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how to differentiate a sulcata from Sonoran Desert tortoise

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Anet, Aug 20, 2019.

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  1. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    The person you gave it to needs to know that its not a sulcata. Both for care and feeding and also to make sure they know they can never sell it. DTs can only be given away for free.
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  2. Anet

    Anet New Member

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    Yea, she was already informed. The smaller DT is considerably smaller and I believe they are the same age, around 3yrs. He eats well and is active. How much should a 3 year on DT weigh? Should he be brumated?
  3. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    There is "generally" an average size for most species of tortoise...but also playing into the size is the genes of that particular tortoise....and that can offer up a variation that can offer up a larger/smaller individual creature. If the tortoise is eating, hydrating and mobile and is acting normal in every way--then the size alone would not worry me.

    If the tort slows down during the natural slow down time, then you can offer up a short term "starter" brumation period...this will allow you to hone your skills to offer up/support a true brumation as the tortoise ages...I do not know where in the world this tortoise lives, but most outdoor set ups are a bit tricky and I would not suggest you try outdoors, especially in the beginning.
  4. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I know you have already rehomed one....but if these two Desert Torts occupied the same space at the same time for any length of time....you will absolutely have ended up with one larger and or one growing faster than the other....this is a species that is absolutely a species that should not be housed as a pair (especially if two males=gladiators)...and even more so of a species that "generally" is a nomadic creature and thrives in that set up....hugely territorial, super tenacious and confident....a wonderful design for a creature that is faced with harsh surroundings as their backdrop to survive in...both torts are beautiful by the way :)
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  5. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Most people don't start DT hatchlings correctly. Usually much too dry and outside all day. Both of these will stunt their growth. Most DT babies don't survive for very long because of this. Sounds like the bigger one managed to get a little more hydration or a little better start in some way or other, and the little one was started in the typical dry fashion.

    The stress of living as a pair could contribute to it too.

    If the tortoise seems healthy, I would go ahead and hibernate it, but do it correctly, indoors, under controlled conditions, at the correct temperature.
  6. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    Well then! I hope the good home knows they have a desert tortoise!:D
  7. Anet

    Anet New Member

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    I am going to brumate it in a refrigerator
    I am going to brumate it in a refrigerator. Even though the SW desert of AZ is warmer than most of the US it still does get below 50 on some occasions. Thanks for your post!
  8. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    The problem isn't that it gets below 50. Below 50 is necessary for hibernation. The problem is that it gets so far above 50 where you are most winter days.
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  9. Anet

    Anet New Member

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    Oh, I never thought of the warming aspect of our winters. So the fluctuation in temperatures is the problem. Would the recommendation be brumation in a refrigerator?
  10. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Yes, but there is a lead in and a lead out to it. Here is a more in depth explanation. You can rad the whole thread, but I explain it all in post #19:
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/looking-for-an-rt-hibernation-mentor.128790/
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