2013, 06:55 PM
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Default What went wrong?

So I got 3 Salt Creeks, and had them in a grow out tank. They were always out and eating well. Then I decided to move them to their own individual grow out tanks. Ever since then, they were shy. I would check on them because I was starting to get worried, but they were all always just hiding, brightly colored and would jump away when I found them. I just checked on this frog a few days ago and he was bright. I didn't make it down to the frog room for a couple of days, and I found this:



Any ideas what caused him to change colors like that? Did he probably die first, then change or what? I don't want it to be something that could spread to my other frogs. BTW, this was the frog that stayed in the original grow out tank, so it isn't like he was put in a different environment.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: What went wrong?

Were these froglets since you said grow out tank or were they W/C adults and they were in QT ? What was the size of the grow out tanks you had them in? Did you have them on substrate or paper towel? They discolor after death
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: What went wrong?

You can't be sure whether or not the color change was pre or post death... Badly stressed frogs can darken as this allows the melanocytes to cover over the brighter colored chromatophores (iridopores, xanthopores, erthyropores, for etc)...however breakdown of the pigment cells after death can also result in a darkening of the frog...


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Old 05-14-2013, 04:24 AM
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Default Re: What went wrong?

i know this thread is old. i am seeing a theme here sometimes as i read threads though. does anyone ever think things like this happen because the frogs are more intricate minded than we think and in this case maybe they were just stressed out from missing the other frogs and that one stopped eating?!
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:26 AM
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Default Re: What went wrong?

No I do not think that



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Old 05-14-2013, 04:28 AM
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Default Re: What went wrong?

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No I do not think that
LOL! You just completely dismissed Kermit's idea.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:29 AM
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Default Re: What went wrong?

I gave my opinion, that's what the poster asked for



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Old 05-14-2013, 04:34 AM
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Default Re: What went wrong?

While I think frogs can think for themselves, I do not think this was the cause of the frog's death. I like your line of thinking though. Many people say animals rely solely on instinct. I am not one of those people.
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:20 AM
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Default Re: What went wrong?

i really dont think thats true in this case either since the frog doesnt look like it wasnt eating to me but you saw the other post i saw right before this one that caused me to post this..about the frogs that were jumping into the cage top..that one really makes me think that people in this hobby approach it a bit more like a plant than an animal wondering if i do this or this what environmental factor could have caused that, when maybe their are neurogical factors or personality flaws that cause some problems for certain frogs for certain people. im not experienced with frogs its just an idea based on logic of life in general.
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:39 AM
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Default Re: What went wrong?

It's anthropomorphism. Frogs do not require the company of other frogs



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Old 05-14-2013, 07:37 AM
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Default Re: What went wrong?

Quote:
It's anthropomorphism. Frogs do not require the company of other frogs
I have to dissagree on this to a certain extent. Social frogs ie luecs, southern variabilis ect. Seem to do much better in groups. A lot of breeders I have spoken to will tell you the same.
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: What went wrong?

It looks like an infection to me(the bottom pic) does the skin look pulled/melted away?
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:32 AM
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Default Re: What went wrong?

When you. Say that a social frog "does better", are you referring to the display of territorial and breeding behavior that makes them seem more active?


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I have to dissagree on this to a certain extent. Social frogs ie luecs, southern variabilis ect. Seem to do much better in groups. A lot of breeders I have spoken to will tell you the same.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: What went wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave II View Post
I have to dissagree on this to a certain extent. Social frogs ie luecs, southern variabilis ect. Seem to do much better in groups. A lot of breeders I have spoken to will tell you the same.
With the exception of several species that actually pair bond (R. vanzolinii for example), Dendrobatids are effectively subsocial and are classified as "group living, single foraging"... The reason that you see recommendations for doing better in groups is because this gives a person who wants multiple frogs in an enclosure a better chance of success with the frogs as opposed to other species with reported major levels of aggression when attempted to be housed in groups (tinctorius for example)..... So this interpretation based on those recommendations is incorrect. There was some light discussion here http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/beg...tml#post676561

