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Re: gastrolith research



On Wed, 19 May 1999 05:59:49 -0400 Thom Holmes writes:
>For what it's worth, I have wondered if gastroliths are not so much 
>related to grinding up vegetation in the stomach as they are to merely
passing 
>the food through the digestive tract.  One reason I say this is that I
have noticed that >iguanas do this; they eat gravel when it is available
and it passes with their 
>food.

Iguanas do this?  Well, not really for those reasons.  Iguanas
investigate their environment by licking nearly everything they can lay
their tongues on  (be it food, a basking log, thier owner, it it's a pet
iguana, gravel, another iguana they may be interested in mating with:  if
you go tto this URL, you can read a story about an iguana which ate a
pair of it's owner's panties!: 
<http://geocities.com/Heartland/6860/ig-stories.html#daly_vs>).  In so
doing, they may accidently ingest whatever their tongue happens to be
laying on.
 They do not really "eat"  gravel to help digest their food, even though
they are herbivorous:  gravel can cause in impaction and kill an iguana
through an intestinal rupture.

Ack, just realized I was writing to the DINOSAUR and not the IGUANA
mailing list, so to bring this back on-topic:  iguana ingestion of gravel
is in no way comparable to sauropods' ingestion of gastroliths, for the
reasons outlined above.

-zenlizard

I have never bitten my iguana.

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