First one this year

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First one this year

Postby Graham Ray » Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:31 pm

A day old Testudo Graeca Graeca just emerged in the garden today. Still with egg tooth and yolk mark on the shell. No umbilical though. Should have others in the next few day . Fingers crossed.
I just leave my female tortoises in an area and introduce a male for a few days/week. that way the females are not harassed too much.
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Re: First one this year

Postby Bigjoe » Sun Sep 25, 2016 8:29 pm

Wonderful Graham ,pictures of the others as and when would be great.
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Re: First one this year

Postby Tracy33 » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:50 pm

Great news Graham , and we look forward in seeing the other little ones . :D
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Re: First one this year

Postby Tortoise Trust » Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:42 am

Just had some rain here... so we should be finding a few out there very soon...
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Re: First one this year

Postby Bigjoe » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:36 pm

I might as well shoot over and find some with you then Andy...
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Re: First one this year

Postby Graham Ray » Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:56 pm

Just found another from the same "brood" more than 2 weeks later and the temperature of a night dropped by approx. 10 degrees C . daytime temperatures still quite high (approx. 26 degrees) but quite heavy dew present every morning. Soil temperatures however may have dropped approx. 5-6 degrees. Will be interested to see from these two youngsters whether I can predict sex. (first hatched MALE . Second two weeks later FEMALE ) Comments please Andy ! :? :?
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Re: First one this year

Postby Tortoise Trust » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:12 pm

Well... it is peculiar year. The normal heavy rain has not materialised, and I suspect they are hatching into a much drier, less vegetated habitat than usual. Some may just remain underground until next spring...

We have just had some 2nd Gen. Libyans emerge.

What effect this 'drought' will have on survival rates is an unknown factor.
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Re: First one this year

Postby Graham Ray » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:40 am

Do you think it possible then , Andy , that young tortoises emerge from the egg and could then stay underground until favourable conditions arrive in the spring ?

Soil temperatures could drop below 10 degrees and therefore an incubation type sleep ?

What about food reserves , could the young tortoises have enough protein from the egg sack to last them a few months.

I know that water is probably the main thing in these early days and a good soak early on is much appreciated .

All these variables to consider. I have also noticed that given the chance in the "wild" that tortoises will mate this late in the year . ( your thoughts please Andy on this. )

No more forced hibernation for me in future I lost some tortoises last winter because thinking they were hibernating only to realise too later that they could wake, feed and then become torpid again !!!!!!

hibernation for me will be natural in the garden and leave well alone .
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Re: First one this year

Postby Stuart » Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:18 pm

Graham Ray wrote:No more forced hibernation for me in future I lost some tortoises last winter because thinking they were hibernating only to realise too later that they could wake, feed and then become torpid again !!!!!!

hibernation for me will be natural in the garden and leave well alone .


Interesting question!

Until quite recently the received wisdom has been that hibernation is a one-off event, or that awakening form hibernation is a one-off event, and that a tortoise once woken from hibernation should not be re-hibernated.

Andy's fieldwork suggests that this is not the case in the wild.

To what extent can his observations be transposed to captive (UK) situations?

Graham, I wonder in what circumstances you lost some tortoises? Is it not the case that all being well a tortoise will hibernate if conditions (especially temperatures) are right, and no harm done, even if in the wild the same species might not hibernate continuously? I know you are in south east Spain...so wonder what your "forced hibernation" method was?
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Re: First one this year

Postby Tortoise Trust » Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:54 pm

Graham Ray wrote:Do you think it possible then , Andy , that young tortoises emerge from the egg and could then stay underground until favourable conditions arrive in the spring ?

Soil temperatures could drop below 10 degrees and therefore an incubation type sleep ?

What about food reserves , could the young tortoises have enough protein from the egg sack to last them a few months.



Yes. No doubt at all. I have recorded this now, multiple times. Definitely happens - often.
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