Pyramiding/ diet/UVB/Humidity

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Blessed3x

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ok, so I'm reading and reading and trying to figure this out.
At first I read pyramiding was due to lack of a proper diet and lighting.
Then I read it has something to do with humidity:(
Why does having Sulcata's in a humid environment help prevent pyramiding
when this breed of tortoise originates from arid countries?
 

EKLC

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The sahel has seasonal wetness
800px-Sahel_forest_near_Kayes_Mali.jpg


You can imagine that young torts do a lot of their growing when they have access to all that greenery.

Other than the exaggeration of the aridness of their range, even in dry conditions young torts find hiding sports out of the sun where humidity is higher. This is hard to replicate in captivity, where a dry tank is dry to the bone because there are no huge rocks harboring perpetually moist soil, for example.
 

Blessed3x

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I had a totally different idea of where they were from (the countries they are from)
One thinks of desert and sand and dryness and then wonders what all the fuss about humidity is for.
I've much to learn. Thank you Evan
 

EKLC

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Np. It doesn't help that so many sources describe their habitat like something out of arabian nights.
 

Tom

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I want to explain further.

They actually come from the grassy savanahs, not the desert. Also, while it IS true that their environment is dry for 8 or 9 months of the year, it is also true that it is hot, humid, rainy, marshy and wet for the other 3 or 4 months. For some reason, the experts and book writers all seem to ignore this. Guess which time of year the hatchlings are coming up? When they enter the world from their subterranean nests, it is hot, humid, rainy and marshy. And there is green stuff everywhere for them to eat as much as they want. Also, while the above ground temperatures are easy to look up, they really have no bearing in anything. Sulcatas live underground and rarely come above ground during the dry season.

While the above is true, it is also true that no one in the world really knows what babies do in the wild. Not even the people who live there. We don't know what they eat, where they hang out, nothing. What we do know is what does not work in captivity. Dry. Decades of trying to simulate an African desert has left us with a lot of dead or deformed sulcatas. Only very recently have we learned what DOES work. An Austrian study proved the humidity thing, and at the same time disproved the protein thing, in 2003. The Fife's put out a leopard tortoise book in 2007 suggesting humid hides. This was based on their personal experience. There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle. I started putting it all together in 2007 and the Fife's book was big piece, as well as what I saw in South Africa, Florida and Louisiana. We still don't have all the answers, but you can clearly see that we are on the right track when you look at the 100's of smooth tortoises on this forum.
 

AZtortMom

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I have to agree that there is absolutely nothing about proper care for these little guys, except on this forum, and certainly no mention on humidity or UVB. I am so thankful I found this forum before I did any real harm to my little ones :)
 

LuckysGirl007

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Just wanted to share some positive news....I was tort sitting for my neighbor this past week. She was keeping them in VERY dry conditions, very small plastic container, no substrate, no water, heat lamp like six inches off of them, only a few small pieces of lettuce. I shared all my research with her from this site, wrote down some key points and made her little guys/girls an improved habitat. I didn't want to just GIVE it to her but i didn't want to send them home the way i found them. I told her what I used and what she would need...when she saw how happy they were in there she offered to pay me for it! I feel so much better giving them back to her now and it's all thanks to the great advice I got on here!
 
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