A dominate little tort, is reacting to everything & others an indication?

willee638

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Hi, I'm presently keeping 3 RF together in an enclosure "at least 2 babies" estimated of possibly 3-4 months old most of the time. One of the baby a very curious little tort would react to everything around it even when another tortoise eats or move about, he seems to pay attention & move towards one much larger yearling. Is this a dominate behavior or bullying or just a very active tort? Can a baby at this early stages exhibit domination over other babies or even older tortoises? Can this behavior determine it to be a male or assuming all are females a hierarchy amongst them still exist?
 

Lyn W

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All torts, male and female, are territorial and don't like sharing space, They may tolerate others if they have enough room to avoid each other - a huge space - but it's very stressful for them all so they need to be separated asap. From what I've read on the forum bullying or dominant behaviour can start young.
Can you post pics of their enclosure?
ZEROPILOT posted a great response to this question recently - I'll see if I can find it.
 
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Lyn W

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This is the thread I was thinking of, but it looks like it was a similar thread to this one that you started so you've probably read it all but post 7 from Zeropilot is pretty comprehensive.
 
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Quadro

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I also have redfoots that are roughly 4 mth old and they are kept in a plastic tub to hold humidity and heat is around 75/80 and they exhibit bullying I have one that will lay over the food when I feed so they will be moved soon .
 

Tom

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I also have redfoots that are roughly 4 mth old and they are kept in a plastic tub to hold humidity and heat is around 75/80 and they exhibit bullying I have one that will lay over the food when I feed so they will be moved soon .
Temp should be 82-88 24/7. 75 is too cool.
 

willee638

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All torts, male and female, are territorial and don't like sharing space, They may tolerate others if they have enough room to avoid each other - a huge space - but it's very stressful for them all so they need to be separated asap. From what I've read on the forum bullying or dominant behaviour can start young.
Can you post pics of their enclosure?
ZEROPILOT posted a great response to this question recently - I'll see if I can find it.
Thank you, I was trying to seek answers or a confirmation on the subject of how early a tortoise would start their bullying behaviors & it's not only inherent to males. My time on tortoise behaviors are relatively short, but I do try to pay close attention & obverse them. I noticed from early on they make audible sounds when being pet & at close proximity to me, I don't think it's fear or intimidation by me because I'm their only handler & they seems to identify me for safety.
 

ZenHerper

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As in all other species, any one individual (regardless of gender) can begin to express dominance at a very early age.

Watch a group of toddlers: while many may play gently with each other, some will go around the room grabbing toys, snacks, engage in attention-seeking from adults, and even being physically aggressive to other children.

In our species some of this acting out is due to the environment the child lives in at home. But a fair amount of the impulse toward dominance is in DNA. The part of evolution that makes sure resources and territory are guarded against poor environmental circumstances. Social species have rearing techniques that shape more dominant animals into submissive or productive juvenile/adult members of a group; non-social species only shape an individual's behavior via the means of clap-back from larger, more dominant individuals in the environment or via shunning (no one stays around the territory to reproduce).

...I was trying to seek answers or a confirmation on the subject of how early a tortoise would start their bullying behaviors ...

At any age or developmental threshold.

...it's not only inherent to males. ...

Correct.
 

willee638

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As in all other species, any one individual (regardless of gender) can begin to express dominance at a very early age.

Watch a group of toddlers: while many may play gently with each other, some will go around the room grabbing toys, snacks, engage in attention-seeking from adults, and even being physically aggressive to other children.

In our species some of this acting out is due to the environment the child lives in at home. But a fair amount of the impulse toward dominance is in DNA. The part of evolution that makes sure resources and territory are guarded against poor environmental circumstances. Social species have rearing techniques that shape more dominant animals into submissive or productive juvenile/adult members of a group; non-social species only shape an individual's behavior via the means of clap-back from larger, more dominant individuals in the environment or via shunning (no one stays around the territory to reproduce).



At any age or developmental threshold.



Correct.
This is fascinating stuff, the alpha males & alpha females exist regardless in how large the group of tortoises are in? I guess in larger numbers the aggressions of the dominant one wouldn't be targeted towards one individual only & spread around not stressing out one submissive individual then can coexist in a more harmonious environment, when I choose my tortoises I always heed to the advice to picking the most active most playful ones in the bunch at a pet shop just to make sure it isn't sick. I would guess the aggression & dominance of bullying "especially in 2's" would be much more severe as they grow, so there's credence in only keeping one as pet in small settings & never 2's or if 3 or more in small groups must provide sufficient outdoor space, I have re-built & expanded my tortoises' enclosures several times since from a year ago of starting with one RF baby to accommodate 3 still rather small tortoises by several times the living space & plenty of outdoor activities. I'm learning something new all the time that's why I join this forum, to seek knowledge from people in the know like yourselves...kudos.
 

