More on wild hibernation for you...

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More on wild hibernation for you...

Postby Tortoise Trust » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:33 pm

It has been quite wet, with some localised flooding here over the past 3 days. It was really very windy and chilly yesterday. Today is still windy, but bright (115,000 Lux) and sunny:

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Comparing soil moisture levels to those obtained only a few weeks ago, right now they are ranging from 5.6 to 8.2:

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It was hard to get any readings at all previously! See:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=7060

Now... the REAL difference is in the TEXTURE and what you might call "dig-ability" of the soil. On Oct 16, it was so hard it was hard to insert the meter probes and to dig, you (seriously) needed a pick-axe. Today, with that 5-8% moisture level it is easy to excavate with a normal garden trowel. The tortoises are taking advantage of that and have dug down very well.... here are some actual hibernation sites:

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There are tortoises right in centre frame in all of these photos, but even with a close inspection it is very hard to find them. There is almost no trace on the surface.

A few are still out and about, and as you can see, can still get quite reasonable carapace temperatures:

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All very interesting. We will be monitoring these tortoises right through this winter.
Tortoise Trust
 
Posts: 8866
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:07 pm
Location: Almeria, Spain

Re: More on wild hibernation for you...

Postby Tortoise Trust » Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:59 pm

Graph showing 24 hours of temperatures next to a wild tortoise:

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Tortoise was active during the day still, though overnight temperatures went down to below 8C.

A useful bit of data for those who ask about minimum overnight temperatures.

Very large temperature swing here, from less than 8C to +26C (ambient). Carapace temperatures reached 36C today.
Tortoise Trust
 
Posts: 8866
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:07 pm
Location: Almeria, Spain


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