Separating Tortoise Twins

HermanniChris

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For anyone who has been following my Facebook & Instagram pages, theTurtleRoom and The Reptile Report, we recently hatched twin Western Hermann's tortoises (Testudo hermanni hermanni) here. They were joined at the yolk sac only and needed our intervention hatching and separating them. To sum it up, while this did present itself as a challenge, we were successful in separating them and getting them started. Below is a video I put together showing how we did this for anyone else who may experience this down the road.

I'm happy to report they are doing well and are developed nicely.
 

wellington

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Wow, thank you so much for sharing. I can't believe how tiny.
Couple questions if you wouldn't mind. Is there a reason you didn't use fishing line that might have cut them apart right away? Would they have bled if you would have, therefore being the reason you did not separate right away, but let it dry up like a human umbilical cord, at which point they would separate?
 

HermanniChris

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Yeah pretty much. The "connection" to them was pretty raw looking at first and there was some blood so that's why we didn't just separate them with either fishing line or a sterile razor right away. We let them settle down, absorb the yolk and let the connection start to shrivel slightly before we intervened any further. Once both were tied off, they separated themselves about 2 days later. They're still in the incubator but are feisty and drinking well. They should take their first meal soon. Since eating is of secondary importance to hatchlings, we're making sure they're comfortable, warm, humid and "hidden" for now.

Thank you guys.
 

HermanniChris

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This morning we were contacted by CNN, BBC Earth, StoryFul and some local television stations in different states. All are looking to run/air the story of these twins. I'll keep everyone posted as to when this all happens.
 

Lyn W

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A fantastic example of your dedication to your torts.
Brilliant!
 

BeeBee*BeeLeaves

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I saw the story about your little twins on thedodo dot com just now.
Very, very, cool, cool! Yay, Chris! Yay, twin babies!
My head has exploded from all that cuteness!
 

allegraf

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Very cool! First hermanns twins I've heard of!
 

HermanniChris

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In light of the "Separating Tortoise Twins" YouTube video recently surpassing 1 million views, the wife though it'd be a swell idea to share an updated photo of the twins. Here they are last night 3/5/16. They have doubled and tripled in weight, put on substantial size and are now listed as numbers 9228 and 9229 in Testudo hermanni hermanni Studbook. They'll be getting some real sunshine soon as the temperatures warm up.

 

Gillian M

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In light of the "Separating Tortoise Twins" YouTube video recently surpassing 1 million views, the wife though it'd be a swell idea to share an updated photo of the twins. Here they are last night 3/5/16. They have doubled and tripled in weight, put on substantial size and are now listed as numbers 9228 and 9229 in Testudo hermanni hermanni Studbook. They'll be getting some real sunshine soon as the temperatures warm up.

A lovely pic!
 

Vaughn

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For anyone who has been following my Facebook & Instagram pages, theTurtleRoom and The Reptile Report, we recently hatched twin Western Hermann's tortoises (Testudo hermanni hermanni) here. They were joined at the yolk sac only and needed our intervention hatching and separating them. To sum it up, while this did present itself as a challenge, we were successful in separating them and getting them started. Below is a video I put together showing how we did this for anyone else who may experience this down the road.

I'm happy to report they are doing well and are developed nicely.

I have an elongated egg from my Leopard tortoise - do you think it is Twins?
 
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