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Pyramiding isn’t the worst thing when looking at Giant tortoises

Discussion in 'Aldabra tortoises' started by [email protected], Jan 30, 2013.

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  1. sam@FloridaIguana.com

    [email protected] New Member 5 Year Member

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    Yes they had to make a right or left, the Iguana cages are in the way if they go stright.

    What a great eye you have.

    Sam Pascucci
    [hr]
    Yes they have to turn left or right the Iguana cages are in the way if they go stright, you have a good eye for detail.

    Sam Pascucci
  2. Rover15

    Rover15 Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I totally forgot to comment on the video it was funny showed my wife and then spend some time looking at the other video's as well. My kids would love to ride a tortoise lol
  3. sam@FloridaIguana.com

    [email protected] New Member 5 Year Member

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    I always tell the story 30 years ago collecting tortoises is what I was doing, now it is who I am, I no longer can separate the two. Really my motivation is to give back to the animals they have taken me so many places in my life, they have been a motivation from the time I was a child,
    I studied and I learned, I pushed myself to achieve and gather knowledge. I succeeded in business and taught myself medicine so I could keep them.
    The tortoises have brought so much to me in life, I just feel I have to give something back to them, that’s my job now.

    Sam Pascucci
    [hr]
    Thanks Greg, Thanks for inviting me to the forum. I respect so much the work you have done there, thanks for being a good friend and sharing your knowledge.

    Sam Pascucci
  4. tortadise

    tortadise Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Seems your ideology is a mirror of mine. Glad your here. I am also glad Greg invited you. He is a very humble, and intelligent man. He has succeeded very well at his passion too. I wont put words in his mouth but I am certain his beliefs in keeping his giants are relatively similar at best.
  5. TortoiseWorld

    TortoiseWorld Active Member 5 Year Member

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  6. sam@FloridaIguana.com

    [email protected] New Member 5 Year Member

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    Your right my comments we specifically aimed at Galapagos and Aldabras. I also raise Redfoots, Yellowfoots, Spurs and Elongated Tortoises, (Not to mention Cyclura Iguanas) I have seen all of those species seemingly getting along fine individually, But to be honest I have not done a scientific study, it’s only my observations of my own animals. I tried to make that clear in my post.
    Something that bothers me in the Tortoise world is, you always find someone who thinks they’re an expert because they have 3 animals and have been doing it for 5 years. All of a sudden they are an expert. Quite honestly, I at one time felt the same way about myself.
    Its only after years of studying and reflection do you realize how little you actually know.

    I do feel in all of those species cases when raising hatchlings they do much better with mutable animals, this motivates them to eat, I always think of it as food competition. I also notice that they are more active as hatchlings when in groups.

    But I agree with you, I am sure there are species that require a lot of thought and cage design to produce the best results, but I think that plays out much more so as they get older. The other point I tried to emphasize in the post is these observations even though they are done over the last 30 years does not necessarily mean every person will have the same results, The animals on the farm here are a special group of animals and you can only conclude behavior just on this set of animals. I’ll give you another example; you have heard me talk about the article I want to write about Galapagos and Aldabra differences in behavior. I have 8 Galapagos and 8 Aldabras it’s in the observation of these animals I note the differences. I don’t think it would be scientifically correct to conclude results based on such a small group of animals under these very specific conditions and then try to conclude that all animals in these species group will behave as mine do. What takes place here conditions or (impresses) those animals to act a certain way.

    I talked about Aldabras being a social animal,
    Here my Aldabras are very social they need each other. They don’t like to be separated, they sleep on each other, one will put his head inside the shell of another animal, I have even seen two animals sleeping with their heads inside the others shell.

