Dark spots under shell for sulcata tortoise?

ashleymiller28

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Hello! Just this morning I picked up my sulcata tortoise (I am guessing she is around 7-8 months, I received her in May of this year) and inspected the underside of her shell. I was surprised to see those dark little half circles near the bottom as just a few weeks ago I checked her underside and they were not there. After this photo I did softly wash her shell and most of the dirt came off, but the half circles still remain. Does anyone know what this could possibly be from? I give her calcium sprinkled on her food 2-3x a week, she has uvb and heat bulbs, soak her religiously everyday, but sometimes the humidity fluctuates from 50-80%, typically staying around 70% on most days. Could the humidity be a problem? Not enough calcium? Please let me know, thanks!

IMG_1487.jpg Untitled.jpg
 

Markw84

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Those are just stains from the substrate that are showing the indents left from how the baby healed when first hatched and needed to "unfold" from being in the egg. When kept a bit too dry, or hatched with medium too dry, this unfolding can leave these wrinkles and indentions. When conditions are right, the will unfold and straighten perfectly flat. Yours seems to be growing and doing well, so absolutely nothing to worry about.
 
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ashleymiller28

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Those are just stains from the substrate that are showing the indents left from how the baby healed when first hatched and needed to "unfold" from being in the egg. When kept a bit too dry, or hatched with medium too dry, this unfolding can leave these wrinkles and indentions. When conditions are right, the will unfold and straighten perfectly flat. Yours seems to be growing and doing well, so absolutely nothing to worry about.
Thank you for the reply and easing my concerns! Also I have one more question, I read posts saying tortoises should be a certain weight at a certain age. Mine is still very small and is 60 grams at her age. She eats, drinks, and goes to the bathroom every day with no problems. Could the breeder's initial hatchling conditions have stunted her growth? When I first got her she came with some indents on the top of her shell that I know now are from being dehydrated :(
 

Maro2Bear

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Just wondering if you are soaking your baby daily? If not, make sure you do. Like Mark W said above, those dark spots look like coco coir substrate that is clinging on. Daily soaking and a wee scrub with a soft brush should take care of those spots. But, not an issue really, but soak,
 

ashleymiller28

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Just wondering if you are soaking your baby daily? If not, make sure you do. Like Mark W said above, those dark spots look like coco coir substrate that is clinging on. Daily soaking and a wee scrub with a soft brush should take care of those spots. But, not an issue really, but soak,
Yes, I soak her anywhere from 20-30 minutes each day
 

Tom

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Also I have one more question, I read posts saying tortoises should be a certain weight at a certain age. Mine is still very small and is 60 grams at her age. She eats, drinks, and goes to the bathroom every day with no problems. Could the breeder's initial hatchling conditions have stunted her growth?
Yes. Well... sort of. I wouldn't call that stunted. I would describe it as a dry start which is causing some slow growth. In the right conditions, the growth rate will pick up and normal size will be reached. You are having slow initial growth. Not stunting, yet.
 
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