We all know that our captive population of crested geckos and other reptiles sure is severely inbred. As selective breeding for morphs continues, the inbreeding becomes even worse. It is generally accepted that reptiles donít suffer so much of the effects of inbreeding than mammals, although I dout it. Simply reptiles have slower metabolisms and usually donít show illness so obviously as mammals. Moreover, it is known that inbreeding, even it doesnít cause overt illness, many times adversely affects longevity, resistance to disease and reproduction. As there are no large studies of the longevity, health and reproductive success of captive reptiles, we canot know for sure about it. The fact though that many bearded dragons and leopard geckos die yung suggests it. Of course inbreeding causes disease and deformities, which unfortunately are most times masked by reptile breeders.
I am thinking now, by reading some posts, if inbreeding can also cause mental or psychological problems to the affected reptiles, which manifest in their behaivior. I found, for example, in this forum a topic about an unnaturally aggressive crested gecko who believed he was a leachie. This behaivior is atypical and concerning. Another post in another forum
was of a gecko striking at water droplets and anything moving, something obviously dangerous in nature. Even amphibians donít do this. In nature such a stupid gecko would accidentally grab a spiny plant, a part of a predator or something inedible and get severely injured or die.
My gecko is very cautious of striking at insects, and if they are large he starts wistling from fear and turnes away. I made some time ago an experiment to see if he can confuse the mouse pointer of the computer with prey, but he wasnít fooled. It took his attention for a little, but then he went away. The same if I move my finger in front of him. My gecko though has a strange preference of turning usually left when I am handling him. He can turn right normally, all the limbs are ok, but he insists in turning left, and I believe that this is probably a mental problem from inbreeding. Has anyone here reported similar atypical behaiviors and reactions from a crested gecko? Couldnít be they from intense inbreeding?