Pulse measuring of chameleon embryos during incubation

At the moment, we’re collecting data regarding the pulse developing during incubation. Therefor, we work with digital egg monitor “Buddy MK 2”. Herewith we try to get informations about pulse frequency during the several development stages, at the diabrake and basic information after which incubation or development times the pulse is measurable.  As the pulse is a significant signal, it will be easy to give a statement about the life or death off of an embryo in an egg.

The ambition of this project is, to find out the deadly factor during the incubation at species, which are difficult to incubate. That means, that the eggs will be separated in different boxes and will be incubated with different strategies. The eggs will be permanently checked about their live. When the embryos died after incubation alteration (like alteration regarding moisture or temperature) you will realize this because of pulse absence. Now, you refrain this alteration during the next incubation. With this method, you can approach to a long survival of embryos or finally to high hatching rates. This is very interesting for species where you have to simulate a hibernation which is the reason why there are incubated very rarely (For example Calumma parsonii or Calumma globifer). Up to now, you were often just able to be sure a embryo is dead after few weeks or even month. Therefore, it is difficult to identify the exact time of dead. With this method, you will see it immediately. Although, you get information about moving of embryos that will be interesting around the hatching date. The results of this project will be published step by step on this page…

Display showing pulse. This example is about eggs of furcifer pardalis that are incubated for approx. 3 month.

Egg of furcifer pardalis lying on the sensor, which measured the pulse frequency.

First measures show, that eggs, incubated at a temperature of 28 °C don’t have a different pulse compared to eggs incubated at a temperature of 25 °C (approximately between 60 and 75 bpm). This result was not expected, but first, we have to make some comprehensive measures to get definite results.

The liana-system

Till the end of 2006, we cared the parsonii’s solely separate. Every parsonii had his own terrarium and the females were taken in spring and summer into the male’s terrarium in spaced periods. When the female was disinclined (she’s hissing and shows her defense coloration), we took her back in her own terrarium. If she was relaxed, she stayed a few days in the male’s terrarium. Because of conversion terrariums, the females had another hibernation like the male at the winter period 2005/2006. Therefore, there weren’t any synchronous periods with the thitherto-sole sexual maturity male. As the females were disposed to the mate, the male didn’t start his courtship. Few weeks later, the male started courtship when he saw the females, but unfortunately, the females were indisposed to mate than. During the winter period 2006/2007 the females got the same hibernation like the male. Therefore, we estimate that they’re synchronous concerning their sexual activities.

At the beginning of January, we build a liana-construction and fastened at the ceiling. In every terrarium there is a branch that connects the liana construction with the terrariums that are all opened. With this construction, every parsonii can use the own terrarium, the liana-construction and the terrarium of the others.

Now, they can use a base area of approx. 20 square meters. The terrariums are placed and furnished, in the way so they can find a place where others can’t see them. Currently, there are one male and two females, which are cared by this system.

This husbandry allows the chameleons to decide either to keep company with other chameleons or avoid any contact. Presently, all animals are using this opportunity and they are more active than with the separate husbandry.

Till now, there haven’t been any disputes. If a chameleon comes against accordance in near of another, they menace and the intruder takes refuge. We have to wait on how the behavior during the mating season and summer changes. We will publish the results of this husbandry on this site…

a short construction-manual: