Meet the Giant Cave-Dwelling Tortoises of the Seychelles

Kittivan

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At :44 of the video, there's an Aldabra with some pyramiding. I wonder how an Aldabra that lives in the wild on the Atol gets pyramiding.
 

wellington

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I always wondered if they had a need for salt water seeing that's what they have in their natural home.
Cool vid thanks for sharing.
 

Alaskamike

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I've walked across old coral reef rock like that. If I didn't have shoes , it would shed my feet.

Amazing they can navigate that rough terrain.

@Kittivan
The pyramiding of native ALDABRAN is observable , though most are not. I would have to think it involves much the same factors as we see in captive; periods of relative dehydration.

I suspect as with most biological processes, there is an interaction of nature ( genetics ) and nurture ( the environment ). This would include habitual tendencies of the tortoise like -
- Some hide , stay in shade more than others.
- some are better at consuming reserves of water.
- some roam farther & longer each day.
- some eat more.

These are behaviors motivated by biology , but impacted by an internal tendency we might call personality.

You can see this interaction of nature/nurture in a group of baby animals of almost every kind. Some babies stick close , stay hidden , come out only in dark undercover. Others are bold, wander , explore more - and more often hurt ( or eaten !).

I didn't explain this very well. But I hope it makes some sense.
 

Kittivan

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I've walked across old coral reef rock like that. If I didn't have shoes , it would shed my feet.

Amazing they can navigate that rough terrain.

@Kittivan
The pyramiding of native ALDABRAN is observable , though most are not. I would have to think it involves much the same factors as we see in captive; periods of relative dehydration.



I didn't explain this very well. But I hope it makes some sense.
Great job explaining it. So it's kind of like a (human) family of 8 children all growing up in the same environment yet some are malnourished, one is over weight, while the others are all "normal" despite being in the same healthy environment with access to the same needs.

Being in an ideal environment is only part of the equation, ones tendencies or personalities also play a role.

I am completely amazed at how agile these awkward tortoises are. Seeing them all grouped up like that in the cave and not toppling over shows how agile they must be.

When I first got Kaci, she climbed up her log and I was terrified that she would hurt herself going back down but I just let her do her thing so that she could learn from it (under a watchful eye of course).To my surprise, she sort of shuffled down the log sideways with a gentle landing! I did however build a ramp for her because I'm still worried she might flip on her shell going down. After all, as much as we would like to stare at our little ones all day, that's just not possible!
 

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