Sulcata shell growth

Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
23
Location (City and/or State)
Alabama
Hello.
Tonka is a 2 1/2 year old male sulcata. Adopted him at a year weighing 9.1 lbs. He is now 16.9 lbs.
He lives outdoors here in Alabama which has no shortage of humidity. He has his heated house he can go in and out whenever he chooses. He has a soaking bowl, shade and lots of sunny areas. He eats weeds (dandelions), hay, dried grass from area and some sundlower sprouts etc. He has a cuttle bone outside but rarely see it eaten.
I’ve looked under shell growth forum but can’t find anything like this.
Can anyone tell me why the his top of his shell looks like this? Are the lower sides of his shell supposed to flare or is this normal? Are the cracks growth or something else.
Thank you ahead of time!! 9C43FE19-DB51-4842-AE21-565ACD810D6F.jpeg
 

Attachments

  • 65A7F58A-4AA1-414B-BE1C-C9CD94B1633F.jpeg
    65A7F58A-4AA1-414B-BE1C-C9CD94B1633F.jpeg
    2.4 MB · Views: 24
  • 441C4297-F74D-4142-93C9-C9455A070557.jpeg
    441C4297-F74D-4142-93C9-C9455A070557.jpeg
    2.3 MB · Views: 23
  • 382C15AD-A9FB-43A7-93A9-0FCD49CA363C.jpeg
    382C15AD-A9FB-43A7-93A9-0FCD49CA363C.jpeg
    2.5 MB · Views: 20
  • 3C54DCD9-3D04-4012-ABE4-2CC9FEE16DB9.jpeg
    3C54DCD9-3D04-4012-ABE4-2CC9FEE16DB9.jpeg
    2.2 MB · Views: 16
  • E62EF6AB-D31B-45AD-AA6F-FFE63B0C2D22.jpeg
    E62EF6AB-D31B-45AD-AA6F-FFE63B0C2D22.jpeg
    2.1 MB · Views: 13
  • 1A53BD97-0DB6-48FC-8E90-0CD629B94D3D.jpeg
    1A53BD97-0DB6-48FC-8E90-0CD629B94D3D.jpeg
    2.2 MB · Views: 13
  • CC341953-40B3-4221-A819-DA3D83B8ABCC.jpeg
    CC341953-40B3-4221-A819-DA3D83B8ABCC.jpeg
    2.2 MB · Views: 20

Markw84

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
4,466
Location (City and/or State)
Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
Hello.
Tonka is a 2 1/2 year old male sulcata. Adopted him at a year weighing 9.1 lbs. He is now 16.9 lbs.
He lives outdoors here in Alabama which has no shortage of humidity. He has his heated house he can go in and out whenever he chooses. He has a soaking bowl, shade and lots of sunny areas. He eats weeds (dandelions), hay, dried grass from area and some sundlower sprouts etc. He has a cuttle bone outside but rarely see it eaten.
I’ve looked under shell growth forum but can’t find anything like this.
Can anyone tell me why the his top of his shell looks like this? Are the lower sides of his shell supposed to flare or is this normal? Are the cracks growth or something else.
Thank you ahead of time!! View attachment 333509
Everything looks completely normal except that he is pyramided moderately. That was due to how he was kept before you got him and there is nothing you can do about that. All the growth looks very good with no problems at all. The pyramiding will look less as newer growth is now starting to come in a bit flatter. Sulcatas tend to pyramid much less once their bones are fully ossified - at about 12" or so. However, the start they get will determine a lot no how future bone growth comes in as the actual bone plane itself it tipped with tortoises pyramided well into the fully ossified bone stage.

The flaring you see over the legs - front and back - is how sulcatas look! They should have those flares you see developing across the front of the shell and over the back legs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tom
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
23
Location (City and/or State)
Alabama
Everything looks completely normal except that he is pyramided moderately. That was due to how he was kept before you got him and there is nothing you can do about that. All the growth looks very good with no problems at all. The pyramiding will look less as newer growth is now starting to come in a bit flatter. Sulcatas tend to pyramid much less once their bones are fully ossified - at about 12" or so. However, the start they get will determine a lot no how future bone growth comes in as the actual bone plane itself it tipped with tortoises pyramided well into the fully ossified bone stage.

The flaring you see over the legs - front and back - is how sulcatas look! They should have those flares you see developing across the front of the shell and over the back legs.
Thank you so much. I was worried because the sides didn’t flare he was growing wrong or getting plump. It’s hard to find pictures of healthy sulcatas and compare him with. 🥸 Most photos I’ve found on this forum come up with a yellow emoji saying “no longer available”.
I really appreciate you answering my questions!
 
Top