- Sep 16, 2015
The growth plates of the bone aren't aligned with the scutes, that is where I am having an issue putting it together.
I'm not aware that bone has growth plates, could perhaps explain a bit more what do you mean with this. I'm not totally sure I understand you correctly.
'Exactly. That's why it isn't and can't be bone pressure, but scute pressure. The pyramiding follows the shape of the scute, not the shape of the bone.
I'm suggesting the bone shapes the scute, if you look at the X-rays you'll see that that the scute isn't misformed, it isn't thicker in any placenor shows any signs of swelling. The bone however is misformed. If misshapen scutes would be the cause, I'd expect to see some misshapen keratin, but the keratin in the X-rays seems 'normal'. Perhaps we'd get a better view from photo's from actual bone/keratin rather then an x-ray.
Bone, especially in young, is EXTREMELY pliable and moldable. An extremely small downward pressure by the growth of new keratin that becomes stiffer on top forcing the growth more downward, would easily be enough to cause the bone to grow in that same direction. We see examples all the time, from the Mangbetu tribe reshaping infant girl's heads, to my grandson's corrective helmet. Orthodontics, leg braces, Ancient Asian foot binding. A root can lift concrete with cellular pressure, a mushroom can poke through and reshape asphalt as it emerges. And it explains why we see tortoises that have pyramiding stop kept in identical conditions as they get larger. Mine certainly did. Look at the photos Craig @Anyfoot provided. Although his pyramided redfoot is barely what I would call pyramided, it is growing slightly differently. And if we look closely at the scute growth we see the same differences I noticed with my Burmese about the characteristic of the growth we can see. A smooth growing tortoise seems to have upward bulges as the new keratin is laid down, while the more pyramided one has the new growth discernably flatter on top. I am presuming this is forcing the growth downward then as the scute retains its same thickness.
The scutes don't remain the same thickness, they maintain an homogeneousthickness across the scute. That means scutes do become thicker as an animal ages to my knowledge (a hatchling has thinner scutes compared to an adult animal). Besides the keratin in the center should be more hydrated then the keratin in the scutes (less hydration loss since their isn't a 'edge exposed to air) and therefore should have more growth. At least if hydration does cause an increased growth in the scute, which I doubt that it does.