HELP NEEDED identifying sex of Chaco Tortoise

TheCount16

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I'm having trouble figuring out the sex of my Chaco Tortoise. Any help would be appreciated.

Here are a couple of pictures. If you need more pictures please tell!

Thanks!


IMG_20201209_115511.jpg IMG_20201209_115721.jpg
 

turtlesteve

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Please get a couple more pics of the tail at different angles. Want to see the vent, and how the tail is held when tucked in.

Also, what is the straight line carapace length?

These are very difficult to sex and even with more pics it will be hard to say with 100% certainty.
 

turtlesteve

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Can't see the tail too well because it is in a shadow and kind of dark, but from what I can make out in this photo, it looks like a female.

I’m leaning female too, based on shape of the anal scutes. It also looks big for a male (unless the owner has small hands).
 

zovick

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Here you go. Again, let me know if you need more. The carapace is ~15-16 cm long.

View attachment 312710
View attachment 312711 View attachment 312712
Very hard to determine the sex from the photos. Plastron appears pretty flat and the anal scutes look like those of a female; however, the supracaudal scute has a curve back toward the body which males have, plus the tail in the newer pictures looks larger and longer than in the first pix which is another male characteristic.

How long have you had this tortoise? Do you soak it periodically? Have you ever noticed it extending its penis when soaked?

You can try running warm water and holding the tortoise almost vertically while letting the water run over the lower half of the plastron and the tail area to see if the tortoise will evert its penis.
 

TheCount16

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The tortoise is 17 years old, and I've had it for roughly 9. I don't know what you mean exactly by "soaking the tortoise". Thanks again.
 

Herman_WA

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The tortoise is 17 years old, and I've had it for roughly 9. I don't know what you mean exactly by "soaking the tortoise". Thanks again.
By soaking he means you let your tort soak in warm water for 30 mins. This should be done at LEAST once a week if an adult. But I do not have any experience with this kind of tort so it might be a little different.
 

zovick

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The tortoise is 17 years old, and I've had it for roughly 9. I don't know what you mean exactly by "soaking the tortoise". Thanks again.
The tortoise looks older than 17 going by the appearance of its shell. How do you know its exact age if you have only had it for 9 years? Did you get it from someone who had hatched it themselves?
 

zovick

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The tortoise is 17 years old, and I've had it for roughly 9. I don't know what you mean exactly by "soaking the tortoise". Thanks again.
Soaking the tortoise means putting it in about 2" to 3" of warm water in a tub or container from which it cannot climb out and letting it stay in there for 20 to 30 minutes or so. You need to be sure the water is not too deep. In other words, it should not cover the tortoise's mouth and nose area, but should be just about up to the level of the lower part of the neck where it meets the shell.
 

TheCount16

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How do you know its exact age if you have only had it for 9 years? Did you get it from someone who had hatched it themselves?

I bought it from someone who said it was 8 years old when I got it. That was in 2011. But no, I don't know for a fact that it is 17 years old. I remember it was way smaller back then, though. I'll try the soaking and see if it everts its penis.
 

turtlesteve

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I am less confident with new information. The anal scutes still look female, the tail I could go either way. The way the tail is being held, tightly to the side, is normally a male behavior. The size is typical of an adult male, so if it were a female, I would expect it to grow a few cm longer. It is possible that at 17, it could still be growing, but I see no evidence of recent growth.
 

Yvonne G

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Anal scutes pointing straight back, small tail - I'm going out on a limb here and saying female.
 

zovick

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Here I got a couple of pictures of it with the tail out.
View attachment 312817 View attachment 312818
I agree with Yvonne. Today the tail appears shorter and less thick, and with those anal scutes pointing back the tortoise looks more female than male. I would still try the warm running water on the plastron as well as soaking it in warm water to see if it will happen to evert its penis and answer this question once and for all.
 
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