TWINS!

Tom

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I've hatched a lot of sulcatas over the years, and a few other species too, but I've never seen this before. Goldy laid a large clutch of 35 eggs onMarch 6th of this year. I left the eggs in the ground and dug them up on March 21st. I let them sit at room temp (About 72-75F.) for a week and put them in the incubator on March 29th. Incubator is a large stand up freezer that has been gutted and I run it with two 78 watt radiant heat panels set on a Helix digital proportional thermostat set at 87 degrees. One panel on the ceiling and one on the floor. I have two low speed computer fans that circulate the air in there. The eggs are in shoe boxes that sit on shelves and there are three open tubs of water to help with humidity which stays around 80-90% depending on how much I open the door. I'll add a pic of the incubator later on.

So a couple of days ago, all of these eggs began hatching and one of Daisy's clutches are hatching too. So this makes 4 shoe boxes full of new babies all hatching at the same time. So this morning, I'm going through all the boxes of new hatchlings and removing all the ones that are out of their shells for a fins and a soak before being moved into their brooder boxes. I get most of them out and I see this guy. Looks like he's got something going on with his yolk sac…
IMG_3562.JPG

What the heck is going on there…
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Let's open up the egg and see… WHAT THE…..???!!!???!?!!?!?!?!!!!!
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Let's rinse them off and have a better look:
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Here they are in their brooder box:
IMG_3577.JPG

Both babies are alive, active and alert. They are sharing about 10-15% of their yolk sac. My babies usually absorb their yolk sac within 24 hours of going into the brooder box, so I'm curious how this will play out. The one baby is right around normal size and all scutes are normal. His little Danny DeVito twin is about half of normal size and has some aberrant scutes. HA! I'm going to name them Arnold and Danny!!! :)

I will post updates over the next few days so we can all see what develops.
 

Tom

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I don't want to make a second thread, but check this guy out from the same clutch:
IMG_3578.JPG
IMG_3580.JPG

The picture doesn't show it, but this one was trying to grow its own twin too. That stuff at the end of the yolk sac is some leg scales that were forming in the egg. I've got this guy separate too, and we will see what happens.

I've never seen anything like this before in any of my babies, and now I get two in the same clutch? Weird.
 

daniellenc

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They are so cute!! Any research on twins? I mean it's normal in humans for one to be smaller sometimes if nutrients weren't shared equally for some reason but they usually grow to be normal sized adults nonetheless.
 

Amber26

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Congrats! Will certainly be interesting to see what happens!
 

wellington

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Does it look like they will actually separate on their own once the sack is absorbed?
Pretty interesting. Wonder why the one egg had to fully develop but the other one didn't. Hmmm, can't wait for undated. Do hope they all do well.
 

Yvonne G

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Danny's GF, Stells, put up a thread about separating twins wa-a-a-a-ay long time ago. She tied off the yolk with fishing line. Good luck with Danny and Arnold!

About the other one with leg scales growing on the yolk - I took in a rescue quite a few years ago that had been chewed by a dog long time ago, all healed and new skin and shell growing already, however, the new skin, instead of being smooth skin as it should, was growing leg scales. He looked very weird - a sulcata with leg scales on his neck.
 

zovick

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Tom,

I have hatched a couple sets of twin tortoises in my day and can offer the following tips:

You will probably need to take a scalpel (or X-Acto knife) to cut through the least vascular area of the yolk sac that is connecting the twins. If you have a hemostat, you can clamp it on the fleshiest and thinnest section of the connection between the tortoises (where the least blood vessels are), and leave it for a couple hours while the vessels contract. Then take the scalpel and very gently cut along each side of the hemostat to separate the tortoises.

In the absence of a hemostat and scalpel, you can also do this by tying off the connection with dental floss, waiting a couple hours, and then cutting through the connection with small sharp scissors.

The trick is doing it at just the right time. IE, when it appears that there is no actual vascular connection, but just fleshy looking tissue.

Good luck.

Bill Z
 

wellington

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Tom,

I have hatched a couple sets of twin tortoises in my day and can offer the following tips:

You will probably need to take a scalpel (or X-Acto knife) to cut through the least vascular area of the yolk sac that is connecting the twins. If you have a hemostat, you can clamp it on the fleshiest and thinnest section of the connection between the tortoises (where the least blood vessels are), and leave it for a couple hours while the vessels contract. Then take the scalpel and very gently cut along each side of the hemostat to separate the tortoises.

In the absence of a hemostat and scalpel, you can also do this by tying off the connection with dental floss, waiting a couple hours, and then cutting through the connection with small sharp scissors.

The trick is doing it at just the right time. IE, when it appears that there is no actual vascular connection, but just fleshy looking tissue.

Good luck.

Bill Z
So, if they are just left alone until the yolk sack is all obsorbed and dried up, they won't just naturally separate?
 

zovick

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So, if they are just left alone until the yolk sack is all obsorbed and dried up, they won't just naturally separate?

I don't know the answer to that because I have never waited that long. The ones I have had were positioned in such a way that one twin was nearly upside down if the other was upright. I was afraid that in the efforts to right itself, the upside down twin would puncture the yolk sack with its nails and both would die from that. Hence I chose to separate them surgically rather than wait to see what transpired.

Another time, I left two twins in the egg for a few hours. When I first noticed them, they were both fine and both heads were protruding out into the air from the egg shell so I left them alone figuring to allow some more time for the yolk sack to resorb a bit. When I went back to check on them later, one twin had managed to get itself fully upright, but in doing so, had submerged the other twin's face into the albumin causing it to drown. These were two Radiated Tortoises, which made the loss rather disappointing.

At any rate, I don't generally wait to see what will happen when strange things occur. I try to be proactive to prevent problems.
 

zovick

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So, if they are just left alone until the yolk sack is all obsorbed and dried up, they won't just naturally separate?

My feeling has been that as the yolk sac was absorbed, the two shells might become extremely close together or even become joined at the center of the plastron making the tortoises appear to be, or even actually be, attached to each other like Siamese twins, hence I have always attempted to separate them before that could occur.

I guess that if Tom decides to wait it out with his twins rather than trying to separate them early on, he will be able to provide us with the answer to that theory.
 

PJay

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Thanks for sharing this, look forward to seeing more.
 
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