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ALDABRAMAN

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StudentoftheReptile said:
AldabraNerd said:
But no, Aldabraman, we don't contribute to the predation/mortality! :D:D
(we'd be shipped off the atoll before we could count the toes on a tortoise's hind leg!)
I "think" he meant to say attribute, not contribute.
:rolleyes: Thank you!
 

AldabraNerd

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Yellow Turtle said:
For the environment itself, can you tell us what is the humidity range in the island during daylight and night time? And as you mention they eat from morning till 11 am or until temperature is too hot for them. Can you share what is the peak temperature when they start to seek for shelter?
Thanks again.
I'm afraid I don't have any data on humidity at present - it can certainly go from very dry to very wet heat from one day to the next, depending on rainfall, and wind. Same goes for temperature at which they seek shade. We have only downloaded the data from a few of the mounted temperature loggers, and they haven't been analysed in any detail. I'm sorry to be able to give only vague answers at present, but please remember we are at the very beginning of research that will (hopefully!) keep us busy and happy for decades to come! :)
I will do my best to give updates on our research when it becomes available - as well as try to remember open questions you have asked me :tort:[hr]
DesertGrandma said:
I love all this first hand knowledge and am reading it with much enthusiasm. Would be SOOOOO interested in information on your students study on leopard tortoises in the Kalahari.
Thanks for the kind words; I'm happy to share what I can. I will start a thread on our leopard tortoise research soon!
 

wellington

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Thank you again for all your time to try and answer our questions. As you can tell, we are so in aww to have you and to be able to share your experiences. I too would love to hear about the leopards, my fave. Can't wait to start reading that thread too.
Again, thank you for your time and your sharing.
 

AldabraNerd

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Here are some photos of juveniles - from the smallest size I have seen (as I said earlier, almost always found in semi-hiding) to the smallest size sometimes seen grazing with the 'big boys'.
Aldabraman: How old do you think the small one is? It's scutes seem to have three annuli - but is only maybe 10-12 cm long. Is it generally your experience that your torts put on one 'growth ring' per year in the first year?



I kind of like the way these two seem to be sharing a moment here:


This photo is a setup one - I took the juvenile and gently set it down in front of a resting but awake large female. For about a minute or so, the two just looked at each other and then the adult turned its head and ignored the wee one (at which time I took the juvi back to the spot I'd found it).


[hr]
wellington said:
Thank you again for all your time to try and answer our questions. As you can tell, we are so in aww to have you and to be able to share your experiences.
Thanks - and no worries; I'll do my best. And just imagine how I feel when I'm there...! Luckiest git on the planet!
 

Blakem

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RE: Homeland news & views

Random question, but one I'm not worried about. Since you do not (I'm guessing) have hand soap readily available on that island, do you worry of salmonella? It is a common topic brought up with turtles and tortoises, especially in my house. If you do sanitize after each encounter, how so? If no sanitizing occurs, have you heard of anyone receiving this illness?

Again, I have never been worried about salmonella. I've just read on here the best way to stay away from it is to: wash hands, not lick our turtles/tortoises, or put our hands in our mouth after contact 😄
 

wellington

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AldabraNerd said:
Here are some photos of juveniles - from the smallest size I have seen (as I said earlier, almost always found in semi-hiding) to the smallest size sometimes seen grazing with the 'big boys'.
Aldabraman: How old do you think the small one is? It's scutes seem to have three annuli - but is only maybe 10-12 cm long. Is it generally your experience that your torts put on one 'growth ring' per year in the first year?



I kind of like the way these two seem to be sharing a moment here:


This photo is a setup one - I took the juvenile and gently set it down in front of a resting but awake large female. For about a minute or so, the two just looked at each other and then the adult turned its head and ignored the wee one (at which time I took the juvi back to the spot I'd found it).


[hr]
wellington said:
Thank you again for all your time to try and answer our questions. As you can tell,
we are so in aww to have you and to be able to share your experiences.
Thanks - and no worries; I'll do my best. And just imagine how I feel when I'm there...! Luckiest git on the planet
CALLING ALDABRAMAN, HEY GREG. This is very interesting. I never heard of this in tortoises as no one can ever age them. Could this be true? At least maybe in their early years? Fascinating.
 