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Old 05-14-2013, 09:33 PM
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Default Re: What went wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed View Post
With the exception of several species that actually pair bond (R. vanzolinii for example), Dendrobatids are effectively subsocial and are classified as "group living, single foraging"... The reason that you see recommendations for doing better in groups is because this gives a person who wants multiple frogs in an enclosure a better chance of success with the frogs as opposed to other species with reported major levels of aggression when attempted to be housed in groups (tinctorius for example)..... So this interpretation based on those recommendations is incorrect. There was some light discussion here http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/beg...tml#post676561

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Ed
By no means am I an expert but I had a single Leuc that hid to the point of having me think it was dead for over two weeks. When i Finally spotted said Leuc, the sightings were very sporadic. I decided to add another pair to the viv on the advice of a friend. This change seems to have emboldened the Leuc. the frog was eating fine before having viv mates but now seems to be less shy in a group setting. Is it coincidental or is there some scientific merit to this observation?
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: What went wrong?

I have a pair of veradero that are currently separated while I try to figure out the bad egg issues.. And since than our once bold female has become shy and lethargic. Its like that little heart of hers is broken. She is still eating and doing her thing, I just never see her anymore.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:09 AM
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Several times I have removed a frog from the tank and the remaining frog/s seem to hide as if they know that something has happened to their tank mate and they might be next. I was no more invasive in removing the frog than any other act that doesn't affect their behavior the slightest.
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:01 AM
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Quote:
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It's anthropomorphism. Frogs do not require the company of other frogs
interesting word , thanks. just because they dont require a friend doesnt mean they dont enjoy a friend and then miss them if they leave.
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:42 AM
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Default Re: What went wrong?

Or maybe that's anthropocentrism

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It's anthropomorphism. Frogs do not require the company of other frogs
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:44 AM
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The reason I disagree is, I had 2 luecs that were shyer than my thumbs added 3 more now I see them everyday all the time. Case 2 I have a pair of Orange Sirensis they ONLY come out at night but have been told they are a group frog...have to get some more and see. That's the reason I disagree that's all. I don't feel its the case for this poor frog. Sorry for you loss btw.
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:39 PM
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Maybe I missed it but how were they kept in their solo enclosures? Looking at the next few pictures on your photo bucket shows a few completely sealed jars with no leaf litter and a few clippings. If that's how they were kept id suspect that is the root of your issues. The frog you lost has a bunch of coco fiber stuck to him which can very easily stress a frog out. Just a few observations that may have been a factor..

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Old 05-16-2013, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GP dynamite View Post
By no means am I an expert but I had a single Leuc that hid to the point of having me think it was dead for over two weeks. When i Finally spotted said Leuc, the sightings were very sporadic. I decided to add another pair to the viv on the advice of a friend. This change seems to have emboldened the Leuc. the frog was eating fine before having viv mates but now seems to be less shy in a group setting. Is it coincidental or is there some scientific merit to this observation?
I'm going to be a little blunt here.... Given that these frogs are group living (and don't show gregariousness...) single foraging why wouldn't you expect that an increased population density could make them more visible?? It has nothing to do with missing another frog or "companion" instead it has to do with spread predator risk.. and competition for mates/resources...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nismo95 View Post
I have a pair of veradero that are currently separated while I try to figure out the bad egg issues.. And since than our once bold female has become shy and lethargic. Its like that little heart of hers is broken. She is still eating and doing her thing, I just never see her anymore.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kermit2692 View Post
interesting word , thanks. just because they dont require a friend doesnt mean they dont enjoy a friend and then miss them if they leave.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave II View Post
The reason I disagree is, I had 2 luecs that were shyer than my thumbs added 3 more now I see them everyday all the time. Case 2 I have a pair of Orange Sirensis they ONLY come out at night but have been told they are a group frog...have to get some more and see. That's the reason I disagree that's all.
Well I guess people don't like to have their anthropomorphic interpretations changed... But the evidence is pretty clear that they are not social and that they are not gregarious (see for example http://amphibianark.org/pipermail/ne...hment-0006.pdf)....

