Dark lines forming on questionably fertile eggs...what's going on?

jUMPSu1t

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I've seen a couple posts about these odd dark lines on tortoise eggs, but it seems nobody's figured them out, so I'll ask again. What are these lines, and do they have anything to do with the fact that these eggs seem to be duds?

We've candled them and there seems to be a slightly darker area in the middle of each, but there's no chalking even though the oldest egg has been sitting in our incubator since April 22nd. All of them have remained translucent, with the orangeness of the albumen (is that what it's called in tortoise eggs?) shining through. Recently we've noticed dark lines on each egg, and we're worried they could be the beginnings of cracking or rotting. Attached is a picture of one of our eggs from a later clutch, also not chalked, laid a month ago on May 7th.

Our incubator is set for 86 degrees Fahrenheit, with the humidity hovering around 50%. Each egg was put in its own plastic bowl filled with moist vermiculite, and the bowls' lids are on but not tightly. We also have vent holes drilled in the bowls, but the ones leading out from the incubator have been plugged. (Not the smartest move from my mom in my book, but I'll be forced to explain why if she notices lol.) Don't hate on us if we're doing things terribly wrong; this is our first time and we've been hit with a ton of conflicting accounts and articles on how to set the incubator up and what to do with the eggs. Thanks in advance for answering my question!

IMG_9032.jpg
 

method89

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I have a feeling your humidity is too low, way too low in fact, but I am also far from an expert. Others will come along with more concrete info.
 

Tom

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I've seen a couple posts about these odd dark lines on tortoise eggs, but it seems nobody's figured them out, so I'll ask again. What are these lines, and do they have anything to do with the fact that these eggs seem to be duds?

We've candled them and there seems to be a slightly darker area in the middle of each, but there's no chalking even though the oldest egg has been sitting in our incubator since April 22nd. All of them have remained translucent, with the orangeness of the albumen (is that what it's called in tortoise eggs?) shining through. Recently we've noticed dark lines on each egg, and we're worried they could be the beginnings of cracking or rotting. Attached is a picture of one of our eggs from a later clutch, also not chalked, laid a month ago on May 7th.

Our incubator is set for 86 degrees Fahrenheit, with the humidity hovering around 50%. Each egg was put in its own plastic bowl filled with moist vermiculite, and the bowls' lids are on but not tightly. We also have vent holes drilled in the bowls, but the ones leading out from the incubator have been plugged. (Not the smartest move from my mom in my book, but I'll be forced to explain why if she notices lol.) Don't hate on us if we're doing things terribly wrong; this is our first time and we've been hit with a ton of conflicting accounts and articles on how to set the incubator up and what to do with the eggs. Thanks in advance for answering my question!

View attachment 326689
I see russians in your avatar. Are these Russian eggs?

If yes, your media is way too wet and your humidity way to low. The line in your pic is a crack. This happens when eggs are kept on incubation media that is too wet for the species. The eggs take on too much water through osmosis and they expand until they form cracks.

Russian eggs need to be incubated on dry media, but with high humidity inside the incubator. Your Mom was right to plug all the holes in the incubator. I do that too. I cover the holes with electrical tape. To keep humidity up, I fill the little plastic water trays with water at the bottom of the incubator and also put bowls, cups or tubs of water inside the incubator with the egg containers.

This thread should help:
 
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