Yellow Turtle

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AldabraNerd said:
Yellow Turtle said:
For the environment itself, can you tell us what is the humidity range in the island during daylight and night time? And as you mention they eat from morning till 11 am or until temperature is too hot for them. Can you share what is the peak temperature when they start to seek for shelter?
Thanks again.
I'm afraid I don't have any data on humidity at present - it can certainly go from very dry to very wet heat from one day to the next, depending on rainfall, and wind. Same goes for temperature at which they seek shade. We have only downloaded the data from a few of the mounted temperature loggers, and they haven't been analysed in any detail. I'm sorry to be able to give only vague answers at present, but please remember we are at the very beginning of research that will (hopefully!) keep us busy and happy for decades to come! :)
I will do my best to give updates on our research when it becomes available - as well as try to remember open questions you have asked me :tort:[hr]
It is fine, I sincerely hope you big success with your research and looking forward to having more pictures and information that you can share here.

The hiding place where you found the juvenile in, can you also share the pictures? I am really interested whether they hide in kind of holes or caves or anything :D
 

ALDABRAMAN

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Aldabraman: How old do you think the small one is? It's scutes seem to have three annuli - but is only maybe 10-12 cm long. Is it generally your experience that your torts put on one 'growth ring' per year in the first year?

* I found a picture of one about the same size that we hatched several years back as the one in your picture. At the time of this picture this aldabra was about 5" sl and around seven months old.

* Our experience and observations show no relationship between "growth rings" and the actual ages.

* One thing i noted was how the alabras shell had smooth and consistent growth rings. We strive to achieve this in our captive hatchlings.


WB ALDARA



CB ALDARA

 

ALDABRAMAN

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Yellow Turtle said:
The hiding place where you found the juvenile in, can you also share the pictures? I am really interested whether they hide in kind of holes or caves or anything? X2
That would be great if you could share any pictures of the micro habitats and how they hide, etc.


wellington said:
CALLING ALDABRAMAN, HEY GREG. This is very interesting. I never heard of this in tortoises as no one can ever age them. Could this be true? At least maybe in their early years?
I can say with certainty that this is not true with our program. We have seen many variations regarding the amount of growth rings within a years growth in our hatchlings.
 

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Great update of pics and info, I really enjoy this thread : )

If I was 19 I would be trying to figure out how to get this gig, at least for a season or two!
 

AldabraNerd

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ALDABRAMAN said:
Yellow Turtle said:
The hiding place where you found the juvenile in, can you also share the pictures? I am really interested whether they hide in kind of holes or caves or anything? X2
That would be great if you could share any pictures of the micro habitats and how they hide, etc.
Oh man, how time runs - I have been insanely busy teaching (still am) and preparing teaching. Sorry for late answers!

The few small juveniles I have seen have all been out in the open, but generally near tall grass/dense shrubs. Where are they, otherwise? We don't know. As so often before, this is the only/best answer I can give right now. But that does not mean that such questions shouldn't be asked. They help me/us to get new research ideas, too.

One still-vague potential future project that we hope will materialise is to mount tiny GPS/radio tags on nestlings/juveniles, to allow us to track/find them on a daily basis and learn about their life at this stage.
 

Baoh

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AldabraNerd, in artificial conditions where I kept multiple babies, a significant number would completely or almost completely bury themselves in loose mulch and soil mix type substrates if said loose substrates were provided. When outside, all of my babies would dig into small tussocks if available. Typically beneath the leaves/blades and facing the root system (common for just about every kind of tortoise I have had). The more familiar with surroundings and the lack of threat associated with large shadow-casters (myself, my fiancee, and the dogs), the less of the former behavior did I observe. The latter has persisted through present day, but I only have kept animals up to a bit over a year thus far. I only have a small sample size, though, so I cannot say what might patterns might emerge in larger numbers. Still, this led me to wonder if a number of babies in their natural habitat manage to hide underground when the opportunity is there and the environment adequate to do so (I know nothing of the soils available to them).

On a tangential note, I wish genuine "tortoise turf" would be made commercially available.
 

