Manouria intergrades

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Yvonne G

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About 15 years or so ago, maybe even a little longer, this fellow I knew from the local reptile club gave up his job here at our zoo, and took a new job as reptile-keeper at the Philadelphia Zoo. I took care of his turtles and tortoises while he got his apartment set up, and then I shipped most of them to him. His Manouria were too large for him to keep in an apartment, and he asked me if I could keep them for him. We went into partnership on turtles and tortoises. At that time, he had Phae and Darth, a male/female Mep. Soon after that, he sent me Media, a 65lb female Mep from New York, and Maggie (or Magumba), a 25lb Mee from Pittsburg.

So, all these tortoises lived happily together in a large pen at my house. Darth was young and smaller than any of the females. I'd had him for a little over a year when he started practicing his breeding skills on anyone who would stand still long enough. He was slightly smaller than the Mee, and I didn't think anything about it. You know how those young males are. They'd even hump a rock if the spirit moved them to do so.

He did his practicing two years. Towards the end of that second summer, Maggie started building a nest inside the house that she shared with the other 1.2 tortoises. She worked on it quite a while and, while I thought it was very educational and interesting, I still didn't think much of it because Darth was too young/small.

One day, while she was sitting on the mound, I picked her up off the nest and set her aside so I could dig around in there. My thinking was, if it weren't a real nest, she wouldn't be guarding it. You might say that the light bulb went off over my head. She became very aggressive and kept trying to bite my legs as I was digging, so I had to move her into a different pen. Lo and behold, I found 49 eggs in there! After incubation, 19 of them hatched.

I sold all of mine (calm down...I told the buyers that they were intergrades), but my partner kept some of his, three of which I still have. And then a couple years later, someone who bought a couple of mine went through a divorce and gave two back to me. Long story short, 1 of the current intergrades is mine, and 3 of them are my partners. Two of them look like Mee and the other two look like Mep.

On a different thread Mike asked if I thought his male/female, brother/sister combo would breed. So this next part is dedicated to him:

How do you know you have a male and a female? Of the 19 that I hatched, at female temperature, all 19 turned out male.

If they do turn out to be opposite sex, yes, they will breed.

Mep intergrade:
mep-meeintergrade-3.jpg


Mee intergrade:
mee-mepintergrade-3.jpg
 

81SHOVELHEAD

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emysemys said:
About 15 years or so ago, maybe even a little longer, this fellow I knew from the local reptile club gave up his job here at our zoo, and took a new job as reptile-keeper at the Philadelphia Zoo. I took care of his turtles and tortoises while he got his apartment set up, and then I shipped most of them to him. His Manouria were too large for him to keep in an apartment, and he asked me if I could keep them for him. We went into partnership on turtles and tortoises. At that time, he had Phae and Darth, a male/female Mep. Soon after that, he sent me Media, a 65lb female Mep from New York, and Maggie (or Magumba), a 25lb Mee from Pittsburg.

So, all these tortoises lived happily together in a large pen at my house. Darth was young and smaller than any of the females. I'd had him for a little over a year when he started practicing his breeding skills on anyone who would stand still long enough. He was slightly smaller than the Mee, and I didn't think anything about it. You know how those young males are. They'd even hump a rock if the spirit moved them to do so.

He did his practicing two years. Towards the end of that second summer, Maggie started building a nest inside the house that she shared with the other 1.2 tortoises. She worked on it quite a while and, while I thought it was very educational and interesting, I still didn't think much of it because Darth was too young/small.

One day, while she was sitting on the mound, I picked her up off the nest and set her aside so I could dig around in there. My thinking was, if it weren't a real nest, she wouldn't be guarding it. You might say that the light bulb went off over my head. She became very aggressive and kept trying to bite my legs as I was digging, so I had to move her into a different pen. Lo and behold, I found 49 eggs in there! After incubation, 19 of them hatched.

I sold all of mine (calm down...I told the buyers that they were intergrades), but my partner kept some of his, three of which I still have. And then a couple years later, someone who bought a couple of mine went through a divorce and gave two back to me. Long story short, 1 of the current intergrades is mine, and 3 of them are my partners. Two of them look like Mee and the other two look like Mep.

On a different thread Mike asked if I thought his male/female, brother/sister combo would breed. So this next part is dedicated to him:

How do you know you have a male and a female? Of the 19 that I hatched, at female temperature, all 19 turned out male.

If they do turn out to be opposite sex, yes, they will breed.

Mep intergrade:
mep-meeintergrade-3.jpg


Mee intergrade:
mee-mepintergrade-3.jpg

Thanks Yvonne
Well not sure if they are Male or female but 1 thing for certain is the Male? is quite a bit larger than the Female? i flipped them over and the anal scutes are surly different looking one being a sharp v shape & the other being more wide u shaped.
Even if they are not male & female i Have already fallen for these little guys ,They are quite different than the redfoots & who knew a tortoise could run that fast lol
They are both still black now .How long does it take for them to turn brown?
I really like the photos of you're torts :tort::tort::)
Mike D.
 

Yvonne G

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I just realized that I neglected to finish posting the pictures. I have two carapace pictures too.

If you'll look at the anal scutes of these two intergrade tortoises, you'll notice that the anal scutes look quite different from other tortoises. They are so round as to not really show a "pointing direction."

I weighed them today and all four of them are around 16lbs.

The same two in carapace shots:

Mep -
mep-meeintergrade-2.jpg

Mep -
mep-meeintergrade-1.jpg


Mee -
mee-mepintergrade-2.jpg

Mee -
mee-mepintergrade-1.jpg


My Mee's are more brown than the Mep's. And the Mep's are really a dark charcoal grey rather than black. Seems like they'were always that color, however my little 3 year old Emmie (Mep) is still quite black.
 

fbsmith3

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Ok, something has been bothering me.
Is 49 eggs normal? That seems like an awful lot from one turtle.
I have no experience or knowledge of this species, but I found your thread very interesting.
 

dmmj

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emysemys said:
he started practicing his breeding skills on anyone who would stand still long enough.
Sounds like all of my attempts

Great pics though
 

Yvonne G

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No, 49 eggs might be a normal clutch. Sometimes they lay even more than that.
 
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