My official p.pardalis leopard tort page

Elohi

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Please do tell me to shut up if I don't know what I'm talking about, but I know very little about Leopards and am curious.
Some of these beautiful torts seem to be pyramiding a bit and some are smooth as a babies behind.
It seems to me that the larger ones are more often pyramiding than the smaller ones.
The humidity is presumably the same for all.
So is it possible, do you think, that rapid growth could contribute to pyramiding?
Just a thought, and probably a stupid one.

Valid question.
I've wondered that as well, except I have two rapid growers of different lineage and one is pyramiding and one is perfectly smooth. All raised the same. Genetic component?
 

Cowboy_Ken

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Some in “the real world" show visible pyramiding leading many to believe that it is a natural occurrence and unavoidable. I on the other hand recognize that often “the real world" doesn't always offer the ideal environment. Look at this picture, and before you ask, not from my backyard. I don't own any leopard tortoises yet. ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1436544579.558656.jpg
 

Tidgy's Dad

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Some in “the real world" show visible pyramiding leading many to believe that it is a natural occurrence and unavoidable. I on the other hand recognize that often “the real world" doesn't always offer the ideal environment. Look at this picture, and before you ask, not from my backyard. I don't own any leopard tortoises yet. View attachment 138378
But the leopard cats are yours, right?
I agree with you Ken about the real world probably NEVER being a perfect environment, but in a situation where they're all given the same treatment, why do some pyramid more than others and some not at all? Speed of growth? Or genetic, which may also be linked to growth speed anyway as @Elohi suggested?
I think this is interesting and possibly important.
 

diamondbp

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Valid question.
I've wondered that as well, except I have two rapid growers of different lineage and one is pyramiding and one is perfectly smooth. All raised the same. Genetic component?
I didn't get all of mine as babies and quite a few had some degree of pyramiding before I got them and that can be challenging to change the course of. Although I do think genetics has something to do with it, I think the main component of what sets the "course" of their growth is in the first few days/weeks of their lives. Their personality may also be a big factor.

Take this example. Clutchmates with different personalities may react differently to soaking with multiple other tortoises. One may drink readily and another may be hesitant. The same could go with eating and basking. So the personality of the bold hatchling may allow it to grow smoother because it doesn't hinder it's own development by being shy.
And the shy clutchmate will grow differently because of it's personality.

Just a thought.
 

TKL

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Wow. That enclosure looks really neat. What are the dimensions of each space?

In regards to the pyramiding, what I've noticed with my leopard is that up until 6 months of age he was perfectly smooth before out growing the hide i was using. Then for the next 6 months he refused to use any other hides humid or otherwise that I provided in multiple locations. Instead he would park himself wherever he fancied. The majority of the time this would be in a corner directly beneath one of the CHEs and as a result now has some minor pyramiding. Even if i'd move him into a hide, within 5 minutes he would be back where I found him. I eventually decided to let him sleep where he wanted and it wasn't until he was a year old that he started using a hide again. Perhaps to a certain extent, the different rates of pyramiding witnessed in a group all being raised under the same conditions could be attributed to the habits of the individual animals?
 

Neal

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Please do tell me to shut up if I don't know what I'm talking about, but I know very little about Leopards and am curious.
Some of these beautiful torts seem to be pyramiding a bit and some are smooth as a babies behind.
It seems to me that the larger ones are more often pyramiding than the smaller ones.
The humidity is presumably the same for all.
So is it possible, do you think, that rapid growth could contribute to pyramiding?
Just a thought, and probably a stupid one.

In my observations, leopards from certain areas in Africa (primarily South Africa) are far less prone to pyramid as leopards from other areas of Africa, so I think what you're seeing has to do more with genetics than rapid growth.

I have a leopard female that produces hatchlings that are primarily elongated in shell shape, but some hatch out with a more rounded shape. The elongated hatchlings all grow nearly perfectly smooth whereas the more rounded hatchlings tend to pyramid slightly despite being kept in the exact same conditions. There are no behavioral differences that could be attributed to this observation since I control the humidity in the entire set up which has no variation and I control when they have access to water. The only logical explanation is genetics. The genetics of the producing adults are, of course, unknown so it's assumed they're "mutts" of different localities, which would explain the difference in physical appearance of the hatchlings despite being clutch-mates.

Pyramiding in wild leopards does occur and there are a lot of theories that could suggest why this happens, but we just don't really have any data to support any theory. I like Cowboy Ken's statement that wild conditions are not always optimal, but based on my observations such as what I shared above, I have to say that some pyramiding is unavoidable. The extent of "unavoidable" pyramiding being minimal and not like what you would see in a lot of captive raised specimens raised on rabbit pellets.
 

Tidgy's Dad

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In my observations, leopards from certain areas in Africa (primarily South Africa) are far less prone to pyramid as leopards from other areas of Africa, so I think what you're seeing has to do more with genetics than rapid growth.

I have a leopard female that produces hatchlings that are primarily elongated in shell shape, but some hatch out with a more rounded shape. The elongated hatchlings all grow nearly perfectly smooth whereas the more rounded hatchlings tend to pyramid slightly despite being kept in the exact same conditions. There are no behavioral differences that could be attributed to this observation since I control the humidity in the entire set up which has no variation and I control when they have access to water. The only logical explanation is genetics. The genetics of the producing adults are, of course, unknown so it's assumed they're "mutts" of different localities, which would explain the difference in physical appearance of the hatchlings despite being clutch-mates.

Pyramiding in wild leopards does occur and there are a lot of theories that could suggest why this happens, but we just don't really have any data to support any theory. I like Cowboy Ken's statement that wild conditions are not always optimal, but based on my observations such as what I shared above, I have to say that some pyramiding is unavoidable. The extent of "unavoidable" pyramiding being minimal and not like what you would see in a lot of captive raised specimens raised on rabbit pellets.
Thanks for your response.
I think I posted later that I think genetics is the likeliest reason.
I miss Ken's observations.
 

diamondbp

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Update time. I will post pictures first then comment on each tortoise on another comment#1 View attachment 142651 #2 View attachment 142652 #3 View attachment 142653 #4 View attachment 142654
#1 This male has been a steady growing beast from day one.
#2 Mysteriously slowed down in growth over the last 3 months. He is just starting to act like his old self again and his appetite has increase big time over the last few weeks. Perhaps he injested something outside he shouldnt have? I'm really not sure
#3 Is now undoubtedly female and is growing at double her normal pace. She is quickly catching up with my largest two
#4 Is also growing at a very nice steady pace. On the next update I will do a plastron shot update and give guesses for it's sex.
 

diamondbp

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#14 has always been a slow but steady grower. She grows at MUCH slower pace than her clutch mate #6.
#15#16&#17 are all mysteries to me. They all 3 eat all the time, are rock solid, but have ceased growing since moving outside full time. It's so strange because they are the 3 early birds that are out eating before the others wake up and yet they simply aren't growing. I'm curious to see what happens when I move them back into a sealed enclosure in a month or so.
 
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