1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

Split/Extra Scutes

Discussion in 'Advanced Tortoise Topics' started by N2TORTS, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. N2TORTS

    N2TORTS Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Messages:
    8,803
    Likes Received:
    4,489
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Would like to hear your experience/opinions from multi clutch hatches. Purely from incubation temps or does genetics play a role? What has been your experience?
    Tidgy's Dad and ALDABRAMAN like this.
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    68,068
    Media:
    13
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    24,332
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Clovis, CA
    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    I've only had one splitty. He/she hatched out among 7 other normal-looking carapaces (leopard). I didn't pay attention to where that particular egg was positioned in with the others, or if it was closest to the heating element. I've had numerous hatches from this pairing and this was my first splitty.
    puffy137 likes this.
  3. Turtlepete

    Turtlepete Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2014
    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    875
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    South Florida
    My fridge incubator has very even heat throughout its whole, so all eggs should be subjected to very similar temperatures, and any variations. I get a few splittys every year, with temperatures typically varying from 84-88 throughout the incubation period. I would note that those that have hatched outdoors in the summer (likely subjected to much higher temperatures, commonly in the low-90s air temp) more commonly have split-scutes, so perhaps this supports the hypothesis that it is a temperature-dependent phenomenon.

    It has happened from all of my females roughly equally. I have a split-scute female nearing adulthood that I hope to be producing f2's from next season. Will be curious to see her offspring.
    Anyfoot likes this.
  4. allegraf

    allegraf Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I had about 4 split scutes one year from different mothers. Then I realized that my toddler was messing with the incubator and the temps were up to 89F for about a week or so. Since then, I have had only one split scute with incubation temps at 83-84F.
    tctpa523 and ALDABRAMAN like this.
  5. tortadise

    tortadise Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Messages:
    9,435
    Media:
    246
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    3,896
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Tropical South Texas
    I waiver towards temperature. Especially since almost every species incubated here isn't done so in an incubator anymore(well a few species are) the split scute torts I've noticed over the years from transitioning to ambient from constant incubation temps have drastically increased. Especially the leopards. Out of 61 Leo's that hatched I'd say a good 14-15 were split scute. Same with the Manouria last year. Out of the 17 that hatched only 2 were split scute. They came out first and were at the top of the buried nest. The Redfoots whether least in ground in the greenhouse or put in the egg pot tend to have 1out of 4 split scute or extra scute. I think and this is purely speculation. It happens during the major development of the tortoise in the egg. It could have to do with cooler temps creating broader scutes and warmer temps creating smaller scutes. I'd imagine when the scutes begin to develop and get outlined then temperature must be just so right to create the perfect square or rectangle of the scute. But if temps are just a tad cool it will develop slower and longer and then stop creating a larger scute and not know when to stop or divide. Same thing on the photo warm scale quicker development creates. But I don't know just just a guess and a ramble. It's quite interesting to me for sure, especially seeing many opened eggs with different stage developed tortoises.
    ALDABRAMAN likes this.
  6. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2015
    Messages:
    35,282
    Likes Received:
    80,749
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Fes, Morocco
    Very interesting.
    Anyone else?
  7. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    68,068
    Media:
    13
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    24,332
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Clovis, CA
    This latest batch of leopard eggs that hatched (a couple weeks ago), the first one to hatch had an extra coastal scute on one side. None of the others that hatched had splits or extras.
  8. Dragonight1993

    Dragonight1993 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Messages:
    45
    Media:
    1
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    mesa, AZ
    my Steven has split scutes so he has 16 scutes instead of 13. he seems healthy, happy and he's such a cutey. :p
    even steven.jpg
    Jacqui, gingerbee, Pearly and 2 others like this.
  9. pepsiandjac

    pepsiandjac Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Messages:
    475
    Media:
    9
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    257
    Trophy Points:
    63
    beautiful.Hes like a designer tort
    cdb78 and Dragonight1993 like this.
  10. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    24,728
    Media:
    1,000
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    10,936
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    SW Forida
    ~ We have been hatching out the aldabra species for many years and less than one percent we produce have any split, extra, divided or double scutes. We have tried many incubation methods with a few variations and found that a consistent steady safe temperature with full term incubation produce the heaviest and healthiest hatchlings. I have heard many opinions and theories as to what causes this, my overall thoughts is it is influenced by temperatures during the incubation process.

    ~ One of the most recent interesting opinions i have heard was that this was influenced during a certain early phase of development within a small window when a higher temperature was present!

    IMG_1468 2.JPG
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
    Kasia, CathyNed, gingerbee and 7 others like this.
  11. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2015
    Messages:
    35,282
    Likes Received:
    80,749
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Fes, Morocco
    Wow!!!!
    I mean double wow!!!!
    What an incredible photograph.
    ALDABRAMAN likes this.
  12. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    68,068
    Media:
    13
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    24,332
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Clovis, CA
    The batch of YF tortoises that hatched a couple weeks ago contained two babies with an extra coastal scute each; one on the left side and the other baby had it on the right side.

    My incubators are in the house and I cool the house with an evaporative cooler that blows cool air constantly while it's on. So I doubt the house air fluctuates very much. The incubators cycle on and off in order to maintain a steady temperature. I have Little Giant and Zoo Med incubators.

    I have no idea why some of my babies develop split or extra scutes and some in the same area of the incubator don't.
    N2TORTS likes this.
  13. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    24,728
    Media:
    1,000
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    10,936
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    SW Forida
    ~ Interesting!
  14. TerrapinStation

    TerrapinStation Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2015
    Messages:
    669
    Likes Received:
    573
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan
    ALDABRAMAN, those are some incredible looking Torts! I think giants are the most fascinating animals, I just cannot get enough of them. Going to Galapagos and hanging out with some of those guys is a dream of mine. Thanks!
    ALDABRAMAN likes this.
  15. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    24,728
    Media:
    1,000
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    10,936
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    SW Forida
    ~ Thank you.
  16. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    37,288
    Likes Received:
    13,507
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Southern California
    I incubate everything at 89. I went years with no split scutes. One year we had an early unexpected heat wave and temps in my reptile room where my incubators were climbed into the mid 90s. I had three split scutes in one clutch. Jacqui has them now. All other clutches in the room were fine. Never had anymore split scutes after that to this day. I've heard it is a genetic thing sometimes, but I've personally not seen any evidence of that theory at my place.
    N2TORTS likes this.
  17. AnimalLady

    AnimalLady Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    903
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Are split scutes not good? I like them, i like them a lot actually...
    gingerbee and N2TORTS like this.
  18. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    68,068
    Media:
    13
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    24,332
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Clovis, CA
    There are those of us (like you) who really, really like the splitties. But some folks prefer their tortoises' shells to be perfect. In fact, usually the splits and extras cost less to buy.
    N2TORTS and AnimalLady like this.
  19. AnimalLady

    AnimalLady Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    903
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Really? Thanks for the info Yvonne, i love them and my next tort (YIKES!) will have split scutes! ;)
  20. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    37,288
    Likes Received:
    13,507
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Southern California
    It is usually viewed as an "imperfection".

    Some people, especially Jacqui, sees split scutes as beautiful and unique.

    It is really a cosmetic thing, and unless high incubation temperatures produced some sort of unseen internal malformation, it should have no effect on their health.
    AnimalLady likes this.
Similar Threads: Split/Extra Scutes
Forum Title Date
Advanced Tortoise Topics Extra/Split scutes ALWAYS girls? Oct 4, 2016
Advanced Tortoise Topics Nuchal scutes in red-footed tortoises Mar 6, 2013

Share This Page