Tortoises adaptation?

yillt

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I have noticed that as you scroll down the debatable section my profile picture is very frequent. I will apologise in advance for the side of me that loves debating and get on with the topic.
I'll just put it bluntly, tortoises are not well adapted at all. All other pets have adaptations but when I think of it, my beloved tort does not. His ears have a think layer of skin over them so he can barely hear (like a bat.) His nostrils are tiny and he probably can't smell like a cat. He can't run from predators and he is to bulbous to hide under small rocks. His shell is easily breakable from sharp teeth that try to penetrate it and he can get sick rather easily. If someone can prove me wrong, please do
That's what learning is all about :)
 

dmmj

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I think you're wrong & right on several points. let's start with the shell. whether or not it can withstand sharp teeth their shell is designed to withstand the type of predator that preys on them. as for hiding again the shell offer their protection to them so don't really need to hide. as for getting sick that's really hard to answer because we don't know how often they get sick and die in the wild as compared to in captivity. as for adaptability they're not very adaptable but they don't have to be and I honestly believe most animals in general are not adaptable human beings being the most adaptable animal there is because we can.
 

yillt

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I think you're wrong & right on several points. let's start with the shell. whether or not it can withstand sharp teeth their shell is designed to withstand the type of predator that preys on them. as for hiding again the shell offer their protection to them so don't really need to hide. as for getting sick that's really hard to answer because we don't know how often they get sick and die in the wild as compared to in captivity. as for disability they're not very adaptable but they don't have to be and I honestly believe most animals in general are not adaptable human beings being the most adaptable animal there is because we can.
Hmm. You are right. I suppose what I meant was, tortoises in captivity. Usually animals in captivity change a lot like wild rats and fancy rats or wolves and dogs. Or humans and monkeys. But tortoises seem similar in captivity and in the wild. Thanks for your points
 

ZEROPILOT

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Tortoises have adapted over time to live where the naturally live.
The issue seems to arise when people enter the picture. How well they do in captivity. Even a captivity that replicates their natural environment, depends on us.
Yes. They behave almost completely by instinct. And they act as they act in the wild, with small differences.
Did you also notice that the examples you listed are all "pack" animals except for tortoises? The mammals that you mentioned all like to live with other animals.
Tortoises do not.
 

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I have noticed that as you scroll down the debatable section my profile picture is very frequent. I will apologise in advance for the side of me that loves debating and get on with the topic.
I'll just put it bluntly, tortoises are not well adapted at all. All other pets have adaptations but when I think of it, my beloved tort does not. His ears have a think layer of skin over them so he can barely hear (like a bat.) His nostrils are tiny and he probably can't smell like a cat. He can't run from predators and he is to bulbous to hide under small rocks. His shell is easily breakable from sharp teeth that try to penetrate it and he can get sick rather easily. If someone can prove me wrong, please do
That's what learning is all about :)
I think they do have a good sense of smell, if I put some food down on a slate far from there hides and enclosures(lets say 9ft away) they all come out from every nut and cranny to devour. Even if they are around a corner out of site.
 

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I agree. Their smell is very good. Sometimes when I sit down at her enclosure fence, she comes out of her hide and "hunt" my toes.
 

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I have noticed that as you scroll down the debatable section my profile picture is very frequent. I will apologise in advance for the side of me that loves debating and get on with the topic.
I'll just put it bluntly, tortoises are not well adapted at all. All other pets have adaptations but when I think of it, my beloved tort does not. His ears have a think layer of skin over them so he can barely hear (like a bat.) His nostrils are tiny and he probably can't smell like a cat. He can't run from predators and he is to bulbous to hide under small rocks. His shell is easily breakable from sharp teeth that try to penetrate it and he can get sick rather easily. If someone can prove me wrong, please do
That's what learning is all about :)

I don't know where you came up with these concepts, but they are all incorrect. Not being mean, just factual.

1. Tortoises are arguably as well adapted as any animal, and arguably more well adapted than some for survival in the wild.
2. Tortoises might not have a well developed sense of hearing, because they don't need it, and that IS an adaptation. What makes you think bats don't have good hearing? They have some of the best hearing of any of the animals. They use sound in the dark to find prey, and have you ever heard of echolocation?
3. Small nostrils do not indicate a poor sense of smell. Tortoise have an excellent sense of smell. That's a big part of how they decide what to eat.
4. Armor plated animals don't need to have speed.
5. Tortoises make their own shelters. Every seen a sulcata burrow? No predator is going to get them in there.
6. Adult tortoise shell stand up to the teeth of hungry lions and jackals. I can't imagine what would make you think their shells are easily breakable by teeth. Because dogs chew on captive juveniles?
7. Get sick easily? What? In two and a half decades of keeping my own tortoises, not a one has ever gotten sick or needed vet treatment of any kind. Further I have been able to rehab a large percentage of the ones that were made sick by other people's neglect or ignorance. They are actually quite difficult to make sick if you are meeting their basic temperature and diet needs.


I'm sorry. I don't see where you came up with any of your premises. I disagree with each one. You could have said they aren't smart, and there is some evidence to support that premise, but even that would boil down to opinion.
 

Yvonne G

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As far as smell goes, I can put down food outside my tortoise shed (any species I keep) and before I can leave the area they're coming out of the shed to see what they're smelling.
 

