Concave scutes on plastron?

Vintage

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Recently I acquired a 2 year old female redfoot. She seems healthy and her carapace is smooth, however, I've noticed that her plastron scutes are concave, almost like "reverse pyramiding". Here's a pic - note that she is blind in one eye, I was told she was born this way. The other eye is fine and she has no trouble finding her way around. Is this normal for redfoots? I've never seen scutes like this before.

Redfoot bad eye.png
 

wellington

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Males of most species have the concave plastron. Is she a proven female? Has she ever laid eggs that you have proof of? She doesn't look as concaved as Male RF get, but it takes a while for them to be fully concaved.
Its possible she's a he?
 

Vintage

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Males of most species have the concave plastron. Is she a proven female? Has she ever laid eggs that you have proof of? She doesn't look as concaved as Male RF get, but it takes a while for them to be fully concaved.
Its possible she's a he?
She's definitely female. She's only 2 years old, I don't think that's old enough to lay eggs. Her plastron matches the diagram on the left:
1605321795422.png

Her entire plastron is not concave like a male's, though it's a bit hard to tell in that photo. What's concave is the individual scutes. The lines between the scutes are like ridges. It's easiest to see in the four scutes immediately behind her head (at the top in the photo). All of the scutes are indented to some degree. I will see if I can take a better pic tomorrow.
 

NorCal tortoise guy

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I have seen this before in younger tortoises. I thought then that it had to do with dehydration. I would soaking her daily and keeping her humid if you haven’t already
 

mylittlecholla

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She's definitely female. She's only 2 years old, I don't think that's old enough to lay eggs. Her plastron matches the diagram on the left:
View attachment 311006

Her entire plastron is not concave like a male's, though it's a bit hard to tell in that photo. What's concave is the individual scutes. The lines between the scutes are like ridges. It's easiest to see in the four scutes immediately behind her head (at the top in the photo). All of the scutes are indented to some degree. I will see if I can take a better pic tomorrow.
 

mylittlecholla

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Neat diagrams! Are you willing to share the source, if it includes similar diagrams of Desert tortoises?

The breeder told me my Cholla was likely female due to the temperature at which she was incubated, but that we couldn't be certain for some time to come.

She gets her warm soaks every other day, but has slightly concave plastron scutes too, though not as pronounced as your tort's. I was wondering whether she was beginning to exhibit signs of maleness at 3 yrs old.
 

KarenSoCal

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Neat diagrams! Are you willing to share the source, if it includes similar diagrams of Desert tortoises?

The breeder told me my Cholla was likely female due to the temperature at which she was incubated, but that we couldn't be certain for some time to come.

She gets her warm soaks every other day, but has slightly concave plastron scutes too, though not as pronounced as your tort's. I was wondering whether she was beginning to exhibit signs of maleness at 3 yrs old.
With desert tortoises you can also watch for the chin glands. Only males get them.
 

Toddrickfl1

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Recently I acquired a 2 year old female redfoot. She seems healthy and her carapace is smooth, however, I've noticed that her plastron scutes are concave, almost like "reverse pyramiding". Here's a pic - note that she is blind in one eye, I was told she was born this way. The other eye is fine and she has no trouble finding her way around. Is this normal f
She's definitely female. She's only 2 years old, I don't think that's old enough to lay eggs. Her plastron matches the diagram on the left:
View attachment 311006

Her entire plastron is not concave like a male's, though it's a bit hard to tell in that photo. What's concave is the individual scutes. The lines between the scutes are like ridges. It's easiest to see in the four scutes immediately behind her head (at the top in the photo). All of the scutes are indented to some degree. I will see if I can take a better pic tomorrow.
I don't see anything concerning, 2 years old is still too young though. She could still be a he. My male redfoot didn't develop a concave plastron till about 3 years.
 

