Leopard Tortoise Twins

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SulcataPardalis

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One of our leopard eggs hatched at the weekened. All looked well until I checked on the eggs the following day and the hatchling appears to have died. Looking closer at the egg I could see something else odd inside, so I cracked open the egg a little to find a twin!

I thought the eggs were early, as this hatched in 105 days.

They share the same yolk sack and I guess this is why the larger, fully formed hatchling has died.It's a shame, as it got this for in life, but does appear to have died while getting out of the egg.

I have never expereinced this before - do twins occur frequently in tortoises?

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cdmay

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Twinning in tortoises is fairly uncommon but it does happen occasionally. In thirty plus years of tortoise breeding (with several different species) I have had one set of twins and one set of triplets.
What seems to have happened in your case is that the smaller neonate died some time ago and then the larger hatching neonate died as a result of the decomposing egg mate. Are they joined to the same yolk sac? If so, my guess is that the bacterial load spiked from the air getting to the already dead sibling once the eggshell was opened. This then overwhelmed the attached live sibling. But then I am assuming that they are connected by the same yolk sac.
 

SulcataPardalis

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I haven't taken them out of the shell yet, they are still as they were when the live tort borke the shell. However, it is clear that they do share the same yolk sack.
 

Jacqui

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So sad, especially to then lose the one who was looking like he would survive.

Now if there were to happen again to somebody and they saw there was a dead sibling, is it better to tie off right next to the living sibling (which is what I would have picked to try) or try to give the living sibling the egg sack knowing it may need that food supply to survive (but that it may already be a contaminated food supply already).
 

SulcataPardalis

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Next time I will try that. Problem is, I didn't realise there was a dead tort also in the egg. I figured something was wrong when the tort that had hatched wasn't moving (previously I could see his legs moving), so had a closer look.

Now that I know it can happen, I will be much more vigilant.

What do people think about the incubation days I am getting. I have had two clutches hatch now in under 110 days. Every thing I have read say that leos can be up to 7 months!

Last years clutches to 6 months.

Do you think I am doing something wrong?
 

cdmay

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SulcataPardalis said:
Next time I will try that. Problem is, I didn't realise there was a dead tort also in the egg. I figured something was wrong when the tort that had hatched wasn't moving (previously I could see his legs moving), so had a closer look.

Now that I know it can happen, I will be much more vigilant.

What do people think about the incubation days I am getting. I have had two clutches hatch now in under 110 days. Every thing I have read say that leos can be up to 7 months!

Last years clutches to 6 months.

Do you think I am doing something wrong?

No, you didn't do anything wrong. Sometimes stuff happens...
Jacqui made a good suggestion---IF you could have caught the situation sooner. But in this case I really don't think there was much you could have done anyway.

I don't go by incubation days but rather, by incubation temperatures. I used to incubate my leopards at 82-85 degrees F. and they would exhibit a fairly wide range of hatching times. But I never got any deformed young or full term but dead in the egg neonates. The leopards I had were of the G. p. babcocki sub-species. I got them as imported juveniles in the late 70's and they bred in the mid 80's.
 

Jacqui

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SulcataPardalis said:
Next time I will try that. Problem is, I didn't realise there was a dead tort also in the egg. I figured something was wrong when the tort that had hatched wasn't moving (previously I could see his legs moving), so had a closer look.

Now that I know it can happen, I will be much more vigilant.

Just in case any part of you is thinking I thought you had failed this little tortoise, nothing could be further from the truth. Very few folks would have investigated further, instead I know I would have just let the little guy get himself out and think nothing was wrong. My questions were more for a general thought of if somebody ever has this happen to them situation... or if you want, a learning from your experience.
 

lushcious

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Poor torts! The big one was so close to living. The little one is forming too :(
 

stells2

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Twins do happen... and not all survive... although some do get lucky... i has a set a couple of years back that was unsuccessful... one was severely deformed... the other looked perfect... but only lived a matter of hours... and that was with tying it off from the deformed one... who had misshapen legs... plus an extra leg... no face and its internal organs on the outside of its body...
 
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