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Old 05-16-2013, 09:28 PM
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I'm probably going to regret this, but I'm going to play devil's advocate here and disagree a bit with you Ed. I alluded to this idea with the concept of anthropocentrism in my earlier post, and I'll try to expand on it a bit here. I apologize in advance for the length of this.

Anthropocentrism actually applies to both sides of the argument regarding animal cognition. The anthroporphism results from assuming that the actions of the frogs are somehow correlated to actions human beings would take. A frog leaps away because it's scared, a frog hides because it's lonely and so on. Essentially assuming they think the same way we do.

It also applies to the other argument because their behaviors could not possibly be intelligent or socially aware because they do not behave or think like we do. Animal and for that matter human intelligence is barely understood currently. There are slime molds that can solve mazes better than robots and show memory capabilities despite not having brains. The debate still rages on about the intelligence of cephalopods who posses a nervous system far different than vertebrates. Most of these tests are completed to test if they can reason and think like humans, but many animals are capable of processing information we can't even notice.

Fun article on comparative cognition.
http://www.ualberta.ca/~elegge/Alrg_...worth_2009.pdf

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed View Post
Well I guess people don't like to have their anthropomorphic interpretations changed... But the evidence is pretty clear that they are not social and that they are not gregarious (see for example http://amphibianark.org/pipermail/ne...hment-0006.pdf)
That little bit was more high concept, so let me address gregariousness and aposematism. I think your choice to back up your idea was extremely poor, there was one line that had anything to do with gregariousness and it wasn't even cited.

How aggregation of aposematic animals is a greater deterrent to prey than a solitary animal.
Aposematism and gregariousness: the combined effect of group size and coloration on signal repellence

Evolution of gregariousness in aposematic butterfly larvae
http://courses.biology.utah.edu/feen...erg%201988.pdf

Aggregation behaviour in a neotropical dendrobatid frog (Allobates talamancae) in western Panama
ingentaconnect Aggregation behaviour in a neotropical dendrobatid frog (Allobate...

And to bring it back to anthrocentrism, imagine you're walking down the street and you see a guy with an "I love Satan" shirt, lots of piercings, tattoos, and a mohawk. Alone, a couple of jock types might come along and beat the crap out of him despite his aposematic coloration. But if those same jocks saw him with 5 other friends who looked similar, they would cross the street to avoid them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed View Post
It has nothing to do with missing another frog or "companion" instead it has to do with spread predator risk.. and competition for mates/resources...
Cryptic animals tend to spread predator risk more so than aposematic, see the above studies.

In conclusion, it's quite possible that the reason they are group living is to deter predators because a group of aposematic animals is scarier than a solitary one. And they may in fact feel "scared" (more exposed to predation) in limited numbers which could cause them to be less bold in captivity. I feel it's better to give the animals as much opportunity to decide for themselves what is best as possible. Larger enclosures are better overall for the frogs in my opinion for many reasons. In this case, the decision is in our hands and anecdotal evidence is just as useful as scientific.

In short, we really don't know enough about it to make a hard stance.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Dendrobatids are effectively subsocial and are classifiedas"group living,singleforaging"...
That being said why do imitators call to each other when a food sorce is found? I just think animals big or small have a little more going on than people would like to see.
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:49 AM
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Quote:
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That being said why do imitators call to each other when a food sorce is found? I just think animals big or small have a little more going on than people would like to see.
Where is this documented? I would like to read the original publication..

I'm guessing you skipped right over my original statement which included this statement...
Quote:
With the exception of several species that actually pair bond (R. vanzolinii for example), Dendrobatids are effectively subsocial and are classified as "group living, single foraging"...
Imitator are known to engage in pair bonding....



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Old 05-21-2013, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDRiding View Post
I'm probably going to regret this, but I'm going to play devil's advocate here and disagree a bit with you Ed. I alluded to this idea with the concept of anthropocentrism in my earlier post, and I'll try to expand on it a bit here. I apologize in advance for the length of this.
Fire when ready....

