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Looking for eggs specifically
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:46 PM   #1
Thralni
Looking for eggs specifically

Hello all,

I realize this is a little awkward. People are of course attached to their pets, which they have reared over years. Still, I'm going to go out on a limb here and see if perhaps anybody is willing or able to help out. This is going to be a bit of a special request for a special reason.

For now I'm hiding my name etc just in case somebody here decides to target me for the work I do... Call it self-protection.

I'm a PhD student at Columbia University, working on the development of the lung. The lung is an intricate, complicated organ that's, of course, vital to our survival as adults. In my research, I study a very basic process of lung development: how some parts of the lung become equipped for respiration, whereas others are equipped merely for conducting the air to the respiratory tissue.

While my work so far has only been in mammals, I would like to expand to snakes.

I have worked on snake development previously, mostly looking at the lung, heart and blood vessels. Some of you are probably aware of this already, but the snake lung is rather different form that of mammals: essentially its a blind-ended sack, much like a very elongated grocery bag. As such it lacks much of the modern complexity of mammalian lungs.

The question I'm asking, is how through evolution the snake lung came to be the mammalian lung. For this I will employ techniques that will allow me to see where certain genes are being turned on.

But, to do this, of course I need subject matter: snake embryos, which is why I came here, to ask, specifically for corn snake eggs. I will then take the embryo out of the egg for further study. Yes, this does unfortunately mean that the embryo will not develop into an adult...

If anybody can help with my request, I'd be very thankful! My professor is willing to pay a modest sum per egg, but please note that we don't have endless funding and therefor can't pay too much... I'm sure we will be able to work something out however.

Thank you, and hoping to hear from some of you.
Thralni
 
Old 02-07-2017, 08:45 AM   #2
Thralni
PS: I should have added that I don't necessarily expect eggs now, but rather whether somebody thinks they might have eggs in the future they would be able to donate or sell.
 
Old 02-07-2017, 11:17 AM   #3
Dragonling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thralni View Post
The question I'm asking, is how through evolution the snake lung came to be the mammalian lung.
It...didn't? Early synapsids emerged sometime in the early to mid Triassic where snakes are believed to have diverged from varanids in the mid Cretaceous. Common ancestry between any modern mammal and any modern squamate is pretty far removed.
 
Old 02-07-2017, 11:35 AM   #4
Thralni
Well of course you're right, but I'm not suggesting there's a straight line here. I realize my wording could have been mistaken to literally mean that.

I'm looking at the basic plan of the snake lung, and whether general patterns of expression of several key genes in mammalian lung development are also expressed in similar locations in snakes. If this is the case, one can presume evolutionary conservation of some function of these genes. If not, it'd be interesting to know how their patterns of expression might have changed, for it might be at the basis of subsequent evolution to a branching tree, from a blind ended sack, as is common in non-archosaur reptiles. Indeed, next steps would be to also include birds, crocodiles, etc, for a full evolutionary study.
 
Old 02-07-2017, 12:52 PM   #5
Dragonling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thralni View Post
Well of course you're right, but I'm not suggesting there's a straight line here. I realize my wording could have been mistaken to literally mean that.

I'm looking at the basic plan of the snake lung, and whether general patterns of expression of several key genes in mammalian lung development are also expressed in similar locations in snakes. If this is the case, one can presume evolutionary conservation of some function of these genes. If not, it'd be interesting to know how their patterns of expression might have changed, for it might be at the basis of subsequent evolution to a branching tree, from a blind ended sack, as is common in non-archosaur reptiles. Indeed, next steps would be to also include birds, crocodiles, etc, for a full evolutionary study.
Perhaps monitors/goannas as well, since they are rather primitive varanids, comparatively anyway.

If I had a spare female ready to go I would consider it. I have a classic female who has had chronic respiratory problems and I'm not certain if I will ever breed her. How would someone even transport them? Frozen after a certain period of development?
 
Old 02-07-2017, 01:00 PM   #6
Thralni
That would be interesting to add to the comparison, thanks!

So at the time when I did the developmental work, I'd take a cool box with a small heating unit and a cup of water in it, or something along those lines. I need to check back with Prof from that time to ask exactly how we used to do it. Upon arrival in the lab we'd continue the incubation in the lab in an incubator, then process say three embryos every so many days to get a series of embryos at different stages of development.

However, travel times were never more than 1.5 hours or so. I don't know how well this would work for longer travels, so it's important that it's somewhat close to my lab, in and around New York City. Unless it's close to the lab of a collaborate of mine, in which case I'd take the eggs there and process them there.

It'd be great if you would be willing to set up a breeding, though depending on your location it might be difficult to get the eggs safely to the lab.
 
Old 02-07-2017, 01:14 PM   #7
Dragonling
Seems like it would be easier to ship a gravid female than shipping eggs.
 
Old 02-07-2017, 01:32 PM   #8
crackerhead
Corn snake eggs do very well in shipping. I confirmed for myself the findings of Connie Hurley and Chuck Pritzel with regard to the successful hatching of eggs shipped at different stages of incubation. They can even be shipped FedEx Ground and survive with high hatch rates. I observed no deformity or other health issues with the neonates, i.e. spinal kinks, open navel, non-feeders, etc.. This was observed in the first trials as well. I went one step further and used impact monitors in the boxes to get an idea about how rough the packages were being handled. After seeing the results I'm glad I don't have to travel by mail.

Terri
 
Old 02-07-2017, 02:09 PM   #9
Thralni
Thanks Terri, that's valuable info! How do you package them, and how much does it cost to ship them that way?
 
Old 02-07-2017, 05:23 PM   #10
crackerhead
I package them as follows. Styro box with some form of temp stabilizer like a gel bag or water bottle; heat or cold packs as needed. The eggs are packed in a deli cup with moist spaghnum moss for cushioning and hydration.The rest of the box is filled with packing material to limit movement in shipping.
Less days in transit is better from a worry standpoint but doesn't prove significant otherwise.
This method also works with Bearded Dragon, Crested and Leopard Gecko eggs. I haven't tried it with any other reptiles.

Terri
 

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