Activity level

Turtle Titan

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Jun 15, 2015
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Hey all -
I've got a question on the pancake tortoises activity levels.

For the most part, the little pancake is reserved and spends most of his time hiding in a coconut shell. Relatively inactive, except when I'm putting food in the enclosure. Then it's a mini-sprint to the dish.
But some days he'll surprise me and spend a solid amount of time pacing back and forth, climbing on rocks, and just wandering. Other days, he'll form a pretty extensive barricade and only leave to eat once and not come back out again.

I'm concerned that if there are more days hidden away than actively out, the little fella won't get sufficient UV light.

Temperature is all good. Enclosure has temperatures ranging from low mid 80s to high 90s. Humidity is around 50% (give or take). Eats regularly and poops regularly. I've tried bringing the little 'cake outdoors, and it absolutely didn't like it.

Any one have any thoughts, tips or tricks? Or am I concerned over nothing?
 

cyan

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How old is your pancake? The young ones tend to stay hidden more than the adults do. Also if it is a young one you may want to up the humidity some. Can we see a photo of the enclosure and the tort? How long have you had it?
 

Turtle Titan

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Jun 15, 2015
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At work, will post pictures when I get home.

I've had the pancake for 3.5 months. Not positive on age when I got him. When I spoke with the breeder, he simply said "hatchling" and never specified age. When I weighed the tortoise last week, it was 100 grams. I can't remember the length.

Humidity is current at 55% but I can easily make it higher.
 

Turtle Titan

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I'm not very good with a camera, but I've uploaded pictures of my pancake and the enclosure.
 

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Meg90

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I have two young pancakes, both just shy of 12wks old or so. Mine are very active, and they've gotten a lot less shy of me in the few weeks that I've had them. All I've done is made sure I talk near the enclosure, especially when I put down food. So that they aren't afraid of my voice, and they associate the sight of me with dinner.

I would suggest more hides, and more things to climb on. This is my enclosure:
11222466_10153591154824190_7034971096059180102_n.jpg


I bought pieces of slate and snapped them, as well as various bricks and pavers from home depot to make the stacks for them to climb in/on. My two zoom around their little mountain all day. And they choose various "caves" to sleep in during the day and overnight depending on temps. I might also suggest getting some black paper and blacking out 4" tall section, all the way around the enclosure. The more secure you can make your baby feel, the more active she should be.

Are your temps in the right range? Being cool could also influence inactivity.
 

Turtle Titan

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Jun 15, 2015
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@Meg90 Thanks for the feedback.

To the best of my knowledge, the temps are all in the correct range. The cool side (left side of the enclosurereads 85ish). The warmer side (right side of the enclosure reads 95ish).

I picked up a few stone slabs this weekend. Will incorporate it into the enclosure this week. Oddly enough though, the little pancake had a REALLY active weekend even though I haven't made any major changes.

Hopefully, the stone slate pieces will continue to help increase the activity level.
 

Turtle Titan

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Jun 15, 2015
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Quick update!

Over the past two weeks, I've added two stone slates and another giant half log. Will probably incorporate a few more rocks over the weekend.

Some of the items in there have been re-arranged to create more hiding areas. The little pancake has been A LOT more active.

Thanks for the feedback everyone!
 

Kapidolo Farms

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I think you have some good suggestions here so far, I'd like to ad to your housing considerations.

Pancakes live in Kopjes, they are decomposing layered rocks that exfoliate large sheets of rock. When any precipitation occurs it is collected and concentrated in the soil pockets associated with these rock outcrops.

Just like the side of the road always has more weeds, it's because the the rain that falls on the road runs to the side and makes for a greater water resource for those plants to grow.


That provides areas of high humidity even on hot dry days. The more weeds and plants provide humidity via evapotranspiration (plant sweat). All that good habitat is also used by things that may eat the tortoises, so they use the rocks to hide.

Pancakes are arguably the most unique tortoises in the world, they do many things that are not so tortoise like. They live right underfoot of predators. They will lay eggs on bare rock. They can climb vertical surfaces like a lizard (not a gecko, but a toe-nailed lizard). The eat lots of other animals' feces, that use the rock piles as lookouts and places to hide from yet bigger predators. They are almost like giant roaches in how they can scramble around. They are the most interesting tortoises on the planet. (Hat tip to Dos Equis beer commercials).

https://www.facebook.com/KapidoloFarms
 

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