    Back a few months ago I had to separate one of the males from the grope (I have 6 males) he was in an adjacent cage, all he did all day long was work to brake the fence down so he could get back into the group. And that’s what he did. I have seen countless examples of this.
    On the other hand, a Galop would have nothing to do with another animal (Let alone another male) putting his head that close to him.
    Galops want their space and don’t appear to need much company from others. I am not saying that they want to be alone, I don’t really know, I am just saying they don’t appear to need it the way the Aldabras do. But I will say this, while I don’t think they are sensitive to needing others around them when all eight Galops are in their pen, there is a definite sense of community and a definite sense of hierarchy I don’t see this hierarchy in the Aldabras.

    I have also talked about this “Aldabra socialism” with my friend the Aldabraman and he has concluded the same findings.
    Actually we concurred on many points of behavior. I would love to hear others experiences and stories on Aldabra behavior.

    Sam Pascucci
  7. AldabraNerd

    AldabraNerd New Member 5 Year Member

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    Sam, this is very interesting, and it certainly seems to be the case in the wild, too. On the inland tortoise turfs on eastern Grand Terre, there are plenty shade trees/shrubs around. However, during noon heat, the tortoises congregate under just a few of these trees (always the same trees), sometimes in numbers of >50. Now, an interesting question is to what extent the tortoises under each tree are the same each day! I hope to be able to study this sometime (so much to do, so little time).
    [hr]
    This is a fantastic story & even better footage; thanks a lot for sharing! I think I'd like to visit your tortoises in Florida sometime...! :tort:
  8. sam@FloridaIguana.com

    [email protected] New Member 5 Year Member

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    Sorry I meant no disrespect in my comments about your setup or caring of your animals.
    Sam Pascucci
    [hr]

    Wow, what a fantastic opportunity to learn for someone actually studying Aldabras in their home land.
    This is great stuff, keep the information and pictures coming.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

    What diversity do you see in shell shapes, I have this one Aldabra and I have always wondered about him. What do you think?

    [​IMG]
    You are always welcome to the farm I am in FT Lauderdale, Florida USA

    Sam Pascucci
    [hr]
    Sorry I meant no disrespect in my comments about your setup or caring of your animals.
    Sam Pascucci
  9. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    * I have talked to both Sam and Kelly extensively about these giant tortoises and one thing for sure, we all share extreme passion for our shelled friends!

    * I love to see these threads and interest regarding these gentle giants!


    [​IMG]
  10. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    [​IMG]
  11. TortoiseWorld

    TortoiseWorld Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Asian giant here.

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  12. AldabraNerd

    AldabraNerd New Member 5 Year Member

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    I see all kinds of shapes; from 'nearly saddlebacked', to quite flat, to quite domed; from narrow (width-wise) to wide animals. Whether there is a heritable component to this we might know in a year or two, when a genetic analysis of many/most of Picard Island's population of ~2,000 animals is finished. There is a big difference between tortoises on Picard & Malabar (lower density, larger), and the ones on Grand Terre (higher density, smaller) in terms of size. Whether this is the result of availability of food, we hope to find out.
  13. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Welcome to the forum. Great first few posts. There was an article on this very thing in the TTPG newsletter from last year. The article mentioned keeping an eye on the wear patterns on the rear feet and suggested the the damage starts with young giant tortoises being kept on soft, non-abrasive substrates. This allows their toenails to overgrow and causes them to walk improperly. The author suggested keeping the toenails of young giants properly trimmed if they are not wearing down on their own. The article explains it much better than me and has pics for illustrative purposes.

    I wonder if you'd share your thoughts on a couple of points. Wellington hit one with the "buddy" thing. I have found that most species do fine in groups, especially as babies or juveniles. Where I have seen the most problems is when people attempt to keep pairs, of any sex combo, especially in small indoor enclosures. Would you agree?

