5 Year Member
- Jul 30, 2013
I'd like to take a poll - a simple question: do you think Aldabras do better with companionship or not?
Right. And because of that small, unnatural space, is it "better" to keep them alone or in groups?I think it is not the question what is "easier" for us,
but what is more natural to the animal we force to live in a small space in an unnatural Environment.
Well with a lack of any evidence, I have to conclude you are making it up. These are reptiles and they follow through with a hormonal urge to breed. That they are stuck on an island with nowhere else to go is not relevant. This is the same argument used for pancake tortoises. They congregate in their "rock islands" because there is no other cover and lots of predators in the "sea" of land around the Kopjes. Do they "need" or "benefit" from company, or are they in close proximity due to circumstance.I just can't help but believe that they benefit somehow from companionship. Just the fact alone that there are like 150,000 on the atoll - they wouldn't populate like that if they weren't better off in groups - right? Or am I just making this up?
believe me, we are so many scientists and keepers that want to kow, why it is so difficult to breed Aldabras!
And want to do it better.
When somebody will find the answer, we all will hear about it!
I myself just answered this simple question with my personal experience as keeper and in studying the animals in the only natural Habitat as well as in several semi-wild Groups on easily accesible inner seychelles Islands.
Of course we also see individuals resting alone, but the majority gathers for resting and sleeping together in Homeland AND in our own Group.
So I simply gave my personal OPINION that I always would adwice to Keep them in a Group as big as affordable. (this is the main Problem!!) This is not a scientific Statement.
the actual Population on Aldabra Atoll 2015 is at about 100.000 individuals according to the Seychelles Island Foundation SIF.
What I mean is finding them grouped together in the wild is not evidence that they somehow fare better or are healthier in groups, versus being housed alone in captivity.I don't think, however, that the fact that they live together in groups is not evidence - it certainly is.
I do have a way of "colorfully" wording things sometimes, don't I?Also I think it is strange to me that you would describe their natural habitat as "stuck on an island together with no where else to go" ? It's their natural habitat, which by definition is where they exist most naturally - and often in groups it appears.
Thanks Tom, again, I appreciate your insights - and I'm not trying to be argumentative! Just interested!I do have a way of "colorfully" wording things sometimes, don't I?
What I mean is that if 100,000 giant tortoises live on an island, then I would expect to find them grouped together as there is not much room 9relatively speaking) to spread out. If you took that same 100,000 and somehow magically moved them all to Florida and set them down in about the same proximity as they were on their island, do you think they would stay that close together and in groups, or do you think they would disperse and thin themselves out over a greater area if given the choice? In other words, are they hanging out because of limited space, or are they making a social choice to hang out?
If Aldabraman removed the fences to his enclosure, would his tortoise all stay together in that general area? Would they wander off somewhere else but stay together as a herd? Would they randomly wander off in multiple directions without regard for their current enclosure-mates?
My adult sulcatas frequently bask, eat and sleep together. Do they like each other? Or do they accept that they are stuck together and accept their social hierarchy? Is there even a social hierarchy, or is it a few tortoises coincidentally co-existing in the same 7000 sq. ft. enclosure? When I put them outside the wall of their enclosure and give them the run of the entire 5 acre ranch, they each boogie off in their own direction with not so much as a look back to see if any other tortoise is headed in their direction.
Ben, This forum is for tortoise discussion and that is just what we are doing. I think its great. You don't sound argumentative at all and you explain your points of discussion well. Animal behavior is my career, profession and passion, so I am loving this discussion and all the different points of view.Thanks Tom, again, I appreciate your insights - and I'm not trying to be argumentative! Just interested!
I'm no scientist, or biologist, or environmental observist, or anyting, but I do understand your point I think, and you very well might be spot on, but I guess the logic does not seem clear to me. They did not evolve anywhere except on these islands so suggesting that the island environment is where they happen to find themselves does not make sense to me. Close quarters are part of the deal. There is nothing to suggest that company it is NOT an important part of their evolution just from observation. If they do not do well in groups then their numbers would dwindle. Letting them loose on the mainland does not seem relevant because they would have no understanding of a boundless environment - of course they would wander off, but that does not mean that wandering off would be good for them or what they want. I do think your own anecdotal evidence that your sulcatas bask, eat, and sleep together in a 7000 sf enclosure does mean something. Why would they not spread out more? 7000 sf is a pretty big area for them to find each other every night. It's not like they say to themselves, well, we've only got 7000sf, might as well stick together!
I might be asking the question from the wrong end. Not "do they do better with companionship?" , but "do they do worse alone?" Is there any evidence of that? I don't know. Maybe those questions are the same.
On a side note, i wonder if aldabraman has had trouble with his torts feet? His enclosure is completely flat and soft, no rocks or hard surfaces that I can see. Seems to be working for him just fine?
Response A:A. There are a lot of them and no where else to go?
B. That is where the best living/eating spaces tend to be?
C. They want each others company? D. Some combination of the above?