Vintage

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I have seen this before in younger tortoises. I thought then that it had to do with dehydration. I would soaking her daily and keeping her humid if you haven’t already
I'm not too worried about hydration with her. Her carapace is perfectly smooth. She has a mister attached to a humidistat that's set to 90% rh. She's active and healthy and eats like a horse every day. She also soaks and poops in her water dish every day.

I'm wondering if concave plastron scutes could be caused by substrate that's too dry when they're young? Mainly, I'm not worried about it, I was just curious to see if this was a common issue and if others noticed it in their torts. Here are a couple more pics I took today:

2020-11-14 15.33.48.jpg 2020-11-14 15.33.06.jpg 2020-11-14 15.32.34.jpg 2020-11-14 15.32.34.jpg 2020-11-14 15.33.06.jpg 2020-11-14 15.33.48.jpg
 

KarenSoCal

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Thanks! At what age do the chin glands usually appear? Any pix?
I don't know when they show up. They're a secondary sex characteristic. I'm going to guess it would be at the beginning of sexual maturity, but I know that doesn't help you. Just keep watching for them.

20190413_123804~2.jpg

20190412_174047~2.jpg
 

Toddrickfl1

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I'm not too worried about hydration with her. Her carapace is perfectly smooth. She has a mister attached to a humidistat that's set to 90% rh. She's active and healthy and eats like a horse every day. She also soaks and poops in her water dish every day.

I'm wondering if concave plastron scutes could be caused by substrate that's too dry when they're young? Mainly, I'm not worried about it, I was just curious to see if this was a common issue and if others noticed it in their torts. Here are a couple more pics I took today:

View attachment 311060 View attachment 311059 View attachment 311058 View attachment 311058 View attachment 311059 View attachment 311060
Your tortoise looks like a young male imo. I think what your seeing is the concavity developing. You can really see it in the second picture.
 

Vintage

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Your tortoise looks like a young male imo. I think what your seeing is the concavity developing. You can really see it in the second picture.
1. I wasn't asking about the entire plastron being concave, I was asking about the individual scutes of the plastron being concave.

2. Re sexing, kindly refer to the sexing diagram I posted previously. I took that from this redfoot forum. It shows that in redfoots the anal scutes are a different shape in females vs males. If you compare the diagram to the photos I posted you'll see why I believe this tortoise is female.
As far as I am concerned the shape of the scutes is more definitive for sexing than whether or not the plastron is concave - especially since this tortoise appears to have abnormally indented plastron scutes, which could possibly cause abnormal concavity of the entire plastron.
 

Pharaoh

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Recently I acquired a 2 year old female redfoot. She seems healthy and her carapace is smooth, however, I've noticed that her plastron scutes are concave, almost like "reverse pyramiding". Here's a pic - note that she is blind in one eye, I was told she was born this way. The other eye is fine and she has no trouble finding her way around. Is this normal for redfoots? I've never seen scutes like this before.

View attachment 311005
The concavity on the scutes is a symptom of dehydration.
 

Markw84

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1. I wasn't asking about the entire plastron being concave, I was asking about the individual scutes of the plastron being concave.

2. Re sexing, kindly refer to the sexing diagram I posted previously. I took that from this redfoot forum. It shows that in redfoots the anal scutes are a different shape in females vs males. If you compare the diagram to the photos I posted you'll see why I believe this tortoise is female.
As far as I am concerned the shape of the scutes is more definitive for sexing than whether or not the plastron is concave - especially since this tortoise appears to have abnormally indented plastron scutes, which could possibly cause abnormal concavity of the entire plastron.
What you are asking about is fairly normal in a tortoise that is being kept in nice humid conditions, but then placed in a less humid environment, yet has wet grass or substrate to push through. It seems the newer growth at the seams of the scutes will absorb moisture and appear higher, while the tortoise itself seems to loose moisture and the centers of the scutes sink a bit. When I see this, it almost always immediately lessens with a nice long soak and return to a constant, high-humidity enclosure. My baby galapagos get this every day when put outdoors in their pen, but it dissappears by the next morning after the night in their humid enclosures. They are growing perfectly smooth, but when put outdoors in a dry climate with wet grass and plants, they develop this raised scute edge condition temporarily.

