can torts get sun burn?

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moswen

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my little yana has taken to digging in in a corner of her home that sits directly under the uv lamp. she used to house herself under a vining plant at the opposite end of the lamp. but she moved (simply because it's closer to her food, i believe! the little pig! she almost gives up and quits eating and moving, now she's back to her old piggish ways!) now she doesn't even dig in anymore, she just sits in the shallow hole she dug for herself, and yesterday and today i've noticed her skin is getting darker, but in the cracks of her face she's still the light ivory color.

is she getting tanned? sun burned? should i move her back to her old home a couple of times to see if that encourages her to use the plant again? or is this no problem?

she's on a 160w t rex mvb but it's the $20 one, that came out about a year (or less) ago, the one without "active uv" that's supposed to be the equivelant of sitting all day in the shade. but it's been about year (or close to) and that bulb should be almost finished...?
 

Laura

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i dont know about sun burned.. but they can burn if too close to the heat source.
Ivory ones tho.. hmmmm may be different..
or maybe she is naturally turning darker due to temps.. as darker animals absorb heat better.. ????
 

moswen

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Laura said:
i dont know about sun burned.. but they can burn if too close to the heat source.
Ivory ones tho.. hmmmm may be different..
or maybe she is naturally turning darker due to temps.. as darker animals absorb heat better.. ????

oh no she's not the ivory, she's a normal sulcata, you know how they just have the ivory-colored skin...
 

Neal

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Not sure. I know tortoises skin tone will change as it grows. Tortoises definatley get sun damage or sun wear and tear whatever you want to call it. I recently purchased a high white leopard tortoise I believe was raised indoors. After the summer of being outside I can see the white is starting to turn more blonde and not as vibrant.
 

Jermosh

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When we rescue a tort who is raised indoors there is certainly a color change when left out in the sun. The only issue is we have to be careful with overheating since they tend to absorb more heat then they can react to.
 

Tracy Gould

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have u tried moving her food if Yana as relocated to be near her food and u are worried about her skin i would move the food away from the lamp she may move again to be near the food lol
 

dmmj

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I think they could get a sunburn but I honestly think they would die of overheating before a sunburn would set in.
 

moswen

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interesting thoughts. well, her new home is about 1.5' x 1', so there's really no moving her food anywhere. she's been separated from the other two babies bc she had a pretty traumatic bulling session i guess... i don't know what else it could have been... anyway. this is a pic of her new home, there's really nowhere else to put her food lol!

IMG_9348.jpg


when looking at the picture, her new "bed" is in the bottom left corner, right under the lamp, but the direction the lamp faces is to the bottom right corner.
 

Yvonne G

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We seem to have received a bit of flack recently when someone asks one question and we give suggestions on something else. I'm hesitant to mention anything other than to answer your sunburn question, but I'm going to dive in: You have a clamp fixture that is shining the light into the opposite corner, or at an angle. Is this the UV light? The instructions that come with the MVB lights tell us to suspend the light so that it hangs straight down, and not at an angle. I have no experience with any other UV lights, only the MVBs. So if its not an MVB I take it all back.:D
 

tortoisenerd

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Agree with Yvonne on the bulb if its the MVB you mention in your topic (also, as the replacement, I'd get a 100 Watt and the higher output UVB, and use it in a larger enclosure...even a tiny hatchling needs more than 1.5 sq ft to thrive in my opinion...exercise space is good...please double check your temps with an accurate thermometer like a temp gun because I worry about the gradient in such a small enclosure with that strong bulb from my experience with these types of bulbs in a travel enclosure that was still several times larger than yours). You need a good gradient, hides in each temp zone, etc. Its also not a good idea to have food under the basking spot because basking is separate from eating (and makes the food too warm & it will wilt fast).

From what I've read here (can't find the threads right now...forgot the search terms to try), yes, tort's shell and skin color can change (especially going darker...not sure if it can get lighter unless you are not letting it get UVB rays) with sun/UVB, and just with growth/time. Should be normal. But I don't have a technical answer for you about why/how. Its not sun burn, and as long as your bulb is within the safe range and the bulb is used in the typical manner (look on the box...the 100 Watt is 12-18 inches from the tort, and the 160 Watt is 18-24 inches...if you are closer than 18 inches from the tort's shell to the bulb face, then its dangerous and also probably way too hot), and your tort has areas to escape from the warmth (a temp gradient, such as 75 to 100 for a hatchling), then it is safe for your tort. Your enclosure kinda scares me though, honestly.
 

moswen

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lol yvonne, i would never give you flack for trying to help me keep my animals healthy. yes, i know this is the way they're supposed to be hung, but honestly i did not hold out much hope that yana was going to make it, if you remember she barely moved for 2 days after i separated her, so i didn't really want to create more holes in my ceiling with plant hooks to create suspended bulbs, & etc...

now that she's doing better and thriving, i would like to give her a better and larger home all to herself, but you may not know that we're MOVING!!! (FINALLY lol!) so for the moment this is how it has to be. in our new house they will get their own room again and it will be tricked out with new homes and hanging mvbs and all the works i can afford them. until they're moved outside lol.
 
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