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Re: Moving forward with Welly
Posted by: Carla
Date: November 06, 2017 12:40PM
The eye contact thing particularly interests me. Maybe it is unfair of me to always compare to horses, but it is part of my frame of reference. I agree that monitors of most sizes can be prey—but one big difference between them and say, a horse which is never naturally predatory is the use of eye contact. If I go out into the pasture with the intent of catching a horse and make direct eye contact as I approach, even a horse that knows me well, will become alert and sometimes run away. However, if I approach obliquely and make no eye contact, I can walk up to that horse and it does not have a flight response.
The monitors I have known seem to seek out eye contact (to discern intent?). Perhaps they read our eyes like we can read theirs. I find monitor eyes to be very expressive for an animal whose facial features don’t move much. Also, the use of facial and other body gestures is really communicative. (Or at least, open to interpretation). There is a difference between a wide open alert ready for flight eye expression and a wide open soft, accepting expression. There is little doubt of intent in the wide open “food!” expression, paired with the front feet spread out and head up high. Half closed eyes can mean relaxed, but also can mean stressed, especially if paired with a nose tucked to the side and into the dirt. Again, these are my interpretations based on “what happened next” experiences and some intuition, whether right or wrong.
On the competition for food thing. You are right, FR. I think I’m inadvertently promoting competition by trying to “be fair”. SD seems to be on high aleart now every time I open to the door, perhaps anticipating that I’m about to feed “the other lizard”. I’m going go pile up a big stack of chicks and mice and huge juicy night crawlers and see what happens. Will report back.