As far as you comment about anal scute shape and sexing - Male tortoises develop secondary sexual characteristics at different stages. Actually the shape of the anal scute can be one of the last, but not always. The plastron concavity can appear earlier. The inward bending of the supracaudal scute normally starts to develop earlier. With young male tortoises, the anal scutes ALWAYS have female shape until their well into the development of sexual characteristics. The obvious flattened anal scute shape often takes along time to really develop - way into sexual maturity.
 

mylittlecholla

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What you are asking about is fairly normal in a tortoise that is being kept in nice humid conditions, but then placed in a less humid environment, yet has wet grass or substrate to push through. It seems the newer growth at the seams of the scutes will absorb moisture and appear higher, while the tortoise itself seems to loose moisture and the centers of the scutes sink a bit. When I see this, it almost always immediately lessens with a nice long soak and return to a constant, high-humidity enclosure. My baby galapagos get this every day when put outdoors in their pen, but it dissappears by the next morning after the night in their humid enclosures. They are growing perfectly smooth, but when put outdoors in a dry climate with wet grass and plants, they develop this raised scute edge condition temporarily.

As far as you comment about anal scute shape and sexing - Male tortoises develop secondary sexual characteristics at different stages. Actually the shape of the anal scute can be one of the last, but not always. The plastron concavity can appear earlier. The inward bending of the supracaudal scute normally starts to develop earlier. With young male tortoises, the anal scutes ALWAYS have female shape until their well into the development of sexual characteristics. The obvious flattened anal scute shape often takes along time to really develop - way into sexual maturity.
Very interesting and helpful.
 

Vintage

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What you are asking about is fairly normal in a tortoise that is being kept in nice humid conditions, but then placed in a less humid environment, yet has wet grass or substrate to push through. It seems the newer growth at the seams of the scutes will absorb moisture and appear higher, while the tortoise itself seems to loose moisture and the centers of the scutes sink a bit. When I see this, it almost always immediately lessens with a nice long soak and return to a constant, high-humidity enclosure. My baby galapagos get this every day when put outdoors in their pen, but it dissappears by the next morning after the night in their humid enclosures. They are growing perfectly smooth, but when put outdoors in a dry climate with wet grass and plants, they develop this raised scute edge condition temporarily.
Thank you, that helps to clear up the confusion. It explains why her carapace is smooth but the plastron scutes are sunken. I'm not bothered about the sunken scutes but I wanted to make sure it wasn't a sign of illness or poor husbandry. I now have her in a high humidity enclosure with moist (not wet) orchid bark/coir substrate 24/7 (I'm in Canada so no outdoors at this time of year). She's been soaking in her water dish every day. So far I haven't soaked her because I've only had her for a week and I wanted to give her some time to settle in before I start messing with her. Now she seems pretty calm and tame when I put my hands into her enclosure. I will try giving her a soak every day or two to see if it makes any difference.

With young male tortoises, the anal scutes ALWAYS have female shape until their well into the development of sexual characteristics. The obvious flattened anal scute shape often takes along time to really develop - way into sexual maturity.
I wasn't aware of that. When I researched sexing of redfoots all I found were diagrams of the anal scutes, but nothing about the length of time it takes for them to develop and mature sexually. My tortoise is only two years old so I guess "she" could just as easily be male. The sex is not hugely important to me anyway. She has a congenital eye defect and I wouldn't want to use her .for breeding. I'm not planning to get any other torts to house with her, either.
 

William Lee Kohler

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I'd have to add that as to what I can see your young one is not perfectly smooth on top at all but is pyramiding. With living conditions cannot see why but would be adding soaks and see if it starts smoothing out. The H2O dish is likely not deep enough to do the job.
 

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