Moonlight Grazing ?

Turtulas-Len

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 3, 2010
Messages
4,309
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Md - Northern Neck Va
Do you think it's possible that sulcatas come out of their burrows late evening to when it gets dark using moon light to see when it's very hot in their natural habitat during the day light hours? I've posted several times over the years about Walker my adult sulcata coming out late in the evening to graze and eat what food I put out for him spring, summer, fall and winter. He doesn't need moon light because his yard is never totally dark because of lights that I have on day and night. Last night he came out at 6:50 and tonight it was close to 7:30. Took these tonight and he is in the last pic but can't make him out. Picture 032.jpg Picture 033.jpg Picture 038.jpg
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,135
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Mine never do. I've not heard of this in the wild either, but that just means its not been mentioned anywhere that I've seen. Certainly doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Mine will be out grazing at dusk in 100+ degree summer days, but all make their way back into the burrows or night boxes before dark.

Now platynota on the other hand... Don't even bother putting food out for them in the morning. It will be largely ignored until evening. They are certainly crepuscular, and possibly a bit nocturnal too in hot weather. Only species I've ever seen do this.
 

Sterant

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Mar 6, 2016
Messages
678
Location (City and/or State)
Albany, NY
I have heard of this happening with Sulcata during bright moons. In fact, I think it was @zovick that observed this behavior with his own collection of Sulcata in the 70's.

Am I right Bill?

If not Bill, it was someone else that told me they directly observed it.
 

zovick

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
1,780
I have heard of this happening with Sulcata during bright moons. In fact, I think it was @zovick that observed this behavior with his own collection of Sulcata in the 70's.

Am I right Bill?

If not Bill, it was someone else that told me they directly observed it.
@Sterant No, I don't think I told you that, Dan. My sulcata always hunkered down for the night at sunset and stayed pretty inactive until the first rays of sunlight started coming into their pen in the morning. Then they immediately moved into the sun to warm up for the day.
 

Sterant

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Mar 6, 2016
Messages
678
Location (City and/or State)
Albany, NY
@Sterant No, I don't think I told you that, Dan. My sulcata always hunkered down for the night at sunset and stayed pretty inactive until the first rays of sunlight started coming into their pen in the morning. Then they immediately moved into the sun to warm up for the day.
Damn. Now I have to remember who told me that 😉
 

Maro2Bear

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 29, 2014
Messages
12,258
Location (City and/or State)
Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
Our Sully is still inside for a few more weeks, but there were many times in the last few years when she was outside that id look out & see her grazing & walking about late late evening. As i understand it, they are by nature crepuscular.

➡️ A crepuscular animal is one that is active primarily during the twilight period. This is distinguished from diurnal and nocturnal behavior, where an animal is active during the hours of daylight and of darkness, respectively. Some crepuscular animals may also be active by moonlight or during an overcast day.
 
Top