Introduction To The Burmese Star Tortoise

Tom

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These are great pictures! This thread includes the best adult Burmese Star photos I've ever come across. "Football" looks huge. Is he 10"?
Football:
Football

Here is the Behler male that shares that enclosure with Football and the 3 girls:
Behler2

One of the lades for comparison:
IMG 7273
 

Tom

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Tom, you said that "they only exist in captive conditions." Does this mean that they are extinct in the wild?
Yes. As of 2010 they could not find any in the wild even with search dogs trained to find tortoises. Two different attempts at reintroduction have failed.
 

Sarah2020

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Lovely thread to read. You have a great collection thanks for sharing.
 

g4mobile

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Football:
View attachment 346874

Here is the Behler male that shares that enclosure with Football and the 3 girls:
View attachment 346875

One of the lades for comparison:
View attachment 346876
He’s a big boy at 10-1/2”. That’s a big female at 12-1/2”. Football has very smooth growth as well. I was keeping my male 70-80% humidity the first couple years and I learned they need 90-100% to stay smooth. Live plants help tremendously and I should have had more in his enclosure. My male still has good growth, but it’s been smoother the past couple years as I learned more.
 

g4mobile

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He’s a big boy at 10-1/2”. That’s a big female at 12-1/2”. Football has very smooth growth as well. I was keeping my male 70-80% humidity the first couple years and I learned they need 90-100% to stay smooth. Live plants help tremendously and I should have had more in his enclosure. My male still has good growth, but it’s been smoother the past couple years as I learned more.
I do plan to add a couple of adult females in the next year.
 

Tom

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He’s a big boy at 10-1/2”. That’s a big female at 12-1/2”. Football has very smooth growth as well. I was keeping my male 70-80% humidity the first couple years and I learned they need 90-100% to stay smooth. Live plants help tremendously and I should have had more in his enclosure. My male still has good growth, but it’s been smoother the past couple years as I learned more.
Same here. I know a lot more about growing smooth tortoises now than I did in 2013. Still, even with that knowledge, some platynota still want to pyramid a bit. Even in the most perfect conditions from literally day one, some of them still do it. I've been playing with variables one at a time to see if I can figure it out, and I have not figured it out yet. Something happens around the 5-6 month mark even with 90-100% humidity, no basking bulb, humid hide, lots of UV, no UV, or minimal UV, lots of calcium supplementation, no calcium supplementation, warmer nights, cooler nights, some Mazuri, or no Mazuri, etc... Like hatching SA leopards, I'm still trying to crack that code. With the number of babies I get annually and the number of enclosures I have, you'd think the answer would come quickly, but no...
 

TammyJ

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Yes. As of 2010 they could not find any in the wild even with search dogs trained to find tortoises. Two different attempts at reintroduction have failed.
That is so sad. So really now, their only hope is captive breeding, for now anyway. Why have the reintroductions failed?
 

PA2019

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@Tom interesting thread. Beautiful animals of course. I’m friends with Ken. He sold some of his early offspring to Scott, and I believe Ken got his breeders from Bill Z.
 

Tom

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@Tom interesting thread. Beautiful animals of course. I’m friends with Ken. He sold some of his early offspring to Scott, and I believe Ken got his breeders from Bill Z.
I knew about Scott and Ken, but I did not know about Bill's involvement. Thanks for the info!
 

TammyJ

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Because the problems that caused them to go extinct in the first place are still there and have not been dealt with.
What a lot we could do with this planet if we just had the vision and foresight and will. We could direct the course of evolution for ourselves and so many other species.
 

TammyJ

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W
What a lot we could do with this planet if we just had the vision and foresight and will. We could direct the course of evolution for ourselves and so many other species.
Tammy. What about money?
 

Markw84

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What a lot we could do with this planet if we just had the vision and foresight and will. We could direct the course of evolution for ourselves and so many other species.
Locals in impoverished countries see animals and plants as resources. A way to feed themselves, and then, sometimes a way to make money. A local seeing an animal sitting in front of them when hunting the forest, that is at the least food for a staving family or something that is worth a month's wages - just sitting there for the taking - that's a decision we never have to make. And a lot to ask of someone who is worried about their family's survival. Let alone talking about habitat fragmentation and loss. How to convince someone they cannot work or graze their land?