I shortened this up... the problem I was referring to with regard to anthropomorphism is the fact that attributes are being attributed to behaviors without any supporting information... It is one thing to consider it in the light of a documentable context.. for example is it due to fear or is it due to an avoidance of the open areas due to stress pheromones (since dendrobatids at least have excellent olfactory abilities) being released into the local environment. Stress hormones can be documented in a number of ways ranging from fecal tests (commonly used in mammals and more recently birds (see for example http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/vi...icwdm_usdanwrc)) to blood levels (see for example Health and Welfare of Captive Reptiles Springer Publications) in herps....

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDRiding View Post
That little bit was more high concept, so let me address gregariousness and aposematism. I think your choice to back up your idea was extremely poor, there was one line that had anything to do with gregariousness and it wasn't even cited.
If something is considered well accepted then you don't have to really track down the references that document it fully and all of the subsequent agreements to the position... as an example if an animal's territory is a triangle, I don't have to derive or cite the reference to prove that the area of a triangle is calculated by ab/2.....

So lets go onto "gregariousness" in Zoology gregariousness is defined as
Quote:
"The tendency of animals to form groups which posses social organization (e.g schools of fish, herds of mammals, flocks of birds.)
(From A Dictionary of Zoology (Oxford Paperback Reference); 2010; Oxford University Press) as opposed to aggregation... which is defined as
Quote:
The group of animals that forms when individuals are attracted to an environmental resource to which each responds independently. The term does not imply any social organization.
same reference
What we see is that the frogs are attracted to resources (recent clearings for D. tinctorious, tadpole deposition sites (like bromeliads) for pumilio (do you want the references for those? ) Temporary territories are established which exist for variable periods of time, yet we don't see a social hierarchy formed in the group... pumilio for example don't exhibit social recognition of neighbors (A test of the "dear enemy effect" in the strawberry dart-poison frog (Dendrobates pumilio) - Springer...) and females don't show discrimination between males see FEMALE PREFERENCES FOR APOSEMATIC SIGNAL COMPONENTS IN A POLYMORPHIC POISON FROG - Maan - 2008 - Evolution - Wiley Online Library So there is a lot pointing away from social organization in dart frogs... (without having to descend into the quagmire of cognition...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDRiding View Post
How aggregation of aposematic animals is a greater deterrent to prey than a solitary animal.

I think I wasn't clear enough with respect to aposomatic animals and aggregations... With respect to spread predator risk, I was referring to the fact that unless the population is high enough that predators can learn that pattern is bad tasting, you are going to experience increased predation... So if there is a sudden decrease in the number of animals that sport a similar aposomatic pattern, then it may pay to be less conspicuous when the big pink primate is staring into your enclosure particularly if there has been a recent negative conditioning event (see above on olfaction comments)....

Using the conventions as defined in the accepted literature and the data on how they behave in real life.. we can take a pretty firm stand on the sociality of dendrobatids....

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Old 05-21-2013, 04:44 AM
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Thanks for sharing some additional information Ed. I think we are in agreement on the anthropomorphism. I brought up anthropocentrism because I'm pretty familiar with the concept from A.I. and now environmental engineering. And I think it's important to examine issues from all conceivable sides and perspectives, and I assure you there are angles we can't conceive of yet

I'm not versed on the frog's calls, but are there inaudible tones that might not have been picked up by the recordings in that study? I actually don't have access to that study to read it in its entirety, my JSTOR and EBSCO access isn't top notch.

I think you have a fondness for an article that I particular enjoy as well.
http://www.phyllomedusa.esalq.usp.br...er1/913752.pdf
They actually referenced nine instances where they would find the same two to three frogs in the same retreat. They even stated that Tinctorious are not territorial, which from what I can tell is the only study to state that.

As far as mate selection, I thought it was just the opposite... here's a recent study on it (of course on Pumilio)
http://www.redfrogbluefrog.org/paper...012MolEcol.pdf

After I posted and re-read your spread predator risk statement, I realized I misinterpreted it. We're in agreement on this as well.

Dart frogs are truly amazing in behavior and their polymorphism, and I think we should be more open to complex forms of social structure. Different viewpoints are actively being studied, could they be wrong? Sure. But it's important to rule out the conflicting viewpoints before accepting one. To steal a concept from Einstein, no amount of experimentation can prove me right, but one experiment can prove me wrong.