ZenHerper

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This is fascinating stuff, the alpha males & alpha females exist regardless in how large the group of tortoises are in? I guess in larger numbers the aggressions of the dominant one wouldn't be targeted towards one individual only & spread around not stressing out one submissive individual then can coexist in a more harmonious environment...

Tortoises are predominantly non-social. So the basic tortoise personality type tends to be Dominant in all individuals, with some variation of intensity. One tortoise finds and stakes out a (very large) territory for itself alone. With the exception of mating season(s), all intruders are attacked and chased away.

Captive enclosures force animals to live in much-smaller-than-natural territories. Dominance behaviors and contests are common in groups, even for less aggressive species because the Survival centers of the brain that measure territory and resources are under constant stress. It is imperative to provide a lot of space, a lot of hiding spots, several water pans, and an overabundance of food when trying to manage more than one animal in an enclosure.

Chronic stress damages everything about life. It is our responsibility to manage animals with the aim of minimizing stressors and preventing chronic stress.
 

willee638

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Tortoises are predominantly non-social. So the basic tortoise personality type tends to be Dominant in all individuals, with some variation of intensity. One tortoise finds and stakes out a (very large) territory for itself alone. With the exception of mating season(s), all intruders are attacked and chased away.

Captive enclosures force animals to live in much-smaller-than-natural territories. Dominance behaviors and contests are common in groups, even for less aggressive species because the Survival centers of the brain that measure territory and resources are under constant stress. It is imperative to provide a lot of space, a lot of hiding spots, several water pans, and an overabundance of food when trying to manage more than one animal in an enclosure.

Chronic stress damages everything about life. It is our responsibility to manage animals with the aim of minimizing stressors and preventing chronic stress.
Absolutely correct, so much in sights into these animals' environmental & social interactions/behaviors. For the average potential or novice pet tortoise or turtle owners often has no idea or will ever ponder what kind of commitment they'll be making to care for these animals, when I first considered & endeavored becoming a first time tortoise keeper I had done some preliminary research on the basic setups & requirements for proper husbandry at least. It would be expensive & a very long term commitment for 50+ years, it was RF I decided on of the 2 most popular over the Sulcata.. tortoises of none hibernate or brumate spices. It has been a joy caring for my red foots because their almost omnivorous eating habits & considered less aggressive of amongst other pet tortoise spices.
 

willee638

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I tend to agree reptiles like most tortoises are solitary animals unlike some not all mammals as well, they perhaps don't need to be in large numbers for safety reasons. RF's congregate at the same site to eat where food is abundant without conflict other than mating is already much more tolerant than other tortoise spices, there isn't much information I can find specifically on red footed tortoises in the wild. I don't read researches on other tortoise spices not pertaining to RF's in particular, to avoid any discrepancies between them.
 

willee638

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I have also wondered about the question, can having a small group of 3 or more RF's stimulate & not intimidate? Would it be true even none natural predators & none aggressive animals a tortoise encounters in the wild sharing the same fields & planes of land or I often see other pet spices interact with tortoises be intrusive to them? It can be reasoned it all comes down to space & the ability to get away & ignore each other....
 

ZEROPILOT

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I have also wondered about the question, can having a small group of 3 or more RF's stimulate & not intimidate? Would it be true even none natural predators & none aggressive animals a tortoise encounters in the wild sharing the same fields & planes of land or I often see other pet spices interact with tortoises be intrusive to them? It can be reasoned it all comes down to space & the ability to get away & ignore each other....
I'm pretty sure that a tortoise in his or her territory would not see most other animals as any sort of competition to them. And therefore, not feel threatened or need to respond the same way that they would instinctually react to seeing another tortoise.
I think you've missed the point.
 

willee638

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I'm pretty sure that a tortoise in his or her territory would not see most other animals as any sort of competition to them. And therefore, not feel threatened or need to respond the same way that they would instinctually react to seeing another tortoise.
I think you've missed the point.
From this I can interpret intrusion is direct competition by the same spices or other animals for food, shelter, survival & territory etc...
 
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