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Pyramiding – Solving the Mystery

Discussion in 'Advanced Tortoise Topics' started by Markw84, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. Peggy Sue

    Peggy Sue New Member

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    T
    Thank you for the excellent answer Mark we lost a baby to the failure to thrive, so with our Sheldon I am looking to make sure we raise a healthy tortoise he get a soak in the morning and one in the evening and has the proper humidity
  2. MichaelaW

    MichaelaW Well-Known Member

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    Great points! In reality I believe the goal should be to produce a healthy tortoise using the correct environmental conditions, as opposed to remedying the outward visible appearance using a topical substance like oils.
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  3. domalle

    domalle Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

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    View attachment 232319 View attachment 232320

    The time outside in fresh air and natural sunlight compensated for the drier winter months. Growth was steady and even. Most occurred, or at least was most observed, during winter downtime 'rest' periods.

    Here is a sample specimen, raised here on a majority fruit diet, no supplemental lighting, five month summer outdoors. No daily soaks, spray til they drip culture, or artificial closed chamber.

    Attached Files:

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  4. domalle

    domalle Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

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    The reclusive nature and cryptic behavior of tortoise babies during their most vulnerable phase has been long recognized. Utilization of humid microclimates by burrowing into soil level litter, grass tussocks and leaf debris as a strategy to avoid predation and dessication has likewise been well documented.

    Not my point that we should not aspire to produce healthy, well-formed animals and provide optimal conditions during early stages of development. Of course we should. Every keeper has an obligation to provide the best care and optimum state of overall health for the animals they steward.

    A well-formed shell is a reliable indicator of good culture and overall health, of which hydration is an integral part.

    Your work and thought on the molecular underpinnings and effect of hydration on shell formation are impressive. But dismissing all other possible contributing factors suggests the matter settled, declares the subject closed, and cuts off further investigation, discussion and dialogue. (If that were even possible, given pyramiding as a topic seems never ending).

    I much admire my friend @Anyfoot for his earnest and methodical search for answers to his many questions. But I do not like to see him driven to distraction in the process and hope he will be able to relax and sit back, enjoy and appreciate his great many successes to date.
    Jay Bagley and ColaCarbonaria like this.
  5. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    @Markw84
    Any idea why redfoots seem to grow off the areola with super smoothness before the obvious growth rings kick in?
    Do sears and sullies grow the same?

    @mtdavis254817 I stole your photo. Hope you don’t mind. He’s a perfect example.
    EBC79CB2-CA97-477A-9DB4-67F4DB158483.jpeg
  6. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    @Anyfoot Craig:

    From my observations, it seems to me that ridges are created by STOPS in growth. When I have nice consistent growth, I then see the smoothest and less defined ridges forming. When I see a bigger ridge formed, I can look back at the records and see a tortoise that went through a slow/no growth period. That can be seasonal, sickness, parasite load, period of higher stress (change in enclosure) etc, etc. When I have rapid, consistent growth, I will see a smooth section of keratin laid down.

    My thinking is that as the bone grows, the keratin fills in the gaps. The keratin growth that has been stimulated continues as it thickens the scute to it's "normal" thickness over a short time. That keratin production is concentrated at the expanding seam, but is also thickening the new keratin behind. When bone growth stops while that is in process, the keratin growth seems to continue as the thickening is still occurring. However, with no new seam expansion, the very edge of that seam, seems to then thicken. When bone growth later continues, there is a ridge left behind. You can even see the results of this process in the underlying bone as these thickened edges also leave corresponding grooves in the bone.

    That first growth period of a hatchling does not have that ridge as it is the stopping of previous growth that seems to create ridges. Whenever I have a hatchling that undergoes a nice consistant growth period from the very start, I see the smooth scute you are showing in the picture above.

    I believe that is why tortoise that live in areas with a "feast or famine" type of climate/environment and have to go through hibernation / aestivation in lean times, yet have times where food is plentiful, are the tortoises we see with the most defined annual ridges.
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  7. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    @Markw84

    When a tortoises entire scute lifts off. How does it manage to grow back?
  8. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I don't know. I have only seen this a few times where I saw a progression of growth. Both times, a new layer of bone/epithelial layer/keratin grew back UNDER the exposed bone!! Eventually the old bone dries and breaks away. With just a very small area of injury the keratin grows at the edges and fills in. Interestingly, with aquatic turtles, a new layer of keratin grows back over the exposed bone. Not as pretty as the original scute, but it does form a new scute. But, keep in mind, aquatic turtles keratin grows differently in that it grows under the entire scute as opposed to tortoises where almost all keratin growth is only at growth seams.
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  9. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    Do you think that it’s possible for the same species to have different thicknesses of keratin?

    If so could this be playing a role in smoothness variation between a group, even when clutch mates.
    So for example, We keep a group at 80% and all the torts with the thinnest keratin grow smooth and all the torts with thicker keratin grow bumpy because 80% doesn’t quite cut it for thicker keratin. But if we’d had them at 99% all torts may have grown smooth.
Similar Threads: Pyramiding Solving
Forum Title Date
Advanced Tortoise Topics Is he pyramiding? Feb 3, 2018
Advanced Tortoise Topics Does diet contribute to pyramiding. Apr 6, 2017
Advanced Tortoise Topics The CAUSE of Pyramiding Jul 6, 2016
Advanced Tortoise Topics Pyramiding is due to excess Heat, not lack of Humidity? Mar 9, 2016
Advanced Tortoise Topics Pyramiding in star tortoises, effects of humidity & lighting Aug 25, 2015

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