Locale of St. Louis Zoo Yellowfoot Tortoises?

Michael231

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It is well known that yellow foot tortoises (Chelonoidis denticulata) get to a medium size in nature compared to most tortoises (averaging 30-45 cm in most locales). However, in almost every corner of the species range there seems to be a tortoise or two that grows to immense proportions. Specimens reaching 70-80 cm are not unheard of both in range and in US captive collections. However, the record for this species size is almost beyond belief. The individual at the St. Louis Zoo that is 94 cm and exactly 200 pounds (90 kg) holds the record for size. While she is the largest individual, the male that lives with her is not far behind at 154 pounds (70 kg).

Where did these two St. Louis Zoo tortoise come from though? There seems to be a general idea that they are Peruvian in origin? What is the basis for that? When one goes to the zoo's main webpage they don't mention how large their tortoises are which I find somewhat odd given that they could potentially be a big attraction!

It would be very interesting to track down the locales of these individuals!


-Image of St. Louis zoo female with Aldabra in the background...
From: https://www.google.com/search?q=st+...AUIECgB&biw=1280&bih=610#imgrc=0r36aTf04Or-yM:

For more pictures of giant yellowfoots and redfoots go to @jabutipaulistano on Instagram...

Where could these individuals have come from....

Any thoughts?
 

Michael231

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That's abit fascinating, I wonder...I'm gonna do some research on this
It is quite unusual! The one pictured is the largest ever recorded as of yet...

Specimens reaching 70-80 cm have been found at zoos across the species South American range. I’ve heard of a group that were located in a Peruvian zoo and another group that was in a zoo in Venezuela, but none have been reported larger than the St. Louis Zoo specimen!

Let us know what you find out about these tortoises!

Also check out @JTEexotics forum post at: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/true-giant-yellow-foot-tortoises.172727/ for more pictures and more discussion on this topic.
 

JTExotics

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I’d think they come from a locale that produces giants, since they both are very large and probably came from the same spot. It would be awesome if it turtles out to be a spot full of giants!
 

SPILL

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They are truly amazing in person. They are so large that it took me a couple of minutes to realize that there was something other than Aldabras in the pen.
 

Michael231

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I’d think they come from a locale that produces giants, since they both are very large and probably came from the same spot. It would be awesome if it turtles out to be a spot full of giants!
I believe it! That’s crazy! Any ideas on where they may have come from? When you were there did anyone seem to realize that they were record sized tortoises?
 

Michael231

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They are truly amazing in person. They are so large that it took me a couple of minutes to realize that there was something other than Aldabras in the pen.
That’s crazy! I believe it! Any idea on where they may have come from? Did anyone there seem to realize that they were record sized tortoises?
 

SPILL

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That’s crazy! I believe it! Any idea on where they may have come from? Did anyone there seem to realize that they were record sized tortoises?
Everyone was distracted by a pair of Aldabras mating. My wife and I commented to each other that we didn't even know they got that big although we were unaware that they are record holders. We didn't notice a plaque or any indication that they are record setters. You would think they would make people aware since there is still a statue of Phil, the largest gorilla ever recorded, who passed at the zoo in 1958.

The keeper in charge of their turtles and tortoises is there to chat with the public on World Turtle Day, May 23 each year if that is of interest to anyone.
 

Michael231

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Everyone was distracted by a pair of Aldabras mating. My wife and I commented to each other that we didn't even know they got that big although we were unaware that they are record holders. We didn't notice a plaque or any indication that they are record setters. You would think they would make people aware since there is still a statue of Phil, the largest gorilla ever recorded, who passed at the zoo in 1958.

The keeper in charge of their turtles and tortoises is there to chat with the public on World Turtle Day, May 23 each year if that is of interest to anyone.
That is really quite odd that they don't acknowledge how large they are! You'd think as a zoo they would be all over having plaques about that...
 

C. Nelson

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It is well known that yellow foot tortoises (Chelonoidis denticulata) get to a medium size in nature compared to most tortoises (averaging 30-45 cm in most locales). However, in almost every corner of the species range there seems to be a tortoise or two that grows to immense proportions. Specimens reaching 70-80 cm are not unheard of both in range and in US captive collections. However, the record for this species size is almost beyond belief. The individual at the St. Louis Zoo that is 94 cm and exactly 200 pounds (90 kg) holds the record for size. While she is the largest individual, the male that lives with her is not far behind at 154 pounds (70 kg).

Where did these two St. Louis Zoo tortoise come from though? There seems to be a general idea that they are Peruvian in origin? What is the basis for that? When one goes to the zoo's main webpage they don't mention how large their tortoises are which I find somewhat odd given that they could potentially be a big attraction!

It would be very interesting to track down the locales of these individuals!


-Image of St. Louis zoo female with Aldabra in the background...
From: https://www.google.com/search?q=st+...AUIECgB&biw=1280&bih=610#imgrc=0r36aTf04Or-yM:

For more pictures of giant yellowfoots and redfoots go to @jabutipaulistano on Instagram...

Where could these individuals have come from....

Any thoughts?
WOW! Thanks for sharing. I didn't think this was possible.
 

theTurtleRoom

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So, locale for these animals is unknown (I'm friends with a few of the reptile folks at St. Louis Zoo and was in the enclosure with these animals and one of their keepers in June). These animals are believed to be hermaphroditic. Neither has laid eggs, nor do they have obvious male characteristics. In turtles, hermaphrodism often leads to greater-than-normal size, which adds to the belief they are hermaphroditic.

Steve Enders
President/Executive Director, theTurtleRoom
 

C. Nelson

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So, locale for these animals is unknown (I'm friends with a few of the reptile folks at St. Louis Zoo and was in the enclosure with these animals and one of their keepers in June). These animals are believed to be hermaphroditic. Neither has laid eggs, nor do they have obvious male characteristics. In turtles, hermaphrodism often leads to greater-than-normal size, which adds to the belief they are hermaphroditic.

Steve Enders
President/Executive Director, theTurtleRoom

Interesting!! Thanks for posting!
 
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