Wild foods for Testudo graeca

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Re: Wild foods for Testudo graeca

Postby suej » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:29 am

I use these people a lot their seeds are very good, not expensive and they specialise in mediterranean veg

http://www.originaltouch.co.uk/acatalog ... oggia.html
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Re: Wild foods for Testudo graeca

Postby Tortoise Trust » Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:14 am

To see the change since April:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4746

Also, clear evidence of tortoises eating dead, dried seeds.... and urinating and getting rid of urates during a summer thunderstorm, one of the very few occasions they would have access to drinking water at this time of year. In fact, they emerged from estivation very briefly in response to the rain.
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Re: Wild foods for Testudo graeca

Postby suej » Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:19 am

Andy, do they estivate very far down? all sort of questions keep popping into my head.
1. How do they detect rain
2. Is it in their best interest to surface to prevent drowning
3. Do they come up after a brief shower when the rain water would be gone quickly or only after substantial rain
4. At what point do they return to estivation, or what triggers them remaining active later in the year
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Re: Wild foods for Testudo graeca

Postby Tortoise Trust » Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:39 am

Hi Sue,

This is not definitive as it is all still under investigation... this is a long-term research effort and it takes a while to collect such data and correlate it with behaviour. Some musings, however:

1) From early observations and measurements, I would say that it is likely that a combination of factors is involved. Certainly the physical effect of rain striking the ground may be one, others include the sudden, dramatic rise in ambient humidity (from <30% to >80%), and the reduced oxygen saturation beneath ground and possibly even change in barometric pressure could be involved. I certainly think the humidity rise is very important indeed. We certainly noticed it!!!

2) I doubt drowning would be a problem. The soil here tends to create a lot of run-off, and it takes a while for it to soak down far. You can see this everywhere in the erosion patterns. The tortoises also do not tend to be found where deep water would build up. Mainly on slopes, etc.

3) They will sometimes emerge after fairly light rain, briefly. However, it seems to take "thunderstorm" conditions to really bring them out.

4) They do not stay active for long. A day or two at the most, usually (at least around here). Up North where Jordi is the pattern is different (also different species). The autumn activity is triggered by a) Rain b) Reduced temperatures

We have been looking at estivation sites. I do not want to give too much away on that on a public forum as it could help people with bad intentions to find them... however, they are not incredibly deep. They use very specific habitat features for this.

You ought to come out here and have a look. It is an eye-opener to actually visit these habitats. We are learning a huge amount just by being here all the time, and observing.
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Re: Wild foods for Testudo graeca

Postby suej » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:13 am

I do find this very interesting, I wonder how much the information on how best to keep a tortoise might change following these findings.
I do hope one day to be able to get out and see the area, the habitat is certainly something I would love to find out a lot more about, particularly the plants that are growing where the torts are.
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Re: Wild foods for Testudo graeca

Postby Tortoise Trust » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:26 pm

I think the more we learn about wild animals and their needs, the easier it becomes to translate various things over to the captive environment. Where we know nothing about how an animal lives in the wild, it is almost impossible to provide the right conditions in captivity. The more we know, the better.

There are already things I think we could improve a lot. It is a question of developing this, and coming up with practical solutions.

Exciting times. Nothing more exciting than learning new things!
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Re: Wild foods for Testudo graeca

Postby suej » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:31 pm

its one big reason why I would love to go and see the area the Kinxysis live in, maybe I could work out where I am going wrong with these delicate torts.
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Re: Wild foods for Testudo graeca

Postby Tortoise Trust » Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:23 pm

The only area I have personal experience of is Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa (K. natalensis) and the K. belliana areas. I doubt you are "going wrong" as such. My impression was of a very large tropical butterfly house.... I rather suspect the real problem is that they are badly damaged and compromised by the time we see them in Europe...

A big, topical, humid polytunnel type thing would, I think, be ideal otherwise. Diet is very opportunistic.
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Re: Wild foods for Testudo graeca

Postby suej » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:15 pm

thanks Andy, I will plod on :roll:
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Re: Wild foods for Testudo graeca

Postby Graham Ray » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:21 am

Now that the Opuntia cacti growing wild have their fruit coming, I wonder if you can feed that also. I have cut them open and tried them, they have a lovely taste but have lots of seeds like pomegranate. :)

i'm trying my tortoises with it today, but probably will only feed occasionally. ;)

Any suggestions? :?:

Image
Please consider the environment before printing this post!!

Graham.
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