Tortoise choosing to eat the rotten leaves

Tolis

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My aldabra lives in a jungle of edible plants but I have seen him twice eating dying rotten leaves from a mallow plant. Black disgusting leaves! There's countless green ones within his reach he is not eating rotten ones because they are lower to the ground.

Are rotten leaves easier to digest or something?
Anyone experienced a similar behavior? 🤔
 

Jan A

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My aldabra lives in a jungle of edible plants but I have seen him twice eating dying rotten leaves from a mallow plant. Black disgusting leaves! There's countless green ones within his reach he is not eating rotten ones because they are lower to the ground.

Are rotten leaves easier to digest or something?
Anyone experienced a similar behavior? 🤔
You could pull off all dead leaves from the plant or just take the plant out altogether. Is the mallow plant even on the tort feeding list? I have no idea what a mallow plant even is.
 

Mrs.Jennifer

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Kapidolo Farms

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Leaves that are hosting a black fungus, are neither dead nor 'rotted'. Actual dead leaves that have dried are a great food, many nutrients are gone, but the relative fiber is higher than live leaves. Some fungus may or may not offer a different range of nutrients. Rotted, as in decaying - same thing. Could you post an image?

My aldabra lives in a jungle of edible plants but I have seen him twice eating dying rotten leaves from a mallow plant. Black disgusting leaves! There's countless green ones within his reach he is not eating rotten ones because they are lower to the ground.

Are rotten leaves easier to digest or something?
Anyone experienced a similar behavior? 🤔
 

Tolis

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Joined
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165
Location (City and/or State)
Cyprus EU
Leaves that are hosting a black fungus, are neither dead nor 'rotted'. Actual dead leaves that have dried are a great food, many nutrients are gone, but the relative fiber is higher than live leaves. Some fungus may or may not offer a different range of nutrients. Rotted, as in decaying - same thing. Could you post an image?
Correct, I am not talking about dried leaves but the lower leaves of the plant that are still attached to it and are wilting, turning black and dying. Usually because they touch the ground and get fungal infestation, but it happens eventually one way or another to all plant's first nodes. Looking like a leaf would look 3-4 days after it was cut. It is turning black because of necrosis, the cells are decomposing and melt away even when you gently touch them. I top the mallow plants in the enclosure to keep them short, for every black dying leaf there's more than 100 healthy ones so seeing him eating them repeatedly is probably not a coincidence. Unfortunately I cannot attach a picture since I removed that plant along with many others because I was having difficulties finding the tort every evening to lock him in his box. It's rainy season and the enclosure is becoming a jungle. The picture is after heavy stripping of lots of weeds and vegetation.

I'm suspecting that the decomposition process partially digests the plant matter doing the heavy lifting for the torts stomach.

Of course I am just guessing and could be totally wrong. I am not encouraging anyone feeding your torts with decaying greens but maybe we shouldn't feel so guilty forgetting a leaf or two in the enclosure for a few days once in a while...😀

20210215_084212.jpg
 
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