Leopard tortoise pyramiding...

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Zamric

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Baoh said:
Zamric, your tortoises look great. Do you let them eat to the point where some food is left over? Is food available at all times? If not, you could try that. I will assume that they do not have any issues with parasites and stuff like that. If they are hot, humid, and heavily fed, but still grow slowly, I would guess that is just their individual makeup. Not all of mine grow fast, but many do.

Every morning I throw out the left over food.... and there is always left overs!

They always have food avalible, I pretty sure Gaia is like a Super Runt. She came to me at 6 months and 35 gm.... same size as Eros when I got him at 6 weeks old.


jtrux said:
Show off!

Only 'cause I can! :p


Team Gomberg said:
Zamic, your torts are not only smooth but have so much white!! They are beautiful.. I gotta get a current weight on my 7 month old.When I read that Toms leopards were averaging 500 grams around 9 months of age, and mine only had the weight of 73 grams at 5 months, I started to wonder if I was doing something wrong. Hearing your weights of your 11 and 16 month olds is comforting a bit to me

Thank You Very much!:cool:
I was getting worried that they weren't growing as fast as everyones elses.... but I got over that and just keep on doin' what I do and They look the best for it!
 

Baoh

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I do not think you should change anything, then.
 

jesst

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This is Zenna she is 10 months old and sibling to Eros. She weighs 375 grams and is 5" long. She has lived in a closed chamber, high heat and high humidity enclosure since I got her on 3/6/2012.

20121111_174144.jpg


20121111_174157.jpg
 

Zamric

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Looks like she might be a ringed Leopard instead of a spotted one! She is quite lovely!
 

theTurtleRoom

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This was a very interesting and informative topic to read. This is a species that I've worked with a bit, but don't have any of myself. I've always enjoyed them and hope to keep them in the future. Definitely have made some more decisions on how I plan to design a habitat for them when the time comes thanks to the information shared here.
 

Tortus

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Zamric said:
These are my results after 10 months of High Humidity and High Temp.
Gaia-37b.jpg
Gaia-37a.jpg
Eros-37a.jpg
Eros-37b.jpg


I cant speak for anyone else, but my pyramiding issues are 0% However, Growth has been slow. Eros is 11 months old and 105 gm and Gaia is 16 months old and 85 gm

What I find cool about yours is not only the shell smoothness, but the head to shell ratio. Most leopards seem to have smaller heads for the shell size compared to other tortoises. It's almost like the tort's body is growing faster than the shell. Unless I'm just being fooled by the angles. I like it though. They have nice proportions.
 

Zamric

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I only used photo shop to crop the pics! all the rest is Nature (or at least as Natural as I can make it!)


Tortus said:
What I find cool about yours is not only the shell smoothness, but the head to shell ratio. Most leopards seem to have smaller heads for the shell size compared to other tortoises. It's almost like the tort's body is growing faster than the shell. Unless I'm just being fooled by the angles. I like it though. They have nice proportions.

Thanks! That is not camera angles at all. I never thought about it, but your right about their proportions. I think they are beautiful but I'm really kinda partial! I glad someone else pointed it out!
 

theresal

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Tom said:
theresal said:
Do males have trouble mounting and successfully mating with highly domed pyramided females?

I, and others, have heard this thrown out there, but, to date, I have never seen this as a problem first hand.

I have also heard that people in FL, MS, TN and LA CAN experience problems due to your super high humidity. In this case those rumors are confirmed. It seems in most cases it is humidity in conjunction with cooler night temps that causes the issue. Outside on a warm sunny day = No problem. Outside at night during the cooler months = Respiratory infection. I suspect the problem will not occur with a warm, dry night box. The typical heating elements, like CHEs, tend to really dry the air out inside a night box, and I suspect the warm dry retreat makes a difference. I have not ever lived in those conditions with tortoises, so I am just speculating based on what I have seen and been told.

Thanks for the reply, Tom. It is all very helpful. One day I will get a Leopard but not until I can feel comfortable about the enclosure.
 

stinax182

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Tom said:
2. I do not consider providing optimal conditions for smooth natural growth to be "force". If you do that is fine, I just don't agree. What I am doing is trying to simulate the conditions and microclimates that they would actually be experiencing in the wild. The problem is that NO ONE, including me or anyone on this forum REALLY knows what those condition are. Above ground weather reports from nearby cities is of limited value too. What we are left with is what DOES and what DOES NOT work in captivity. My experiments and experiences have shown me BOTH. I simply try to pass along what I've learned. If you find this info somehow distasteful, feel free to disregard it and raise your tortoises however you like. Sad thing is that if you tell us how you intend to raise them, several of us here on this forum can accurately predict what you will end up with, but do it however you wish.


i think what tortus meant by "force" was when a baby tortoise would rather sleep anywhere but in the humid hide. and you put them in, but if they crawl back out, do you do it again? do you block them in? obviously not, but if you're following the new humidity guidelines, I'd feel obligated to make them sleep in there or what's the point?
 

