Redfoot sense of smell

jsheffield

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By mistake, when preparing Darwin's breakfast this morning, I cut a small piece of liver along with the greens and fruit and veggies I was serving him (mistake because he got some protein just the other day) ... Instead of throwing it away, I just mixed it in with the rest of the food.

Once I served the meal to him in his soaking container, I noticed him digging and pawing through the food in the dish in a way he doesn't normally do ... he kept at it from one end to the other until he found the scrap of raw liver, then feasted on it.

My theory is that he likes liver, smelled it among all of the other food items, and sought it out to eat first.

It had never before occurred to me that tortoises had a good (or any) sense of smell ....

Jamie
 

Toddrickfl1

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I think they have an incredible sense of smell actually. Anytime I introduce a new food it will be all the way on the other side of mines enclosure and he will come out of his hide doing the head Bob sniffing thing they do and go straight to it.
 

MysticCaribou

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I think they have an incredible sense of smell actually. Anytime I introduce a new food it will be all the way on the other side of mines enclosure and he will come out of his hide doing the head Bob sniffing thing they do and go straight to it.
'head bob sniffing thing' You made me smile. Thanks. They do look funny when they do that.
 

Redfool

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When I prepare wet Mazuri at my fish cleaning, gardening, tort food prep table, my 5 RFs assemble at their feeding platform anticipating a meal. This table/sink is about 30 feet from and out of their sight line from the pen. I’ve observed that they have a very acute sense of smell. They also have shown repetitive learning. When I go in their pen and pick up their greens/veggie tray they seem to get excited at the anticipated refill. Other times when I go in to refill water dishes or pen cleaning, they don’t get near as anxious.
 

pirata alma negra

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When I feed my yearlings a banana, while they're sleeping, they always wake up and go right to it; so I would say that they definitely have a good olfaction.
 

Anyfoot

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When I feed the adults they come at there own pace to feed, some don’t even feed every day, they can’t be bothered and just sprawl out relaxing, there’s no rush to feast.

When I put protein down, they all come out from the nuts and crannies immediately to feast. It’s like a scene from walking dead coming from every angle. They definitely without a shadow of doubt have an excellent smell.
They also have a very good memory, I have one that comes out and sits under a particular tree when she sees me waiting for me to pick her some of leaves.

I have a male that will come sit right on the edge of the outdoor area in a certain spot waiting for us to feed slugs and worms. Even after the winter period he knows where to go and sit and wait. So approx 6 months apart he still remembered.

I’m not convinced they have good hearing though. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t.
 

Relic

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And...if you, for the first time, appear in their pen in flip-flops, instead of the normal tennis shoes, don't be surprised if a toe gets closely examined and even nibbled on...
 

Toddrickfl1

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When I first put Murphy outside in his pen he will spend the first 20-30 minutes doing a few laps smelling for and actively seeking out any bug/slug/worm/snail, basically anything that moves slower than him, and devouring it
 

jacksknight

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While ours are indoors for cooler weather we scatter mazuri small pellets every where in the floor. They will find every last one, we have never found one left after they hunt for them. They also dig in the yard for worms, on several occasions we have watched them walk around then stop and dig something up to eat.
 

Madkins007

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Field studies show many examples of using scent- they follow what appear to be scent trails to follow each other and to re-locate shelters and to find new sources of food.If I remember correctly, about the same percentage of their brain is dedicated to scent as a dog's is.
 

LaLaP

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Really interesting! Anybody have an idea of wether redfoots (because of their omnivorous nature) have a better sense of smell that a vegetarian tortoise like a Russian, leopard, Sulcata etc? I can imagine that "hunting" snails and bugs requires a better sniffer but my Russians sniff their food before eating too.
 

willee638

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By mistake, when preparing Darwin's breakfast this morning, I cut a small piece of liver along with the greens and fruit and veggies I was serving him (mistake because he got some protein just the other day) ... Instead of throwing it away, I just mixed it in with the rest of the food.

Once I served the meal to him in his soaking container, I noticed him digging and pawing through the food in the dish in a way he doesn't normally do ... he kept at it from one end to the other until he found the scrap of raw liver, then feasted on it.

My theory is that he likes liver, smelled it among all of the other food items, and sought it out to eat first.

It had never before occurred to me that tortoises had a good (or any) sense of smell ....

Jamie
I'm not sure if tortoises "mine a red foot" has a sensitive nose & can smell food from a distance away or has particularly good eye sights, because I often see her with her head down with nose touching the substrates sniffing to seek foods & can only find it under their noses. I think they reacted to your presence or see your hand in the enclosure & thought there must be food or feeding time, when tortoises are kept in an outdoor large yard enclosure they came running on seeing the keeper regardless he had food or not.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Each day when I feed my tortoises, I bang on the door of their enclosure to announce that the food has arrived. They then slowly come out of the shadows, etc, to seek it out.
EXCEPT on banana day!
On banana day, I just toss in bananas and they come out like wolves.
They can smell just fine.
 

willee638

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My little red foot is definitely sensitive to sounds, I've seen her freeze & stayed still when there's a loud or unusual noises. Have you ever seen your tort moved very swiftly & almost ran? I saw this fast motion 2-3 times in her enclosure but don't know the exact reasons why, she could have been spooked by something & they can move very quickly too.
 

ZEROPILOT

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My little red foot is definitely sensitive to sounds, I've seen her freeze & stayed still when there's a loud or unusual noises. Have you ever seen your tort moved very swiftly & almost ran? I saw this fast motion 2-3 times in her enclosure but don't know the exact reasons why, she could have been spooked by something & they can move very quickly too.
I have one that runs over to bite my feet and push me out of her enclosure.
She's fast.
 

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