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Youngster staying outdoors

Discussion in 'Hermanns tortoises' started by DPtortiose, May 31, 2016.

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  1. DPtortiose

    DPtortiose Member

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    There have been some good sunny days the last couple of weeks so the animals were up and about in their outdoor enclosure. It's really interesting to see the animals manage their activity levels throughout the day. Appearing when the sun has heated up a couple of their hiding spots and when the morning humidity has gone down a bit. Disappearing when it gets too hot in the middle of the day and appearing for an late afternoon snack again.

    The outdoor enclosure has also trigged their survival instincts again. In their indoor table they were quite relaxed and would stick out their head looking for food. The outdoor enclosure however, has made them a bit weary of overhead objects, like birds and me. I 'remedy' this by sprinkeling some fresh food though out the enclosure. This makes them less fearful when they notice I bring food and allows them to forage through the entire enclosure. So they spend most of their time exploring, nibbling and sleeping.

    I normally only take pictures for my own administration, but since it was such nice weather I took some extras.

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    On a different note, I was wondering what locale/subspecies these youngster are. Could you perhaps give some insight on this @HermanniChris?

    Below are pictures with a better overview from a couple of animals:

    1e animal
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    2e animal
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    3e animal: (This one puzzles me, it started out looking very much like the animal above, but it's spot started slowly 'breaking'. It started as a slight lime green but the scutes are slowly turning more bright yellow.)
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  2. bouaboua

    bouaboua Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Pretty, Pretty, PRETTY! ! ! ! !:<3::<3::<3:

    I'm so happy that you took extra photos! ! ! !
  3. HermanniChris

    HermanniChris Well-Known Member TFO Sponsor 10 Year Member!

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    Were these animals all produced from the same parents? The reason I ask because the first one is either a pure eastern Hermann's or a hybrid. The other 2 show strong traits of the western subspecies but look a little off. Any history on them would be helpful.
    DPtortiose likes this.
  4. DPtortiose

    DPtortiose Member

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    Thanks Chris,

    The 2e and 3e animal are related, the first animal is from a different nest and is related to the animal below. The 1e and 4e animal are less than a year old. While the 2e and 3e animal are about a year older. All the animals supposed to originated from Tuscany according to the different breeders. I did however pick the 'odd balls' in the nests with the more atypical characteristics. Like the 1e animal, it was the only animal in the nest with such an yellow shell and plastron. All the others looked very much as black as the animal below.

    4e animal (related to the 1e)
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    [​IMG]
  5. HermanniChris

    HermanniChris Well-Known Member TFO Sponsor 10 Year Member!

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    Thanks for the background info. 1e and 4e look like classic hybrids to me and this makes even more sense knowing they come from Tuscany where this is a real problem more so than any other Italian locale. The other two look to be pure.
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  6. DPtortiose

    DPtortiose Member

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    Thank you!

    Very helpful information, I've read that the Italian tortoises show a great deal intermediate characteristics between the two species. Research on 137 wild Italian tortoise has shown that 32% of these animals had 'impure' traits. Which is quite a lot. Do you think this is because there is still a gene flow between the Italian mainland animal and eastern populations? Or rather because of the introduced populations of T. hercegovinensis (correct me if I'm wrong but I think it was this species in this region)?
  7. HermanniChris

    HermanniChris Well-Known Member TFO Sponsor 10 Year Member!

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    In the northeastern corner of the Italian mainland lied the Valley of the Po. Here, T. h. boettgeri and T. h. hermanni are separated by the Po River. This is the only region where a natural integration is somewhat acceptable. Anything else in Italy that features mixed traits is based on released of both boettgeri and hercegovinensis. Italian mainland tortoises are supposed to be as pure to the western subspecies as possible but unfortunately due to human irresponsibility, hybrids do occur in mostly northern areas such as Tuscany. Fortunately for us here, every one of our adults in our collection tested pure genetically for T. h. hermanni from all locales in Italy. Sadly this isn't the case for many others.

    This situation of hybridization is now occurring in the south of France and the Alberas in Spain.
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