Male or female ?

volcom6981

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Maybe to young, but that tail is very short. My Marginated males have such long tails you can see a huge difference between the male and female. Either way awesome looking tortoise and a great species to keep.
 

tglazie

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Great looking animal.

Unfortunately, it's too young to tell for sure. I'm leaning female, and here's why. Generally with marginated tortoises, males develop a very long tail that rests to one side or the other. They will also grow more oblong. Now, there are exceptions to this, notably in the body elongation, which may be regionally determined, I'm not sure. I haven't read a great deal of literature on this, I don't even know if regional variation among marginated tortoises is especially well studied, if it's just something colloquially known among field herpers, the way American field herpers here know the various regional forms of red eared sliders, for instance, or how Chris Leone is expert at regional forms of western Hermanni. But regarding tail size, that varies with the individual. Female marginateds typically possess a tail that has some length (when compared to the tail of a Russiian tortoise female or Hermanns tortoise female, for instance; I always felt Russian and Hermanns keepers had it so easy with the sex differentiation), but rather than possessing a cloacal slit, there is a puckered cloaca that more resembles a short hole positioned toward the tip of the tail. This is the surest way to tell, but tortoise has to be old and large enough, which this animal isn't.

Now typically when I raise marginated tortoises, I raise the hatchlings in a group, and if I hold onto any for any prolonged period, I keep them in a group of four or more. Generally, they can coexist relatively peacefully until a year has passed. After that first year, you will notice aggression, either overt or passive, and generally speaking, those animals to display overt aggression first at a young age are male. I've yet to see a female engage in aggression as a yearling, but hey, talk to enough people, I'm sure you'll find one crazy gal in the bunch. These are marginated tortoises, afterall, and though they may not be mad as Russians, they are a mean bunch. I do see hatchling aggression frequently enough to necessitate separation, so if you're dealing with tortoises in groups, regardless of how "stable" you believe your group dynamic to be, always allow for separation at least as an option. For me, with the adults, it is always the rule.

But yeah, sorry, tangent there. Behavior, to me, is a big piece of the puzzle in determining sex in young marginateds, but that is simply because physical indicators can be so incredibly difficult to read. My second lady, Marge who is in Charge, was a total mystery to me for years. I didn't know that little lady was a female until she popped out an infertile egg at ten years of age. Her body was elongated, she was always very diminutive, small, and her head always remained comparatively narrow (oh yes, males have a more narrow, snake like head; females have a more boxy one; I've often argued that females are more intelligent in marginated tortoises, offering the skull size as evidence, but I think I'm just showing my bias toward my big, beautiful Lady Gino, given the flimsiness of that argument; that tortoise is the pride of my herd). She was always extremely shy, but Little Gino is very shy, and he's a male, so it stood to reason that she very well could be. But then there was an egg, and all these years later, she's a mom to some sixty baby tortoises. She's not my biggest producer, but she's consistent.

So yes, this beast is too young to tell with 100 percent certainty. But like the others, I'm leaning girl. Just don't go counting eggs just yet. She may yet prove to be King Arthur and not Lady Guinevere.

T.G.
 

King Arthur

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Jan 7, 2019
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Hi, I have a question and I'm not sure I've picked the right place to ask. If not I apologize, pls. Direct me. My Marginate Tortoise is 4years old. Pls see pic. I noticed and not sure if it's a concern. The shell in the light colored areas has a darkened color in it, I thought dirty, but then it's in all light color areas in different darkness, and shapes. I hope I explained it well, he/she seems happy , healthy, eats, bathed drinks, lives indoor and goes out doors all the time. See pic. Thank you. Also today I used dog brush on shell seems to enjoy , kinda surprised but stays next to me. I alternate petting and brushing :) 20190908_140440.jpeg 20190908_140232.jpeg
 

tglazie

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Once again, very good looking animal. Can't be said enough.

From what you've described, there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with her (maybe him, probably her, but maybe him, we'll figure it out in the next year or three). Habituation is perfectly fine. Interestingly enough, I engaged in a great deal of habituation with all of my first animals that I acquired decades ago when I was in school and had many an afternoon to myself. Nowadays, I observe the animals from CC camera mostly, feeding and watering them in the morning, bathing them in the evening. Interestingly, the ones who weren't raised habituated but in this remote fashion tend to be more wary. So yes, habituation is good. It will help ensure your tortoise stays friendly, especially if the animal enjoys human company. Now there are some tortoises that simply despise human company and will flee from it at any given opportunity. I have a couple of those. There are also tortoises that simply despise humans as threats. I have a Hermanns that fits this bill. He charges at me anytime I'm within visual range, ignoring food, other tortoises, everything. He just hates my guts. Anytime I pick him up, he writhes back and forth and drops trow in my general direction. Real jerk. Luckily, you've got one of the friendly ones, though don't get me wrong. They're all a joy.

T.G.
 

King Arthur

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Thank you for your response, your feisty tort sounds like a caracter, I'm sure you see the humor in him. I'm trying to get King Arthur girl or boy (name will stay same) to respond or recognize his name.. its been almost 2yrs my pet, I thought he would freeze when I called his name, now he turns my voice way, maybe even move a little my way.. but I see him look like his fanning legs, what does that mean, the fanning leg thing. ? I just bought a key finder (small flat plastic) to help me find him as he roams, what do u think?
Once again, very good looking animal. Can't be said enough.

From what you've described, there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with her (maybe him, probably her, but maybe him, we'll figure it out in the next year or three). Habituation is perfectly fine. Interestingly enough, I engaged in a great deal of habituation with all of my first animals that I acquired decades ago when I was in school and had many an afternoon to myself. Nowadays, I observe the animals from CC camera mostly, feeding and watering them in the morning, bathing them in the evening. Interestingly, the ones who weren't raised habituated but in this remote fashion tend to be more wary. So yes, habituation is good. It will help ensure your tortoise stays friendly, especially if the animal enjoys human company. Now there are some tortoises that simply despise human company and will flee from it at any given opportunity. I have a couple of those. There are also tortoises that simply despise humans as threats. I have a Hermanns that fits this bill. He charges at me anytime I'm within visual range, ignoring food, other tortoises, everything. He just hates my guts. Anytime I pick him up, he writhes back and forth and drops trow in my general direction. Real jerk. Luckily, you've got one of the friendly ones, though don't get me wrong. They're all a joy.

T.G.
 

Yvonne G

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Thank you.. the person we rescued from says Male, she was 3yrs old.. the previous owner said I've had King Arthur for a year.. I will post more pics. Is there a way to tell age ?
My thought was male too.
 
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