Experienced Advice On Shell Growth


New Member
Oct 31, 2017
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Hi Everyone!

I have a 1 year old Hermann’s tortoise named Zippy and have been stressed reading all these articles about pyramiding. This is my first tortoise and I have a UVB and a heating lamp along with a hide box, however, I do think it needs to be packed with more moistened peat moss. I mist it multiple times a day and soak him every 1-3 days depending on heat. He has a cuttlefish bone in the enclosure. I feed him mainly leafy greens (red leaf, butter lettuce, romaine) with some weeds (dandilion and clover) with the occasional other veggie or greens when I can find them. I’m working over the summer on building a larger enclosure to accommodate growth for a longer period. I’d just like some rassurance on what looks good regarding the shell growth and what could be improved.

The one spot on his shell that worries me is the slight point in the center scute above his head. It then dents in slightly on both sides where the scute above his head meets the two half-looking scutes on either side of his neck. It’s symmetrical as far as I can tell on either side.

Thanks so much!

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Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 7, 2018
Location (City and/or State)
Looks great, cool patterns
May 23, 2018
Location (City and/or State)
Your tortoise looks very smooth. You're looking for an overall smooth arc over the entire shell which is growing nicely on your tortoise.

The scutes should have as close to no peaks as possible.

Something interesting i learned from Mark's research on this forum is that pyramiding actually is caused in the 'valleys' between the pyramided scutes rather than the 'peaks'. The peaks on a pyramided tortoise are actually where their entire shell should have filled in a smooth arc like yours.

Keep it up, you're doing great.