Markw84

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Tortoises are extremely well adapted. Although each individual type often has adapted to occupy an extremely narrow ecological niche - that in itself is an adaptation. There are chelonians that occupy everything from the deserts to the oceans. Limited only in their exotherm constraints. If fact some that occupy a very narrow ecological niche get into potential trouble we w choose to remove them from and keep them elsewhere, not understand that niche.

Hearing? Like many reptiles the are much more sensitive to vibrations in the ground than most animals.
Vision - they have adapted to be extremely sensitive to movements and shadow movement. I believe the are also more sensitive to color than we are - useful in identifying plants.
Smell - every watched a female testing the ground for a good place to lay eggs? I think they even sense humidity this way.
The shell not strong? Compared to what? name another animal with a stronger outer surface presented to possible predators or the environment.

How about brumation that so many in temperate regions have adapted? Adapting to have extra stores of glycogen in their bloodstreams to where oxygen needs go so low aquatic species can survive under ice all winter?

And so forth...
 

Tom

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Hmm. You are right. I suppose what I meant was, tortoises in captivity. Usually animals in captivity change a lot like wild rats and fancy rats or wolves and dogs. Or humans and monkeys. But tortoises seem similar in captivity and in the wild. Thanks for your points

As a person who has been professionally involved with the pet trade since the mid 80s, I have some insight into this concept.

There are many species of wild animals that adapt and acclimate very well to the parameters of captivity. Other species do not. We see this with all animals: Birds, fish, reptiles, insects, etc… Plants too. Some species have specific requirements that are easily met in nature, that just can't be practically met in captivity, like fish that eat coral polyps in the wild. Who can afford to feed one of those fish species in captivity? Some fish have a more adaptable digestive system and will thrive on our commonly available captive foods.

The concept you are talking about though, is something different. You are talking about domestication. This is a process that can take thousands of years and many many generations. Cows, dogs, and horses being examples. Wolves and dogs are two different species. Not a good example. Humans or monkeys? Not sure what you mean by that. No primate has ever been domesticated. All are wild animals, even if we tame them down and build a working relationship with them, which I have done many time with several species of ape and monkey. When you look at the atrocities that occur around the world, I'm not sure that humans could be considered "domesticated" either, but that is a whole different discussion…

Rats might be your best example. It is thought that "domestic" rats are either one species or a combo of two or more wild species. Forgive me if that question has been answered in this day and age of DNA analysis and genetics, but I haven't seen it. Speaking from personal experience, I removed any inclination to bite humans for any reason from my entire rat colony in three generations. That is some very rapid adaptation. I had a "one bite rule". If any rat bit a person at any time, for any reason, it and its progeny were removed from the gene pool and fed to a snake or lizard. Nice rats who did not bite were encouraged to breed more and their babies evaluated for "tameness". In less than one years time, there was nothing anyone could do to induce a bite from any rat in the entire colony. Even moms on babies could be summarily picked up and moved with bare hands and babies could be freely handled with no retaliation from the moms or dads.

Food for thought? Fuel for discussion?
 

Big Charlie

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As a person who has been professionally involved with the pet trade since the mid 80s, I have some insight into this concept.

There are many species of wild animals that adapt and acclimate very well to the parameters of captivity. Other species do not. We see this with all animals: Birds, fish, reptiles, insects, etc… Plants too. Some species have specific requirements that are easily met in nature, that just can't be practically met in captivity, like fish that eat coral polyps in the wild. Who can afford to feed one of those fish species in captivity? Some fish have a more adaptable digestive system and will thrive on our commonly available captive foods.

The concept you are talking about though, is something different. You are talking about domestication. This is a process that can take thousands of years and many many generations. Cows, dogs, and horses being examples. Wolves and dogs are two different species. Not a good example. Humans or monkeys? Not sure what you mean by that. No primate has ever been domesticated. All are wild animals, even if we tame them down and build a working relationship with them, which I have done many time with several species of ape and monkey. When you look at the atrocities that occur around the world, I'm not sure that humans could be considered "domesticated" either, but that is a whole different discussion…

Rats might be your best example. It is thought that "domestic" rats are either one species or a combo of two or more wild species. Forgive me if that question has been answered in this day and age of DNA analysis and genetics, but I haven't seen it. Speaking from personal experience, I removed any inclination to bite humans for any reason from my entire rat colony in three generations. That is some very rapid adaptation. I had a "one bite rule". If any rat bit a person at any time, for any reason, it and its progeny were removed from the gene pool and fed to a snake or lizard. Nice rats who did not bite were encouraged to breed more and their babies evaluated for "tameness". In less than one years time, there was nothing anyone could do to induce a bite from any rat in the entire colony. Even moms on babies could be summarily picked up and moved with bare hands and babies could be freely handled with no retaliation from the moms or dads.

Food for thought? Fuel for discussion?
This is so interesting! Can you imagine if you could do the same thing concerning aggression with dogs or people?

On another note, rabbits and some other domesticated animals quickly lose their domestication if released into the wild.

It seems to me that tortoises are more vision oriented than many other animals. I have no doubt they see in color. Charlie seems more likely to bite into something that is green than any other color. The fact that he goes after my feet and shoes makes me think his sense of smell isn't that great; otherwise he would realize they aren't food.

I am relieved to read that you have never needed a vet for your tortoises. Until I found this forum, I had assumed tortoises were hardy animals since I have had no trouble with Charlie's health over the years, other than some eye irritation when he was a baby.
 

dmmj

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I do like monkeys
 
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