Do tortoises shred skin/scales?

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davidmichaeltaylor

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Hiya people,
my tortoise has some scales/skin on the top of his head that looks like it's shredding. Kinda like if a snake would shred it's skin.

Is this normal?

Also today I checked on my tortoise and he seemed to be under this basking lamp just moving his front legs and head in and out of his shell repeatingly lol. Does any body know what this means?
 

chandlerledray

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Well It's not really like them shedding, just sometimes the skin peels, mine sometimes have flakes of skin on their head or something, don't touch it or try to peel it off, that would really really hurt them. Just let it be and it will fall off eventually.
Make sure you soak him regularly, and gets water so he's not dehydrated.
 
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stells

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Yes they do shed... they just don't do it all in one go like a snake would just little bits at a time.... leave it be its totally normal...
 

Madkins007

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davidmichaeltaylor said:
Hiya people,
my tortoise has some scales/skin on the top of his head that looks like it's shredding. Kinda like if a snake would shred it's skin.

Is this normal?

Also today I checked on my tortoise and he seemed to be under this basking lamp just moving his front legs and head in and out of his shell repeatingly lol. Does any body know what this means?

They shed, but in small bits that you should not notice. Bigger flakes are often dry skin which MAY be a sign of dehydration or stress.

Limbs moving rhythmically in and out like that is how they breathe. Since their rib cages cannot move, they breathe by flexing their limbs in and out.

Sometimes you see them 'pump' their throat- that is how they smell what is around them.
 

-EJ

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Tortoises do shed skin but they do not shed scutes as turtles do.
 
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stells

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Mine must all be dehydrated and stressed then.... i think i should give up this soaking business its obviously not working lol.... in young growing tortoises shedding is quite prominent... Horsfields (Russians) being the worst offender.... When i had Redfoots i never noticed it with them...
 

Kymiie

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Wow Ive just learnt something new
MADKIN"007 just said tortoises pump their necks to smell... I didnt know that!

xx
 

ChiKat

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Madkins007 said:
Sometimes you see them 'pump' their throat- that is how they smell what is around them.

Ohh I didn't know that! Nelson does that all the time. Thanks :)
 

Candy

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Again Madkins you're just full of information. Thanks. I'm starting to think that Santa brought those books that were on your wish list for Christmas. :D
 

-EJ

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Not only do they smell using this action they also breathe in the process.
 
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