I personally enjoy a good scientific debate, whether I'm right or wrong in the end... more knowledge is gained on both sides.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDRiding View Post
And I think it's important to examine issues from all conceivable sides and perspectives, and I assure you there are angles we can't conceive of yet
I can easily accept that there are angles we probably haven't figured out... But there are a number of one's we can be sure impact choices... (for example histocompatability complex variations..)...


Quote:
I'm not versed on the frog's calls, but are there inaudible tones that might not have been picked up by the recordings in that study? I actually don't have access to that study to read it in its entirety, my JSTOR and EBSCO access isn't top notch.
If you are referring to the dear enemy phenomena check out A test of the "dear enemy effect" in the strawberry dart-poison frog (Dendrobates pumilio) - Springer, that should be free access.


Quote:
I think you have a fondness for an article that I particular enjoy as well.
http://www.phyllomedusa.esalq.usp.br...er1/913752.pdf
They actually referenced nine instances where they would find the same two to three frogs in the same retreat. They even stated that Tinctorious are not territorial, which from what I can tell is the only study to state that.
The context of the lack of territoriality is what is important.. males and females are territorial when holding calling perches, defending eggs, and for the females defending access to the males in the forest clearings... Outside of that area, we see a decided lack of territorial issues from the frogs. Even in pumilio we see aberrant behaviors compared to those observed in the wild.. for example more than one paper documents that calling pumilio do not show aggression against juveniles, females or non-calling males yet it is common to see hobbyists report of males or females attacking juvenile frogs... (females defend deposition sites in pumilio)....

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As far as mate selection, I thought it was just the opposite... here's a recent study on it (of course on Pumilio)
http://www.redfrogbluefrog.org/paper...012MolEcol.pdf
Again, population context is important. In those two papers, they are working with a polymorphic local population specifically the Cemetary population on Bastimentos. Other pumilio populations don't have that diversity and we see non-choosy females.... (for an interesting thesis on A. femoralis see http://othes.univie.ac.at/16857/1/20...07_0206287.pdf)


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Dart frogs are truly amazing in behavior and their polymorphism, and I think we should be more open to complex forms of social structure. Different viewpoints are actively being studied, could they be wrong? Sure. But it's important to rule out the conflicting viewpoints before accepting one. To steal a concept from Einstein, no amount of experimentation can prove me right, but one experiment can prove me wrong.

I personally enjoy a good scientific debate, whether I'm right or wrong in the end... more knowledge is gained on both sides.
Hope this debate was up to standard... I'm not against more complex behaviors but the data is pretty clear on these frogs at this time... People were shocked to find monogamy in one genera as well as social parasitism...

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Old 05-24-2013, 05:23 AM
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Even in pumilio we see aberrant behaviors compared to those observed in the wild.. for example more than one paper documents that calling pumilio do not show aggression against juveniles, females or non-calling males yet it is common to see hobbyists report of males or females attacking juvenile frogs... (females defend deposition sites in pumilio)....
I remember glancing at an article that was focused on the increased territoriality and aggression in captivity, which could lead to incorrect conclusions studying their behaviors in lab controlled experiments. I'll try to find the paper, but you brought up a relevant point that could warrant consideration for the hobby. What is causing the increased aggression? And can it be limited?


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Again, population context is important. In those two papers, they are working with a polymorphic local population specifically the Cemetary population on Bastimentos. Other pumilio populations don't have that diversity and we see non-choosy females.... (for an interesting thesis on A. femoralis see http://othes.univie.ac.at/16857/1/20...07_0206287.pdf)
I didn't take the time to read this one in full yet, but they regrew a toe??

A study was posted on Pumilio choosing the closest male, and I made a guess about the heightened importance of phenotype in sexual selection.
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/sci...s-nat-geo.html

I have no idea how sexual selection of phenotype is explained behaviorally though.



