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Baby Burmese Stars Growing Smooth.

Discussion in 'Indian Star and Burmese Star tortoises' started by Markw84, Apr 23, 2019.

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  1. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Spending over 5 decades trying to figure out pyramiding, it is such a pleasure now to see how smooth we can grow tortoises. Especially ones known for being more prone to pyramiding. I have spent countless hours watching baby tortoises grow and waiting for that tell-tale dip to start to form in the seam between scutes. Growing smooth sulcatas and leopards has been fun, but I was eager to see how the Burmese Stars would grow.

    I have ended up believing in plant cover for natural hides. Plenty of plants. My experiments showed that under the fronds of plants, the humidity remains at virtually 100%. And I believe tortoise babies are "programmed" to look for and stay hidden in plant cover. In my enclosure, that is where they naturally go from the first minutes I put them in.

    So far, with the oldest in this picture almost 8 weeks old, I am excited about the results. I have left this image at full resolution, so you can really zoom in and see how they are growing. Not only perfectly smooth, but very fast. They double their hatch weight in right about 5 weeks.



    IMG_0743.jpg

    Here's a side view of #9 as well:

    IMG_0214.JPG


    Here's a view inside their enclosure this morning to see how they like to stay hidden:

    IMG_0748.jpg

    I am keeping back several to continue growth records. I also have very complete incubation stats and am comparing diapause methods for TSD results as well. I am now starting to sell some of them as well. If interested, please PM me.
  2. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    The ones I initially bought and the ones I hatched were all perfect for about 6 months. Only then did I start to see a hint of pyramiding on a few of them. I look forward to your long term results. I want to see if your plants make the difference or not.
    Markw84, wellington and TechnoCheese like this.
  3. PA2019

    PA2019 Active Member

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    Man it's a literal jungle in there. Have you considered placing a hide in the enclosure to see if the hatchlings have a clear preference? It would be interesting to see if there are any hatchlings that preferentially use the hide versus the plants, and if they develop more pyramiding over time in comparison to a plant-loving clutch-mate.
  4. mrnewberry

    mrnewberry Well-Known Member

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    Looking great!
    Markw84 likes this.
  5. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Yes, I am also very interested in the second half of their first year - when the bone seems to be more ossified in the upper shell. That seems to be a time when growth can begin pyramiding more easily. However, the extremely smooth start is the first step. I remember so well that first fold developing so quickly the old, "dry" way.
    Tom likes this.
  6. g4mobile

    g4mobile Member Tortoise Club

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    I am able to keep my enclosure at or near 80% humidity, but don't have any live plants. My Burmese Star is now 1 y/o and does have slight bumps, but nothing I'm worried about. This started at the 7 month mark. I may try adding live plants.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
    Wulfheim likes this.
  7. Tortokura

    Tortokura New Member

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    Hi ....do you use natural lights..? Or uvb lights for your Burmese...? By the way they are very cute little tortoises.
  8. g4mobile

    g4mobile Member Tortoise Club

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    I am using an Arcadia T5 uvb bulb, as well as a standard incandescent bulb for the heat source.
  9. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I use a T5 ho UVB fluorescent for UVB exposure. I have LEDs for ambient light and an incandescent low wattage flood for basking heat. I really limit the amount of natural sunlight they get. I do not believe that young tortoises expose themselves to full sunlight very much at all naturally. They remain hidden and get mostly filtered and reflected UVB. The direct rays from sunlight is too harsh for them.
  10. Tortokura

    Tortokura New Member

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    Thank you for your information. I give mine a bit of sunlight but in most of the day I put them indoors with uvb reptile light.
  11. Scott350

    Scott350 Member

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    Looking forward to your updates.
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  12. Adelia

    Adelia New Member

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    Beautiful babies! For the plants how long do you need to have them repotted in organic soil for before you can introduce them to the enclosure? Do you notice the babies eating the plants at all or just using them for hides?
  13. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I really haven't bought new plants recently. All mine are from other enclosures and cutting I take from them. Once you get some started, you will have as much as you want. I even keep an empty enclosure full of extra plants. My stars do nibble on the pothos especially, but not enough to outpace the rate at which the pothos grows. It is taking over the enclosure, even with 2-3 month old stars in it!

    IMG_0803.jpg
    ColaCarbonaria and mrnewberry like this.
  14. Westb59

    Westb59 New Member

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    What plants do you have in the enclosure? Are they all in the substrate or some in pots? What kind of substrate are you using?
  15. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    It's been a while, @Markw84 . We're ready to see if they started pyramiding at the 6 month mark.
    vladimir likes this.
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