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tortoises101

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LOVE this thread. :D Did you see any green sea turtles by chance? Aldabra Atoll is one of the major breeding grounds for greens in the Indo Pacific.
 

rsepiphyte

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I am a new member to this forum and have always been fascinated by the "giant tortoises". My first experience with them was when i volunteered at the "Herp Aquarium at the Louisville Zoo" in Louisville Kentucky. It has been love ever since and i have my first Aldabra tortoise arriving on Tuesday of this coming weekend. Needless to say i am fascinated with this thread. Good work and thank you for sharing! Slainte' Ruth
 

Yellow Turtle

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rsepiphyte said:
I am a new member to this forum and have always been fascinated by the "giant tortoises". My first experience with them was when i volunteered at the "Herp Aquarium at the Louisville Zoo" in Louisville Kentucky. It has been love ever since and i have my first Aldabra tortoise arriving on Tuesday of this coming weekend. Needless to say i am fascinated with this thread. Good work and thank you for sharing! Slainte' Ruth
Nice, more aldabra. We are waiting for you to post the picture of your aldabra and enclosure too.
 

AldabraNerd

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Thanks for all the comments & interest in our work! Just opened a youtube-account-thingy & plan to upload plentiful Aldabra videos there.

Here's a funny one to get it all started. During my last fieldseason on the atoll, I did a colour preference experiment with the tortoises. A tortoise would be presented with five coloured rice balls on a wooden board, arranged in a random sequence. I'd record the time it took the tortoise to chose, as well as 1st, 2nd, 3rd (etc.) choice. The idea is to do a first stab at the colour preferences (if any) of these tortoises in the wild. Sometimes things happened that weren't exactly planned (ahh! Nature at its finest!). This is one of the times. A male tortoise has chosen and eaten three of the five colours (yellow, white & red), and is contemplating whether to eat blue and/or green. I guess the moral of the story is that you shouldn't contemplate for too long if you want the goodies!

[video=youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66lHDb2lWjY[/video]

Hmm, come to think of it, wouldn't it be really cool to do a citizen-science/crowdsourced version of this experiment with as many tortoises/species as possible?? What do you guys think? Should we develop a protocol for how to do it, and see who wants to join in?
 

AldabraNerd

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tortoises101 said:
LOVE this thread. :D Did you see any green sea turtles by chance? Aldabra Atoll is one of the major breeding grounds for greens in the Indo Pacific.
Did I see any greens. Hmm. Did I see any greens? Tough one. Must think.
Hang on, wait, yes; yes I did - pretty much every day! :D:D
 

tortoises101

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AldabraNerd said:
tortoises101 said:
LOVE this thread. :D Did you see any green sea turtles by chance? Aldabra Atoll is one of the major breeding grounds for greens in the Indo Pacific.
Did I see any greens. Hmm. Did I see any greens? Tough one. Must think.
Hang on, wait, yes; yes I did - pretty much every day! :D:D
Any pics? :cool:
 

AldabraNerd

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tortoises101 said:
Any pics? :cool:
Want, want, want... ts ts ts. Okay, for you :D
The greens come out of the water only at night, at high tide. When the high tide is very early morning, sometimes a foolish few will come up & have tu return by daylight. If the morning sun hits them for too long (especially if they get stuck on the way back down to the water), they don't survive for too long...

Here are two turtle mamas, a bit late on their way back into the ocean after laying eggs. Both made it home safely :)



 

wellington

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OMG, that first pic of the sandy face has got to be the cutest turtle face I have ever seen. Thanks for sharing. As you can tell, lots of us want to see anything and every thing. :D Loved the video too. I love those crabs, even as dangerous as they can be.
 

Spn785

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mytortET said:
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! ;)
Me too! :D
 

AldabraNerd

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Okay, I think now's the time to share one of my favourite things about Aldabra with you: tortoises on tortoise turf. Not just one, not just two, but tens, nay hundreds!, of tortoises - grazing away on the inland turfs of eastern Grand Terre. First time I saw this sight, I giggled and laughed like a maniac. After dreaming about it since 1998, I finally got to see (and even better, work on!) the amazing place that is Aldabra, and I finally began to understand just what was meant when the first colonists/explorers on Mauritius and Rodrigues wrote about 'large herds of giant tortoises everywhere'.







To me, the sight of aldabra tortoises on a turf always looks a bit like a collection of huge German WWII helmets with legs & heads!
The turf itself is a species-rich (by Aldabran standards) mixture of grasses, herbs, and mosses. It is being cropped extremely low by the grazing action of the tortoises. The next photo is one I took from about 7-8 m away, lying flat on my stomach, with a 300mm lens. As you can see, there is not a single straw that protrudes more than a few mm.



I will tell you all more about the turfs later, when we start studying them in detail.
 

Baoh

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I wish I had a coconut/robber crab.

I also wish I had tortoise turf....
 

Yellow Turtle

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Oh, at least I've seen coconut crab and ate it long time ago, before they became rare and prohibited to catch.

They do well in captivity and easy to care for.
 
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