Let's discuss tortoise evolution

Cathie G

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Just a theory, maybe keep them as close as we can to their natural habitat so we don't cause too much evolution because I do think we can. With Sapphire he's never going to be released back into the wild. He's my protected pet.
 

Tortoise Nana

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I agree. When you say evolution, immediately you think about genotypes, being passed on, shaped by nature as some pass due to their environments and others live, passing their life saving gene on. But in human captivity, we save them, even sometimes preserving a gene that could have caused their death in some instances, so the opposite of nature. We try to mimick their environment, but we've realised sometimes they do better outside of the sporadic and sometimes random circumstances they find themselves in. Sometimes people say "But in nature..." and then I could flip. Yes in nature they survive, but in captivity, we try to let them thrive, trying to give conditions they would sometimes rarely experience in nature. Think about it, in a clutch of almost any wild tort eggs, most don't make it to adulthood, in captivity however, most of them do, and reach adulthood with proper care. So I agree with Yvonne again. Eventually torts can and will change due to artificial selection within species (be it accidental or not). So what they could need could change, but as evolution works it is slow, and it could be a while before their needs could change, but it could happen, but their is a chance it may stay on the current course.
Also speaking about evolution, it's weird to think this flat lizard that lived in the swampy, but now desert, karroo eventually became all the tort species we now today (It's debated that it could possibly not be the ancestor of all torts) View attachment 344695
(Eunotosaurus africanus)
But that's what I would say, @Markw84 would be the most qualified to answer that question
Your evolutional prospects
 

TammyJ

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Hmmm... I don't know the answer to that. A person could argue it either way. What I CAN see is that some species readily adapt to captive housing, while others just don't. Sulcatas, leopards, Burmese stars, being examples of the former, and impressa, Chersina, and kinixsys, being examples of the latter that are much more difficult.
Why do you think that Impressa, Chersina and Kinixsys tortoises are so much harder to raise or keep in captivity? Is it because of their diet in "the Wild"? And does this fact of their difficulty to keep, apply to even captive bred ones?
 

Tom

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Why do you think that Impressa, Chersina and Kinixsys tortoises are so much harder to raise or keep in captivity? Is it because of their diet in "the Wild"? And does this fact of their difficulty to keep, apply to even captive bred ones?
I don't know the answer. I think if anyone knew why it was this way, then we would fix the problem and it wouldn't be this way. Diet may play a part, but we know at least a little bit about what these species eat in the wild.

There is s similar parallel with tropical fish. Some of them seem to handle a wide variety of water parameters, temperatures, foods, tank sizes, etc... and thrive any which way they are housed. Others just don't seem to be able to survive even with seemingly optimal conditions.
 

SasquatchTortoise

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I don't know the answer. I think if anyone knew why it was this way, then we would fix the problem and it wouldn't be this way. Diet may play a part, but we know at least a little bit about what these species eat in the wild.

There is s similar parallel with tropical fish. Some of them seem to handle a wide variety of water parameters, temperatures, foods, tank sizes, etc... and thrive any which way they are housed. Others just don't seem to be able to survive even with seemingly optimal conditions.
Reminds me of the classic example- the betta fish. Logically, it would seem like they would like an open, spacious tank with clean, filtered water. In the wild, however, they prefer to live in low oxygen, murky shallow pools
 

TammyJ

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Reminds me of the classic example- the betta fish. Logically, it would seem like they would like an open, spacious tank with clean, filtered water. In the wild, however, they prefer to live in low oxygen, murky shallow pools
Is that where they are most likely to be found? Low oxygen murky shallow pools? Well. They will have a Betta life in nice aquariums.
 

Cathie G

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Is that where they are most likely to be found? Low oxygen murky shallow pools? Well. They will have a Betta life in nice aquariums.
Oh no!!! I'm sooo getting tempted to do another Betta.
 

SasquatchTortoise

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Oh no!!! I'm sooo getting tempted to do another Betta.
Bettas are really fun fish to keep, Mostly because of their personality, but also because of the unique setups you can keep them in. Many people make 'biotopes'- aquariums designed to mimic nature as much as possible
Here's an example for a betta:
1652838033661
They love Ripariums and paladariums as well (with lid):

1652838204311
Blackwater is great as well. Tannins (acid/pigment) from leaves and wood can dye water brown and make many tropical fish feel at home.

1652838337788

Sorry I went on a rant there...
 

Cathie G

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Bettas are really fun fish to keep, Mostly because of their personality, but also because of the unique setups you can keep them in. Many people make 'biotopes'- aquariums designed to mimic nature as much as possible
Here's an example for a betta:
View attachment 344869
They love Ripariums and paladariums as well (with lid):

View attachment 344870
Blackwater is great as well. Tannins (acid/pigment) from leaves and wood can dye water brown and make many tropical fish feel at home.

View attachment 344871

Sorry I went on a rant there...
It's been all I can do to talk myself out of doing another one 🙂 I'm getting so much better in health that it's getting harder and harder. I love Bettas. They are fascinating to me.🙃 and have been since the first time I saw one. Part of that is also the tank and how they use it.
 

Cathie G

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Just a theory, maybe keep them as close as we can to their natural habitat so we don't cause too much evolution because I do think we can. With Sapphire he's never going to be released back into the wild. He's my protected pet.
Or let evolution go on by keeping them close to us. Since more of them survive with "habitat" or a home just like we need to have.🤔 there's another side to evolution and that's extinction which can be caused by loss of habitat. Last time I heard there's not much left for them.🐢
 

Turtulas-Len

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I believe diet has an effect on evolutionary changes on every living thing. No one has mentioned what most of us are feeding the old world tortoises that they didn't have access to until a few hundred years ago. Cactus. Cactus is a new world plant and until man introduced cactus throughout the world sulcatas or any other old world tortoise never tasted it. It has proven to be one of the best dietary items offered to help captive kept tortoises healthy. Wondering if it's going to change them in the future if even slightly.
 

Cathie G

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I believe diet has an effect on evolutionary changes on every living thing. No one has mentioned what most of us are feeding the old world tortoises that they didn't have access to until a few hundred years ago. Cactus. Cactus is a new world plant and until man introduced cactus throughout the world sulcatas or any other old world tortoise never tasted it. It has proven to be one of the best dietary items offered to help captive kept tortoises healthy. Wondering if it's going to change them in the future if even slightly.
Yep. Good diet and a hide as good as we can.. It's got to be better with better healthier babies. Evolution on the upside 👍
 

Tom

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I believe diet has an effect on evolutionary changes on every living thing. No one has mentioned what most of us are feeding the old world tortoises that they didn't have access to until a few hundred years ago. Cactus. Cactus is a new world plant and until man introduced cactus throughout the world sulcatas or any other old world tortoise never tasted it. It has proven to be one of the best dietary items offered to help captive kept tortoises healthy. Wondering if it's going to change them in the future if even slightly.
Agreed, but I think this applies to almost every food that we use for our tortoises. Few people grow any foods that would occur where their tortoises come from. Maybe Bermuda grass for African species, or goat head weed for leopards? I take great pleasure in feeding my tortoises something they might get in the wild, including species that eat opuntia.
 
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