?? Longevity? Vitamin d3 from the sun?

willee638

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Hi there, I am wondering what is the average red foot's lifespan in the wild & in captivity? Is receiving frequent natural sunlight "vitamin D3" for one hour per day 3-4 times per week detrimental to red foots tortoises? My RF's doesn't bash under UV lamps, but seems to tolerate sunlight more intermittently with shades.
 

autumn_0201

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Hi there, I am wondering what is the average red foot's lifespan in the wild & in captivity? Is receiving frequent natural sunlight "vitamin D3" for one hour per day 3-4 times per week detrimental to red foots tortoises? My RF's doesn't bash under UV lamps, but seems to tolerate sunlight more intermittently with shades.
In the wild they live for 20 to 40 years. In captivity they often surpass 50 years. There are also records of RFs that lived over 80! I think too much D3 wouldn't be bad for them as they always receive natural sunlight in the wild anyways.
 

Markw84

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Hi there, I am wondering what is the average red foot's lifespan in the wild & in captivity? Is receiving frequent natural sunlight "vitamin D3" for one hour per day 3-4 times per week detrimental to red foots tortoises? My RF's doesn't bash under UV lamps, but seems to tolerate sunlight more intermittently with shades.
We really don't know how long tortoises actually can live, or what their true lifespan is. Genetically they are animals that can live an extremely long period of time. Most all tortoises don't "die" they are killed. They are capable of living much longer than what they did as a result. In the wild, Excessive hot spells/cold spells, Food avialability, Droughts, floods, predators, etc end their lives. In captivity poor care, disease, accidents end their lives.

We are just beginning to see the true potential of how long they live with new insights into the true needs to thrive. All the "records" are being broken constantly with better care and husbandry.

D3 can not be overdosed by UV exposure as the metabolic process of creating it naturally has built in limiters. So a tortoise given too much UV may be in danger of overheating and/or desiccation, but not in danger of D3 overdose. You can however, overdose with dietary D3 since that is by-passing the body's regulatory mechanism for manufacturing D3 when needed. As you've noticed, redfoot are not really baskers as they get plenty of sunlight for D3 in the broken shade they will frequent. Their natural environment is constantly warm enough to maintain good body heat without basking. So ensure there is always plenty of shade gradient for your tortoise.
 

willee638

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We really don't know how long tortoises actually can live, or what their true lifespan is. Genetically they are animals that can live an extremely long period of time. Most all tortoises don't "die" they are killed. They are capable of living much longer than what they did as a result. In the wild, Excessive hot spells/cold spells, Food avialability, Droughts, floods, predators, etc end their lives. In captivity poor care, disease, accidents end their lives.

We are just beginning to see the true potential of how long they live with new insights into the true needs to thrive. All the "records" are being broken constantly with better care and husbandry.

D3 can not be overdosed by UV exposure as the metabolic process of creating it naturally has built in limiters. So a tortoise given too much UV may be in danger of overheating and/or desiccation, but not in danger of D3 overdose. You can however, overdose with dietary D3 since that is by-passing the body's regulatory mechanism for manufacturing D3 when needed. As you've noticed, redfoot are not really baskers as they get plenty of sunlight for D3 in the broken shade they will frequent. Their natural environment is constantly warm enough to maintain good body heat without basking. So ensure there is always plenty of shade gradient for your tortoise.
Thanks very much for the insightful knowledge & your observations, it is absolutely true we haven't yet witness a tortoise passing other than external factors. Unlike mammals they don't become so decrepit they're unable to hunt or eat entirely, I was concerned by another member mentioning too regular exposure to natural sunlight can shorten the tortoise's lifespan...but I assume they meant without proper shades for cooling off. It's true my red foot tortoises doesn't seek to basked under UV bulbs but will bask with streaks of sunlight through the covers of plants. I think over heating is more of an indoor enclosure type setting rather than outdoor direct sunlight, because my red foots will run to a cooler place for shelter at open fields rather than subjected to a constant controlled temperature environment for humidity regulation.
 
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