RiverKentValley

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(This may have been said earlier) I've also noticed that a Leo's diet plays a big part in the development of their shell. A man I bought my Leo from had a female with a completely smooth (and very shiny) shell. When I asked him how he takes care of his and what he feed them, he said he only feeds his Leos grass and weeds - nothing. And he didn't give them vitamin supplements.The adults lived outside, and the babies got natural sun everyday (as long as the weather was right)

:tort:
 

Zamric

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RiverKentValley said:
(This may have been said earlier) I've also noticed that a Leo's diet plays a big part in the development of their shell. A man I bought my Leo from had a female with a completely smooth (and very shiny) shell. When I asked him how he takes care of his and what he feed them, he said he only feeds his Leos grass and weeds - nothing. And he didn't give them vitamin supplements.The adults lived outside, and the babies got natural sun everyday (as long as the weather was right)

:tort:

My 2 are VERY smooth and I feed store bought greens (Spring mix) Mazurri and weeds I find in my yard....and the occational catus
 

Tom

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RiverKentValley said:
(This may have been said earlier) I've also noticed that a Leo's diet plays a big part in the development of their shell. A man I bought my Leo from had a female with a completely smooth (and very shiny) shell. When I asked him how he takes care of his and what he feed them, he said he only feeds his Leos grass and weeds - nothing. And he didn't give them vitamin supplements.The adults lived outside, and the babies got natural sun everyday (as long as the weather was right)

:tort:

Where? What was the hydration, humidity, and temperature parameters in that tortoises first year?

This forum allows us to see a wide variety of keeping and feeding styles, and the results they produce, from literally all over the world. We have seen them smooth AND bumpy on each and every feeding regime. We have one member who feeds Mazuri every day and keeps them indoors most, if not all, of the time. His tortoises grow fast and are as smooth or smoother than anybody's. We have other members who feed only "natural" foods and keep them outside all day, weather permitting, and theirs are super bumpy. Experience has show me (us) that they can grow smooth or bumpy on any feeding regime. They can grow smooth or bumpy indoors or outdoors. What I have NOT yet seen is a pyramided tortoise that was raised in high humidity, soaked daily, and kept warm, on any diet. I'm not talking about an older one that was kept dry for the first few months and then put into humidity. I'm not talking about an open topped enclosure with hot bulbs and damp substrate. I'm talking about a hatchling started with daily soaks and a true warm humid enclosure. This regime will grow the smooth every time no matter what you feed them.
 

RiverKentValley

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Tom said:
Where? What was the hydration, humidity, and temperature parameters in that tortoises first year?

This forum allows us to see a wide variety of keeping and feeding styles, and the results they produce, from literally all over the world. We have seen them smooth AND bumpy on each and every feeding regime. We have one member who feeds Mazuri every day and keeps them indoors most, if not all, of the time. His tortoises grow fast and are as smooth or smoother than anybody's. We have other members who feed only "natural" foods and keep them outside all day, weather permitting, and theirs are super bumpy. Experience has show me (us) that they can grow smooth or bumpy on any feeding regime. They can grow smooth or bumpy indoors or outdoors. What I have NOT yet seen is a pyramided tortoise that was raised in high humidity, soaked daily, and kept warm, on any diet. I'm not talking about an older one that was kept dry for the first few months and then put into humidity. I'm not talking about an open topped enclosure with hot bulbs and damp substrate. I'm talking about a hatchling started with daily soaks and a true warm humid enclosure. This regime will grow the smooth every time no matter what you feed them.

Southern California. He soaked his babies daily - though, (now that my Leo is older) I soak her once a week. The enclosure he used for his babies was a plastic underbed storage bin, (serious) but with no lip; placed in a laundry room (which I supposed caused enough humidity. But he didn't recommend to me doing anything for humidity. He used a standard heating bulb, and only fed the babies grass and weeds that were from his lawn-mower bag after he mowed his lawn.

For his adults, they lived outdoor all year long, eating just the grass and weeds in his yard. For their shelter, (which his Leos only went in at night) it was a small plastic shed with hay and a normal heating lamp.

(I hope I was helpful, and not confusing...sorry if I was)
 

Tom

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The humidity thing is pretty new. Only in the last few years has it come out and most of the reptile world has still not caught on yet.

Neal actually had some favorable results from the daily soaking, but relatively dry air routine too. His results were not as consistent as he wanted though.

Sounds like your friend had a pretty good environment for them. Many parts of Southern CA have some decent humidity, especially in an irrigated back yard with grass and bushes.

I think your info IS helpful. Its all pieces to the puzzle.
 

RiverKentValley

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@Tom

As I continue to read on this forum, I've realized now, that the way the man taught me how to care for a Leo may be incorrect. So please ignore my above reply if you believe it to be wrong. I don't not want to mislead anyone into thinking that that is the correct way to care for a Leo, when it may not.
 

jtrux

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As of right now, its hard to say what exactly is wrong and what is right BUT it does appear that the higher humidity route is more favorable but every so often someone comes forth with another example of how high humidity might not be the only piece to the puzzle.
 

LeopardTortLover

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jtrux said:
I know this has all been beat to death but is it just me or is it waaaay more common to see pyramiding in Leopards? I know there are plenty of other tortoises out there with pyramiding, especially Sulcatas, but it seems that you NEVER see large adult Leopards with little to no pyramiding. If you do a search for Leopard tortoise on Google, virtually every image, even the ones from the wild (at least that's what it looks like) have some pyramiding. Very few i've seen are smooth.

Here's one example of a smooth one...

http://www.photostaud.com/africa/za...toise-south-luangwa-national-park-zambia.html

This was one of just a few that I saw.

I know that our husbandry techniques are improving dramatically so i'm just hoping that we will start to see some smooth Leopards in the near future, it just seems like everyone you see is pyramided to some extent.

Here are some pretty smooth adults:

http://wild-heartedx.tumblr.com/post/29086775425

http://faunafacts.tumblr.com/post/27622345648/this-photograph-was-taken-after-a-young-male-lion
 
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