If they can survive on eating soil, my mind will be blown.Excellent Mark, and thank you for taking the time to type this up.
There are still unsolved mysteries to me. Knowing how keratin and bone grows also helps us understand how they act in the wild in the younger years.
Unanswered questions for me are what is the diet of neonates in the wild. If they are hidden and dug in for long periods then where is the vitamins coming from for healthy growth. Vitamin D is the big one. Do all species eat bugs as a source of D3 in the early stages. I was under the impression at dawn and dusk uv levels are low, You wouldn't think neonates would venture out at the height of the day when sun hot hot hot because this would dry out keratin and force pyramiding.
What about actual dirt, do they eat that because it's rich in vitamins and minerals when dug in?