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Re: For JB and Josh.
Posted by: FR
Date: November 02, 2017 08:57AM
I think you can start with just moving the box to another area. Then see what that does.
I am getting to know you a bit, and its fun, you tend to go a bit overboard, nothing wrong with that. But I would recommend once you have something working, only make minor adjustments. After all, its already working. So, you have a number of things you can do, 1. moving the box. 2. replacing the soil in that area. 3. completely removing the soil and keeping the box in the same place.
All could help and may work. As they are doing OK now, with some defensive behavior by the female. I would start by just moving the box off the area she laid in.
I believe, the scent of a nest is important to the females, they would rather nest in an area that's already been nested in. Its part of how they recognize where to nest. For instance, in nature, they tend to nest in the area their parents nested in, then in the area they had already nested in. As in, a nesting area. They do not have to guess, or take a chance, its already known by its scent.
So when your female is gravid, she does not have to spend time and energy in discovery, she knows where to nest. Not exactly the same square inch. But in that area.
What I am getting at is, I think its better to leave that area alone, as it tells her something.
That said, at some point, the whole cage will become a nesting area. This may be problematic for the male.
Lets go back, her first nesting went fine, and appeared all water monitor. And she did not become defensive with that nest. The second one she did. what was different? perhaps it was shallow and she now thinks she must protect it??? Or because it was a shelter for the male, she feels the male has a special interest in that area, and she does not know if its to consume the eggs or just do what he always did??
Its these type of situations that will truly teach you about monitors. As I tried to tell Carla, they are part instinct, and part learning. With some things, if it clicks instinct, to protect the nest, then that surpasses what they had learned.
Its these things that baffle beginners. They, you, think the monitors are smart and will figure it out. The answer is, maybe, but if it goes to instinct, then no figuring is required. They do what instinct instructs them to do.
Even such simple behaviors as snapping at something by their face. Its an instinct to grab something when they are not paying attention, sleeping or dozing etc. Beginner keepers often take serious bites like that. They will say, my monitor is tame and has never even tried to bit me. The problem is, at that point, the monitor was on automatic and driven by instinct. It was not about being tame, or liking you etc.
So what we have here is, instinct, its not about the pair. Its not about being nice, or tame etc. Its all about being a monitor and protecting its efforts. In an instinctual way.