Gular pouch possibly aid in digestion?

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Gular pouch possibly aid in digestion?

Postby Megdan1 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:32 am

Hey everyone, I'm still pretty new to this board and didn't really know where to post this.but I know you all know as well as I that the reason we got into husbandry to begin with was because we love learning and studying the animals that we are so passionate about. Throughout the years I have seen crazy things I have seen one neonate copperhead completely eat another one almost identical in size ( they were both from the same clutch and in the tank together ),although information about copperheads actually eating other copperheads or other snakes even is scarce if any at all. So that was pretty amazing to me. As some of you may know I've kept lizards throughout the years but never for a really long time. I recently acquired my first Bearded Dragon who I love very much. something for everything pictures of her those of you who may be interested I would be glad to post some here for you to look at if you would like or if there's somewhere else on this board were you just post pictures I can post them there. That way we wouldn't get off the topic here( more so than we already have). Anyway I recently noticed that after my little girl eats, her gular pouch looks a little swollen. When you touch it you can feel the food she just consumed. The food doesn't stay there long before it finally moves down into her digestive system. However it does stay there for about five minutes a lot of the time. As many of you may know bearded dragons along with a lot of other lizard species are currently being found out that they are actually venomus to an extent. As we know a lot of lizards like the Mexican beaded lizard and gila monster have grooved teeth in which the venom travels down into its prey. I was wondering if it was possible that maybe the gular pouch aids in pre-digestion kind of how teeth do. Do bearded dragons chew their food up and then hold it in their gular pouch while the very mild venom that they do have drains into the gular pouch, they let it stay there long enough to get consumed by the venom, and then swallow it down? I tried to look up medical information on bearded dragons and everything but can't find any information. But as you know, many animal species haven't really been closely studied in ways that they could be. Maybe there's things about our little loved ones that we've not learned yet. Thoughts?
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Re: Gular pouch possibly aid in digestion?

Postby AHBD » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:45 am

Hi there, that is an interesting topic and will raise many eyebrows. :) But I've owned + raised quite a few beardies and my observation of the gular pouch with the food is generally that they eat very quickly + the food stays there sort of stuck before they swallow it. This happens with dragons that eat larger items and/or stuff themselves quickly. One dragon on here a year or so ago had a distended beard that was full of large pieces of some type of green, a vet pulled them out. And while some beardies do this behavior, most don't.

BTW, I've read the article that came out about them being venomous but they really can't be classified as such. They bite each other all the time without introducing " venom " in to each other and I myself have had slight bites [ as have many other owners, usually it's accidental when feeding by hand ] that had no ill effect or evidence that venom was introduced in to the wound. They are not venomous and really shouldn't be considered as such.
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Re: Gular pouch possibly aid in digestion?

Postby SHBailey » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:55 am

I'm now wondering if they use it as a form of storage as much as a way to "predigest" -- maybe in the wild where you don't know where your next meal is coming from, and you come across an opportunity to stuff your gular pouch with bugs or greens or whatever, then chew them up and swallow them at your leisure later, that might be a good survival strategy. It's my understanding that some species of birds also do this, as well as some mammals, such as hamsters. Beardies may have this capability too, and some of them may still be in the habit of doing it even when they can trust their human slaves to feed them as much as they need. :wink:

Beardies have also been known to do it with water. Ours sometimes saves a beardful of water for a while after his bath, and sometimes we feed him shortly after that, so we've wondered if he's developed a new hunting strategy: drown the cricket in watery drool, making it easier to catch. :? We have also suspected him of hiding greens in his beard so he can spit them out when we're not looking -- we have a heck of a time getting him to eat his veggies. :roll:
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Re: Gular pouch possibly aid in digestion?

Postby AHBD » Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:35 am

It can be a problem with some beardies. They get a lot more food from us in captivity and at times they eat too much and/or too fast. Here are a few " food stuck in throat " threads.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... LJ2YFbeUEw

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... h3D_QlAysg
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Re: Gular pouch possibly aid in digestion?

Postby SHBailey » Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:23 pm

I guess some of them are just more likely than others to eat recklessly. After reading these horror stories, I guess I should count myself lucky that the worst thing that's ever happened with our beardie (so far) was when he managed to get a live superworm crawling around in his head behind his eardrum. We spent a lovely afternoon at the vet's trying to find it, and concluded that he must have managed to swallow it, because it disappeared and he had no further problems afterwards. Needless to say, we swore off superworms afterwards -- we're not doing that again if we can possibly avoid it. :roll:
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