Yellowfoots get huge!

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Candy

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I was just watching Animal Planet and I saw the biggest Yellowfoot that I've ever seen before. I didn't realize that they got that big. This tortoise must have been 18 to 20 inches long and his weight must have been somewhere around 30 lbs or more and I was surprise at how high the shell looked to be. This man was in South America looking for Anaconda and he came across a Yellowfoot in a river that feeds into the Amazon. My husband thought he might just be in Paraguay or very near there. I just caught a small part of him and the Yellowfoot. When I looked up at the T.V. he was in the water with a Yellowfoot that was underneath the water and it looked just like it was swimming. He never explained if it was swimming or whether or not it accidentally fell in the water. I've heard from some of you on here where they might swim I wish he would have had more information on what this Yellowfoot was doing in the water, but he didn't. Does anyone have any information about them being able to swim under water and how big do they really end up being in their native country?
 

tortoiseguy65

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I saw that episode as well. I agree that was a BIG Yellowfoot, likely 20 inches plus. The only ones I have seen that are larger are the ones at the St. Louis Zoo. Curious that this guy's head seemed almost entirely black. I didn't notice any color on it. I was watching Animal Planet later in the evening and saw the "Wild Russia" Episode. They briefly showed a Russian Tortoise in a Sand storm. 2 tortoises in one night, what a bonus.:)
 

Yvonne G

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Not sure if they actually "swim" but they do enter the water and walk along the bottom.
 

Candy

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Jeff I wish I could have recorded it. I would like to see that again and I agree that the head looked black, but for some reason I still knew that it was a Yellowfoot when I saw it. Did you notice if it was swimming or not?

Yvonne how long can they stay under water do you know?
 

Yvonne G

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I don't know the answer to that, but I DO know that a tortoise can hold its breath for a very long time.

I took Mi-Shell, my first desert tortoise, to the vet a couple years ago because she had an abscess on her nose and I wanted it lanced and cleaned out. The vet wasn't able to anesthetize her because she wouldn't breathe into the cone. She held her breath longer than he held his patience.
 

tortoiseguy65

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Yes, I wish I had recorded it too. I am sure it will be on again though. It did appear that he was swimming, or at least floating. I think the guys said he believed the tortoise got swept away in the current and ended up in the deeper water. He was nice enough to get him to the other side. Regardless, he was quite a big boy and stunning in appearance. I knew it had to be a yellowfoot due to where he was, although honestly, my first thought was Galap.:) Especially with his neck streached way out like it was.

Candy said:
Jeff I wish I could have recorded it. I would like to see that again and I agree that the head looked black, but for some reason I still knew that it was a Yellowfoot when I saw it. Did you notice if it was swimming or not?
/quote]
 

agiletorts

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I saw that episode a while ago. The yellowfoot was huge, definitely more than 2 ft SCL. It's more like "floating" than "swimming" :). I heard that in that region it's pretty common to see yellowfoot floating as they're trying to go from one river bank to the other.
 

Candy

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Yes I think that you're right. I think he did say that he got caught and he was helping it to the other side. It just amazed me to see a Yellowfoot of that size. I'll be keeping an eye out for it again. :)
 

Bryan

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Amazon Basin Yellowfoots can get enormous. IIRC there are 2 yellowfoots at the St. Louis zoo that are over or around 100lbs.
 

RichardS

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This show was on this afternoon. In Search of The Giant Anaconda, the tortoise appears in the final 15 minutes, right before Stevens finds the big female anaconda. Its a giant yellow foot that he could barely lift. It was floating along without a care in the world. They showed an underwater shot of its feet rhythmically paddling. This was in Peru btw.

I posted these a while back, but just in case there in any doubt about a tortoises ability to swim:

http://www.arkive.org/aldabra-giant-tortoise/geochelone-gigantea/video-06b.html

http://www.arkive.org/aldabra-giant-tortoise/geochelone-gigantea/image-G6305.html
 

Candy

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Bryan said:
Amazon Basin Yellowfoots can get enormous. IIRC there are 2 yellowfoots at the St. Louis zoo that are over or around 100lbs.

Are you talking about Yellowfoots that get that big?

RichardS said:
This show was on this afternoon. In Search of The Giant Anaconda, the tortoise appears in the final 15 minutes, right before Stevens finds the big female anaconda. Its a giant yellow foot that he could barely lift. It was floating along without a care in the world. They showed an underwater shot of its feet rhythmically paddling. This was in Peru btw.

I posted these a while back, but just in case there in any doubt about a tortoises ability to swim:

http://www.arkive.org/aldabra-giant-tortoise/geochelone-gigantea/video-06b.html

http://www.arkive.org/aldabra-giant-tortoise/geochelone-gigantea/image-G6305.html





I can't believe that I missed it. I looked it up last time, but like you said it only showed the snake. I would have much rather seen more of the tortoise. I watched your video and I've got to say that I'm surprised that Cory doesn't let Littlefoot swim like this one is doing. :p :D
 

Madkins007

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Vinke and Vetter's book "South American Tortoises" shows swimming Red-foots as well.
 

Candy

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I would like to know why nobody on here ever said that tortoises can swim. I always got the impression that they couldn't. Now I'm confused. :(
 

Bryan

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Candy said:
Bryan said:
Amazon Basin Yellowfoots can get enormous. IIRC there are 2 yellowfoots at the St. Louis zoo that are over or around 100lbs.

Are you talking about Yellowfoots that get that big?




Yes Candy, Amazon Basin Yellowfoots get HUGE!
 

Madkins007

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Candy said:
I would like to know why nobody on here ever said that tortoises can swim. I always got the impression that they couldn't. Now I'm confused. :(

There are a lot of misconceptions about tortoises floating around. We can try to correct them, but sadly, bad information tends to spread faster and further than correct information.

SOME species of tortoises can float, paddle, or generally maneuver in the water, some Hinge-backs even hunt for fish!

The best theory for island species is that they floated/swam out, and those species that live in wet places, like rain forests, NEED to know to deal with water or they will be very limited.
 

RichardS

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Hi Mark,
Can you make a list of species believed to be able to float/swim? They should be able to do this at any size?
 
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