    Second topic: Your enclosure size recommendation. You mentioned that you thought a pen could be too big. What would be the harm in too large of a pen? I start brand new sulcata hatchlings in 4x8' planted enclosures. They will circle the perimeter several times in a few minutes. By the time my babies are 7", they are in 30x30' enclosures with hills, underground bunkers and multiple other features. I've just never heard that an enclosure could be too large, and since I intend to get into Galpos as soon as I can find a good source for hatchlings, I would love to gain from your experience. Greg and I had a conversation about why so many zoos fail to reproduce the giants. Two possibilities we discussed were too much foot traffic and the resulting lack of "comfort" in their environments, and the other was small enclosure size in relation to the size of the tortoises. I wouldn't keep a leopard tortoise in most of the enclosures that zoos keep their Galops in.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Glad to have you here.
  14. Yellow Turtle

    Yellow Turtle Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Sam, I just read your first post again, and after knowing that Tom has read the same article about this, I would like to know more. Do you have any picture showing the worn pattern between H and V shape posture for giant tortoise?
  15. Baoh

    Baoh Well-Known Member 10 Year Member!

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    Thanks for the information. I was curious. If they had a choice of left versus right, then, but not straight due to obstruction, they could have gone either way. However, the fact that they all went left after the first one went left indicates that they either 1) had a monkey-see-monkey-do social aspect to the serial direction selection or 2) had something otherwise attractive on the left path relative to the right path. My feeling is that it is number one more than number two, but that is just my feeling.
  16. sam@FloridaIguana.com

    [email protected] New Member 5 Year Member

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    You know what’s amazing how you can see something and not process it.
    I never gave it a thought but your right everyone went left. What’s more peculiar is there is no specific reason to go left. You are looking at them in their “Home pen” the walkway in front of that pen leads to the main yard (either direction) they are let out into the main yard every few months during the year, so it’s not like they didn’t know where they were going. What’s more funny is when I open the gates to let them out in the main yard some go left some go right and some stay there for a whole day, there is no mad exit out of the yard. So the question is, why was this time different? The only explanations I can think of are, they knew it was an escape or all of them were tired of being in that yard and wanted to get to the grazing yard. The problem with the second idea is, it was pouring and late in the day which hardly seemed like a good time to graze. Which leaves the first idea, of all tortoises I have kept they are the most mischievous and I swear they know they are doing something wrong. Whether they are tearing down or jumping over fences, digging up or breaking water lines or escaping, when I find them they all take off like kids. It’s so funny to me, I always think where are you running to, how fast do you think you can get away?

    Now this is getting into a little of my upcoming behavior stores but I believe there is some form of communication between them, even if it’s only observational and body language but too often we see them act as a group when something is happening. My Curator Kurt believes it goes beyond observational

    Talking about the differences in Behavior. Now if this escape had been executed by the Galapagos first off I just don’t see that level of cooperation between them and second, when I come up on them, they would simply look at me like, what,,, I am supposed to be here whats your problem.

    God these guys are fun and its great digging up these old stories.
  17. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I am greatly looking forward to your behavioral observations too. I am an animal trainer by trade, so studying and reading tortoise behavior is particularly interesting to me. I also have my own thoughts on the matter, and I find it interesting how little some tortoise keepers consider the behavior of their tortoises. I guess its the same with most people and their pet dogs. There are worlds of information present, that most people never even consider.
  18. RedfootsRule

    RedfootsRule New Member 5 Year Member

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    Amazing stories you have...And that video was very interesting. Judging by what you have to say, and my own experiences, I think our shelled friends are way smarter then people give them credit for. I just don't think they are as good at expressing it, nor is it as easy to see in them, as animals such as cats and dogs. I wish all of the people out there that vehemently insist tortoises are completely void of emotion, or any measurable intelligence (sadly, there are some of those on this very forum :() would read all of this.
  19. EKLC

    EKLC Member 5 Year Member

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    Hey Sam, glad to see you on the board. I visited you in December 2011, and you gave us a great tour of your facilities.
  20. DesertGrandma

    DesertGrandma Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi Sam. Welcome to the forum. I can see that you are going to be a great member. I love to hear about your experiences and your ideas about tortoise behavior. :cool:
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