The wildlife sanctuary for the Myanmar Star is now going heavily into an education of the youth program. Briging in school kids to see the tortoises and teach them that they are valuable living things that are a local and national treasure. I think it's probably too late, but it is probably the best step they can take. The tortoises they do release still disappear as fast as they can put them out - even in a heavily guarded preserve.
 

TammyJ

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Locals in impoverished countries see animals and plants as resources. A way to feed themselves, and then, sometimes a way to make money. A local seeing an animal sitting in front of them when hunting the forest, that is at the least food for a staving family or something that is worth a month's wages - just sitting there for the taking - that's a decision we never have to make. And a lot to ask of someone who is worried about their family's survival. Let alone talking about habitat fragmentation and loss. How to convince someone they cannot work or graze their land?

The wildlife sanctuary for the Myanmar Star is now going heavily into an education of the youth program. Briging in school kids to see the tortoises and teach them that they are valuable living things that are a local and national treasure. I think it's probably too late, but it is probably the best step they can take. The tortoises they do release still disappear as fast as they can put them out - even in a heavily guarded preserve.
Yes. Kudos to those who are doing their best to help preserve nature! But when it comes to money for the survival of your family....not rocket science.
Here in Jamaica, the (endangered) Jamaican boa is up against habitat destruction and human predation in terms of, well, being chopped to death due to superstition, fear and ignorance, or caught and sold as an illegal "pet" - either way, their survival as a species is under serious threat. I have rescued quite a few of these myself, if I can call being placed in a zoo "rescued"....well, what's the point of returning an animal to the same danger and inhospitable conditions it was found in? Like the Burmese star tortoises?
 

Tom

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Yes. Kudos to those who are doing their best to help preserve nature! But when it comes to money for the survival of your family....not rocket science.
Here in Jamaica, the (endangered) Jamaican boa is up against habitat destruction and human predation in terms of, well, being chopped to death due to superstition, fear and ignorance, or caught and sold as an illegal "pet" - either way, their survival as a species is under serious threat. I have rescued quite a few of these myself, if I can call being placed in a zoo "rescued"....well, what's the point of returning an animal to the same danger and inhospitable conditions it was found in? Like the Burmese star tortoises?
Too many of the wrong kinds of humans around, but what do we do about that? The human race is capable of the most divine and beautiful accomplishments, and the most horrendous despicable deeds all at the same time. A blessing to the world, and a blight on the world simultaneously.
 

mark1

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Too many of the wrong kinds of humans around, but what do we do about that? The human race is capable of the most divine and beautiful accomplishments, and the most horrendous despicable deeds all at the same time. A blessing to the world, and a blight on the world simultaneously.
when i was born there were about 60 people per square mile on earth ,today there are like 160 people per square mile ........there have been many experiments done on the effects of population density ....... hopefully this ends better than they did .........

“I would sooner expect a goat to succeed as a gardener as expect humans to become stewards of the earth”.
 

Tom

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when i was born there were about 60 people per square mile on earth ,today there are like 160 people per square mile ........there have been many experiments done on the effects of population density ....... hopefully this ends better than they did .........

“I would sooner expect a goat to succeed as a gardener as expect humans to become stewards of the earth”.
We studied some of those experiments in my college classes. I believe B.F. Skinner did some with rats, but I might be mixing that up. So far it looks like we are seeing the same things the rats did... Something's gotta give.
 

g4mobile

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This post was very informative and the tortoise pictures made it that much better. Beautiful tortoises Tom! I purchased a baby Burmese star from @Tom 4 years ago and it's been a wonderful experience raising him. Our tortoise is now 6"+ and living outside full time in South Florida. He follows me around, loves shell and head scratches and eats from your hand. Great personality. He is in a 250 SqFt enclosed space outside. I'd really like to add a female, but I know that I would need two females for my single male. I don't think 250 SqFt is enough space for all three, but maybe I can come up with something in the future that will work. I never thought I would consider breeding tortoises, but I think it would be a great experience and what a wonderful species to work with.
I just realized that I've been measuring my tortoise incorrectly. Our Burmese Star is now 7 1/2" and turned 4 y/o in April this year. Is that decent growth for a male?
 
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