Yellow Turtle

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AldabraNerd said:
ALDABRAMAN said:
Yellow Turtle said:
The hiding place where you found the juvenile in, can you also share the pictures? I am really interested whether they hide in kind of holes or caves or anything? X2
That would be great if you could share any pictures of the micro habitats and how they hide, etc.
Oh man, how time runs - I have been insanely busy teaching (still am) and preparing teaching. Sorry for late answers!

The few small juveniles I have seen have all been out in the open, but generally near tall grass/dense shrubs. Where are they, otherwise? We don't know. As so often before, this is the only/best answer I can give right now. But that does not mean that such questions shouldn't be asked. They help me/us to get new research ideas, too.

One still-vague potential future project that we hope will materialise is to mount tiny GPS/radio tags on nestlings/juveniles, to allow us to track/find them on a daily basis and learn about their life at this stage.
I just wander that you are in some deep Madagascan jungle and no access to internet :D

Thanks for the info. So they follow the same routine as what Greg's juveniles do from his pictures, stay in the tall plants.

GPS is surely nice thing for those juveniles, I hope you can put it on new hatchlings too :D
 

AldabraNerd

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A belated happy new year & even more belated yuletide greetings from some Aldabran gentlemen:





:tort::tort:
 

Yellow Turtle

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Happy New Year to you too AldabraNerd.

It's about time you show up, we would be happy to get more updates after new year :D
[hr]
Baoh said:
AldabraNerd, in artificial conditions where I kept multiple babies, a significant number would completely or almost completely bury themselves in loose mulch and soil mix type substrates if said loose substrates were provided. When outside, all of my babies would dig into small tussocks if available. Typically beneath the leaves/blades and facing the root system (common for just about every kind of tortoise I have had). The more familiar with surroundings and the lack of threat associated with large shadow-casters (myself, my fiancee, and the dogs), the less of the former behavior did I observe. The latter has persisted through present day, but I only have kept animals up to a bit over a year thus far. I only have a small sample size, though, so I cannot say what might patterns might emerge in larger numbers. Still, this led me to wonder if a number of babies in their natural habitat manage to hide underground when the opportunity is there and the environment adequate to do so (I know nothing of the soils available to them).

On a tangential note, I wish genuine "tortoise turf" would be made commercially available.
I just paid attention to this comment and found my aldabra did the same thing today. I prepared some fresh grass yesterday for my aldabra and I got too much for him to consume. So this morning I put some grass in his hide over a thought that he will be more comfortable to hide there with the grass as his bedding.

This evening after work, I checked on him, just curious whether he would stay inside his hide after I filled it with grass. To my surprised, I found him inside his hide sleeping, and almost fully covered by the grass.

I wonder if this habit is natural to aldabra, thus they will also do this in the native habitat.
 

AldabraNerd

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Baoh said:
AldabraNerd, in artificial conditions where I kept multiple babies, a significant number would completely or almost completely bury themselves in loose mulch and soil mix type substrates if said loose substrates were provided. When outside, all of my babies would dig into small tussocks if available. Typically beneath the leaves/blades and facing the root system (common for just about every kind of tortoise I have had). The more familiar with surroundings and the lack of threat associated with large shadow-casters (myself, my fiancee, and the dogs), the less of the former behavior did I observe. The latter has persisted through present day, but I only have kept animals up to a bit over a year thus far. I only have a small sample size, though, so I cannot say what might patterns might emerge in larger numbers. Still, this led me to wonder if a number of babies in their natural habitat manage to hide underground when the opportunity is there and the environment adequate to do so (I know nothing of the soils available to them).

On a tangential note, I wish genuine "tortoise turf" would be made commercially available.
Thanks a lot for this info - yes, it seems that hiding comes naturally to small Aldabrans; it certainly would to me if I lived on an atoll filled with giant herons, ibises and crabs just waiting to turn me into a snack!
 

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Wow... I just found this thread and thoroughly enjoyed reading and seeing the pictures! I now feel like a student who's late for class and has a lot of catching up to do! :p:D

Thanks for sharing! ;)
 

wellington

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I just seen the Xmas and New Years pic. Fantastic:D keep them coming and of course all the info you can mustard up:D
 
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