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Hope this debate was up to standard... I'm not against more complex behaviors but the data is pretty clear on these frogs at this time... People were shocked to find monogamy in one genera as well as social parasitism...

Some comments

Ed
Glad you took the time to respond and address my rebuttals! Clarified some things for me and I took away some good information. I don't have anything else to add yet, so I'll deflect to a personal anecdote!

As a total side bar on animal cognition, I tried to train my dog to "choose". I'll get a video of it, I just started toying around with it a few weeks ago. I bring two chuck-its with two balls. Instruct him to choose and he will put his nose on one of the balls, doesn't seem to be in any specific pattern. If I throw the one he picks, he retrieves it. If I throw the other one, he sits there. All I did to train him was say, "choose" and when he put his nose on the ball I threw it.

Not scientific in any way, but I thought it was pretty neat.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:05 PM
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The study concerning the dear enemy effect only focused on one form of communication as well, omitting olfactory and visual cues (found a version I could access). The author did mention some possible flaws with his methodology as well, not mapping territorial boundaries, and the effect of ambient temperature on the frequency making individual call recognition impossible. In his conclusion, he merely suggested that acoustic communication was not viable in establishing neighbor recognition.

Female territoriality in Pumilio is being researched now as well:
An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie

Oophaga and Dendrobates actually have pretty significant behavioral differences. So I'm not comfortable with throwing a wide net over the whole Dendrobatidae family.

I'm still going to say we don't know enough yet to make a clear distinction, new studies with a narrower focus are popping up and might give some insight down the road. Although I wish Tinctorius got some love, seems everyone is studying Pumilio lately. I'm not implying they are gregarious, just I don't see it being ruled out yet.

Lots of anecdotal evidence that makes you consider the possibilities; the frog piles in our vivs, to my 1.2 trio of Azureus where the non-courting female transported a tad from the mating pair. I've also seen my Azureus follow each other around, I have a floating platform of grapewood where I've seen 2-3 of them just hanging out up there foraging several times. No signs of aggressive or submissive behavior. Someone has a group of leuc's where one of his frogs was a peeping tom and would peer in from the top of the coco hut while the other two were mating. Not evidence of anything, just enough to make you wonder.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:31 PM
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Let's just say they are all theories because that's what they are. And to think that a cb animal acts the same in captivity as in the wild is well unthinkable! For example my green tree python you can go an pick her up without her bitting you try that in the wild. It was learned by her that I'm not a threat or food.
Another thing how much do we actually KNOW about humans there are literally thousands of theories! So we can't even understand humans but so quick to pass judgment that we understand other animals is ridiculous and naive.

Not to say studies are bad or wrong but to say how can we possibly know what they feel,think,learn and what they are capable or incapable of....

P.s. Ed you ARE a wealth of knowledge
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I don't think there's an emotional component to the frogs being more reclusive when there is just one. From my collection, a single frog (tinc, auratus, pumilio, thumbs) will hide almost all of the time. Add another frog, you'll see both of them more. I've always thought it was primarily playing the predator lotto - if I'm the only one, I'm going to be dinner.

I have had many kinds of fish do the same thing to me, to the point where they will never forage if kept alone and will starve to death unless they are moved.
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:41 AM
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Anyone else think Mike and Ed should 'mate' , now that would be an interesting genetic combination.
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:38 AM
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this was alot of fun! interesting stuff .I often wondered why a single frog hides while two become bold. Mating and defending a territory?
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:42 AM
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I don't think there's an emotional component to the frogs being more reclusive when there is just one. From my collection, a single frog (tinc, auratus, pumilio, thumbs) will hide almost all of the time. Add another frog, you'll see both of them more. I've always thought it was primarily playing the predator lotto - if I'm the only one, I'm going to be dinner.

I have had many kinds of fish do the same thing to me, to the point where they will never forage if kept alone and will starve to death unless they are moved.
Well, I'm in the camp that supports the idea that human base emotions are biological responses to external stimuli which evolved to aid in survival. And, that these traits exist among other animals. Darwin wrote a book on the idea and more contemporary views of animal cognition, utilizing our understanding of neuroscience, seem to support it. Some of the more advanced emotions such as remorse are probably due to our seemingly unique ability to forecast the effects of our actions into the future.

