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Shell.

Iggy&raydensmom

New Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2020
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
Sumner Washington
Hi all- looking for some information about the shell of my larger tort Iggy. I’ve included some of his shell and one picture (Grass pic) that was when we first got him. We’ve had him and his sister Rayden for 2 years almost. I’m not sure if it’s painful (I pray not) I’m sometimes over dramatic with my children. They are a big part of my life. Please if you want to be mean scroll by. I’m looking for help not to feel worse. I can’t seem to come up with answers on google either 🤔 food is veggies& lots of grass. Light is heater and regular light combo thing. I’m constantly looking and reading new things to do for them and hopefully I’m doing things well for them. Thanks.
 

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Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
47,086
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hello and welcome.

What you are seeing there is growth that is happening in an environment that is too dry. Desiccating light bulbs contribute to it too. Its not painful to them.

Contrary to what we've all been taught about this species, they are NOT a desert species. Yes its dry in their natural range for part of every year, but they spend literally 95% of their lives underground away from the scorching heat and dryness topside, and those same sources of info never seem to mention the 3-4 months of every year that are the monsoon season when its hot rainy wet and very humid.

Over head lamps are a necessary evil for babies, but no good for larger tortoises. They excessively desiccate the carapace while still not allowing them to warm their core. You need a different heating strategy for adults, and that is difficult in your climate for most of the year. Kane heat mats and warm insulated boxes are one way to do it, but they need a large indoor heated area that is kept around 80, and a smaller area within the large area where they can get warmed up to 95ish when they want.

I don't know if you are still using that pen outside for your tortoises, but if you are, there needs to be a visual barrier around the bottom.

Last thing is that they should never live as a pair. This is very stressful on both of them. Tortoises don't want or need company. They are solitary animals. Other tortoises are not seen as friends. They are seen as competitors for the same resources, intruders, and something to be driven from the territory. Sleeping together and "cuddling" is actually a form of tortoise hostility, where they are trying to crowd the one they want to leave and male them go away. Following is actually chasing, with the intent to intimidate and drive the other out of the territory. Etc... You get the idea. If they aren't living separately already, they need to be ASAP.
 

Iggy&raydensmom

New Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2020
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
Sumner Washington
Hello and welcome.

What you are seeing there is growth that is happening in an environment that is too dry. Desiccating light bulbs contribute to it too. Its not painful to them.

Contrary to what we've all been taught about this species, they are NOT a desert species. Yes its dry in their natural range for part of every year, but they spend literally 95% of their lives underground away from the scorching heat and dryness topside, and those same sources of info never seem to mention the 3-4 months of every year that are the monsoon season when its hot rainy wet and very humid.

Over head lamps are a necessary evil for babies, but no good for larger tortoises. They excessively desiccate the carapace while still not allowing them to warm their core. You need a different heating strategy for adults, and that is difficult in your climate for most of the year. Kane heat mats and warm insulated boxes are one way to do it, but they need a large indoor heated area that is kept around 80, and a smaller area within the large area where they can get warmed up to 95ish when they want.

I don't know if you are still using that pen outside for your tortoises, but if you are, there needs to be a visual barrier around the bottom.

Last thing is that they should never live as a pair. This is very stressful on both of them. Tortoises don't want or need company. They are solitary animals. Other tortoises are not seen as friends. They are seen as competitors for the same resources, intruders, and something to be driven from the territory. Sleeping together and "cuddling" is actually a form of tortoise hostility, where they are trying to crowd the one they want to leave and male them go away. Following is actually chasing, with the intent to intimidate and drive the other out of the territory. Etc... You get the idea. If they aren't living separately already, they need to be ASAP.
Thanks so much for the information you’ve given me. I appreciate it so much! That pen was just so they could eat grass we use that as a play pen to sunbathe. Then they come inside during the night. I’m very nervous on putting them outside and I’m very aware they’ve had a growth spurt and seem like they have grown 2x the size this year. Washington weather gets ridiculous and I worry they aren’t warm enough. They roam around the house and they seem happy to go in their own corner when they get tired but they haven’t had a fight or anything. I do keep an eye on em if they are near each other. Thanks again.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
47,086
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Thanks so much for the information you’ve given me. I appreciate it so much! That pen was just so they could eat grass we use that as a play pen to sunbathe. Then they come inside during the night. I’m very nervous on putting them outside and I’m very aware they’ve had a growth spurt and seem like they have grown 2x the size this year. Washington weather gets ridiculous and I worry they aren’t warm enough. They roam around the house and they seem happy to go in their own corner when they get tired but they haven’t had a fight or anything. I do keep an eye on em if they are near each other. Thanks again.
Roaming loose in the house is a disaster waiting to happen. Its not safe for them, its much too cold on the floor for these tropical tortoises, and we see this end in tragedy here time and time again.

Outside during the day for sunning and grazing when the weather permits is excellent, but they need to do it in a large enclosure with a visual barrier of some sort around the bottom. I've seen so many of them hurt themselves on puppy pens and chainlink fencing trying to get to whatever is on the other side of it.

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but my concern is first and foremost for the well being of the tortoises. Running loose on a cold floor and living as a pair is not good for them. My goal is always to make the lives of tortoises better. Sometimes this means telling people the inconvenient truth and upsetting them. I don't want to upset the people, but I do want to help the tortoises. Its a constant dilemma... I hope I can help your tortoises.
 

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