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Girl or Boy

Discussion in 'Sulcata tortoises' started by matchdog, Jun 18, 2017 at 7:24 PM.

  1. matchdog

    matchdog Member

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    Can someone tell if my Spike is a girl or boy?[​IMG][​IMG]
  2. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Yes. Yes it is. Definitely a girl or boy.

    In another 2 or 3 years you'll know for sure which one.
    Pearly and JoesMum like this.
  3. teresaf

    teresaf Well-Known Member

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    Until you know for sure you may want to find a girl name. He looks like a she to me. How old is spike?
  4. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    They all look like girls at that size... Spike is sufficiently gender neutral :)
  5. matchdog

    matchdog Member

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    I'm assuming Spike is 4 years old. I got him or her LOL in 2015. When I got Spike they said he or she was 2 years old.
  6. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Aging torts is impossible unless you know the hatch date. Sulcatas can grow very fast, 4 doesn't seem implausible at that size :)
  7. teresaf

    teresaf Well-Known Member

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    How can anyone tell what size he is? he's on his back on the ground next to a piece of plywood. he looks huge to me? A lot of tortoises on here get sexed at 4 years old if they're big enough. I could tell what sex mine was at 5... Looks female to me.
  8. matchdog

    matchdog Member

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    I just took a picture [​IMG]
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  9. teresaf

    teresaf Well-Known Member

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    Female. If he were a he I would think SOME evidence of maleness would be showing but tail is smallish and stubby and plastron is completely flat. I'm not a professional though. When @Tom someday says one or the other you can believe it.
  10. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    (I'm adding this note as I was putting this together and saw matchdog just added another photo with size. I guess I was on the right track!)

    I just went back to the picture files. I actually am guessing your tortoise is about 11-12" based on the scutes of the plastron.

    @teresaf I look at the relation of the areolae to the overall size of the scute. Its not exact, but when I compare to pictures of my own at various sizes, I can come pretty close.

    @matchdog I am with Teresa and think there is a strong possibility that this is a female if indeed your tortoise is about 4 years old.

    As usual, since I think this is a learning forum, I will explain why on both size and sex guesses...

    Here is a 13.5" obvious male. These first two photos are of tortoises from a slow-grow group back in the "trying to stop pyramiding" days. So this guy is actually 5 1/2 years old. With a faster growing, younger sulcata, I normally, never would see this type of sexual secondary characteristics at 13.5" and maybe two years old. But I find age changes things a bit. Here we see pronounced male tail, and anal scute flare, and the gulars already extending. can't tell from the picture, but his plastron is already obviously concave. For size guess, compare the overall look of the scutes to the best determination of the original areolae - or smallest growth grooves you can make out. This guy looks obviously bigger than matchdog's tortoise, so I would feel matchdog's is less than 13".

    IMG_5346.JPG

    Here's another of the slow-grown. She is 9.5" and 5 years old in this photo. The smallest "without a doubt female" I have recorded. Female tail, anal scutes curving inward, and small gular with a circular shape. For size comparison the scutes look smaller than matchdogs, so I guessed matchdog's was definitely over 10"

    IMG_5347.JPG

    Now here is a 18 month old sulcata that is 8". Kind of "normal" growth for my sulcatas. Incubated to be female, I am holding back to see how it comes out, but is looking female, but I won't guess on a 8", 18 month old. For reference here, we see the scutes are obviously smaller than matchdog's. But from the last picture, we already know Matchdog's is over 10". Even though faster grown, we see much less ridging, even though this one loves to dig in under the hay and on top of some pavers the hay is on. So "she" has some wear on her plastron. The tail still looks female, but that means nothing at this age. The anal scutes are looking hopeful for female. The gular scutes are also pretty round looking already.

    IMG_5348.JPG
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  11. matchdog

    matchdog Member

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    You guys are great
  12. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    @Markw84

    I agree with Mark's assessment of his own tortoises, and for all the same reasons Mark explained. Male, female and unknown.

    And I'm sticking with my assessment of Matchdog's tortoise of unknown and sexually immature. The tail is small, but those anal scutes are pretty spread out. It could really go either way as the secondary sexual characteristics begin to surface over the next few years.
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  13. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    OH, good! @Tom and I somewhat disagree on something! This is fun.

    @matchdog - can you post a picture of the overall plastron with the gular scutes full visible? Let's see if I still think female. And, I am going a bit by you saying "she's" y ears old...
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  14. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Yeah, but here is your problem: If you guess female, you have a 50% chance of being right when this tortoise reaches maturity and it becomes obvious. If I'm guessing its either male or female, I have a 100% chance of being correct when we finally find out!!! :p
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  15. matchdog

    matchdog Member

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    Here you go[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
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  16. teresaf

    teresaf Well-Known Member

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    female. hahahah, I'll risk potentially being wrong...
  17. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Thanks matchdog.

    Those anals are just starting to show female, but those gulars = female!

    @Tom while I enjoy your perspective that you're 100% right with no guess, the perspective to me is development far enough along to be able to make an educated guess. You say I've got 50/50. How about a friendly bet then. You're the house. If I'm right, I win. If I'm wrong you win. Next time we see each other someone will owe the other a drink?

    @matchdog you have to keep us updated...!!!!
    daniellenc likes this.
  18. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    Girl! Just wild guess! This is fun!
  19. matchdog

    matchdog Member

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  20. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I'll take that deal, but I have to admit, the most recent pic is showing me signs of female. Those anal scutes look like they are going to form that characteristic "U" and not widen out into a "V". I'll be happy to owe you a drink in any case!
    Markw84 likes this.
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