We easily admit that we share physical characteristics with other animals, but it seems hard to admit that some of our actions and thoughts could be shared with "lesser" lifeforms. Which is the essence of anthropocentrism, we think and feel this way so these primitive animals couldn't possibly do the same. Our emotions and feelings might actually just be a remnant of our ancestral way of life when it was necessary for survival.

So, the reason I would guess for a solitary dart frog hiding would be their evolution supports the aggregation of aposematic animals being a greater deterrent to predation. So if he's alone, he experiences the biological equivalent of being "scared".

There is a reason Ed referred to animal cognition as a quagmire, because we really know so little about it that there are extremely disparate opinions on the matter. It does have a bilateral relationship with studying animal behavior though, an advance in one benefits the other.

Here's a fun analogy. An organism aggregates in an area with a large amount of resources, can become territorial over the resources, but still lives in close proximity because there is a higher chance of survival and reduced chance of predation. Frogs? Or maybe humans? We aggregate to urban areas where resources (jobs/food/shelter) are more plentiful, are territorial over our possessions (I'm sure you'd be "angry" if you found me eating your food), and there is more access to medical care and protection which increases our chances of survival ("predation" from micro-organisms which is our only real predator nowadays). I'm not saying the frogs are as intelligent as humans (I would wager they are more intelligent than some political figures though). Just that we may share similar thought processes and "emotions".

This is just how I see it. I do agree with Ed's reasoning for approaching the behavior of our frogs using currently accepted methodology and terminology, because you couldn't compare and contrast the behaviors without some sort of standard to go by. The terminology and methodology does change though, we've gone from animal behaviorism (laboratory stimuli response) to ethology (studying in their natural environment and comparing their behavior across taxon).
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:23 PM
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We easily admit that we share physical characteristics with other animals, but it seems hard to admit that some of our actions and thoughts could be shared with "lesser" lifeforms.
The problem with anthropocentrism and expansion to other taxa is that people often attribute excessively complex decision making as the root of the behaviors as opposed to considering the simpler explanation first... For example, I once dealt with a customer who was trying to prevent her dog from digging up the yard in the house she was renting... So whenever she (or her boyfriend) saw the dog digging they would run out and discipline the dog.. She claimed the dog knew it was doing something wrong because when they opened the door and ran out at the dog, it would cower and pee..... She refused to acknowledge that the reason the dog was afraid was because the dog had connected the opening the door and running out at the dog with punishment not with the digging.... (some moer comments below)


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There is a reason Ed referred to animal cognition as a quagmire, because we really know so little about it that there are extremely disparate opinions on the matter. It does have a bilateral relationship with studying animal behavior though, an advance in one benefits the other.
The problem is further increased by two factors, the first is that depending on which branch of science is using the word cognition, you have different definition and the second is the use of words that the public tends to associate the use of which indicates intelligence (or a conscious decision making process)... For example the use of the word learn(ed) is fraught with misuse when discussing this issue. For example, you can operant condition a mealworm to not burrow into a substrate, which is defined as learned even though mealworms are not considered to engage in decision making based on a conscious forecast of the risks/benefits of the behavior...

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The terminology and methodology does change though, we've gone from animal behaviorism (laboratory stimuli response) to ethology (studying in their natural environment and comparing their behavior across taxon).
As I noted above, the terminology also changes between branches of science/research as well as the definitions between the public and the researchers...

some comments

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Old 05-27-2013, 05:00 AM
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For the record, I wasn't trying to imply that it was one or the other with regards to anthropocentrism and anthropomorphism. They both have their own place.

It's definitely harder trying to train the owner of the dog than the dog!

Good stuff Ed!
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:48 AM
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For the record, I wasn't trying to imply that it was one or the other with regards to anthropocentrism and anthropomorphism. They both have their own place.

It's definitely harder trying to train the owner of the dog than the dog!

Good stuff Ed!
Wasn't trying to imply anything.. I was simply expanding on the problems with this topic... Sorry if I was unclear.

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