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The CAUSE of Pyramiding

Discussion in 'Advanced Tortoise Topics' started by Markw84, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. bouaboua

    bouaboua Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    It looks we are starving them but not really. We been practicing this feeding schedule for over an year now, they still grow, we see growth line on their plastron, they became more active, maybe they are out looking for food? And we do see the pyramiding ease off.
    Anyfoot likes this.
  2. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree with this theory of how keratin grows. It's basically a ratio of humidity versus growth.

    Mark I would appreciate your thoughts on protein too.
    We hear often some say it's lack of humidity that causes pyramiding, there are still long time carers/breeders who still say it's diet. There is something that is sticking in my mind and won't go away, Yvonne and Tom don't understand how they grow smooth torts in Arizona (think it was Arizona anyway)where it's dry. I'm starting to think it can be both humidity/hydration and/or diet (protein intake)
    Keratin is protein based. If I fed my tortoise rich foods that did not contain protein at all(yes there would be other health issues but let's forget about that for now) my tortoise would grow but not be capable of growing new keratin to fill in the newest crevices from the scute plates moving apart.
    This would also give same results as dry keratin not being able to fill in the crevices.
    If this theory has some merit, it means you can keep a tort as hydrated/humid as you want but with no protein it can pyramid. Don't forget there is protein in animal and foliage.
    If both humidity/hydration and protein (diet) all take part in the getting a perfect wild look this would explain why when we see an adult wild caught tort in captivity the new growth is lower down, it's as though the new keratin is not as thick. I'm thinking it's because the diet has changed from when it was caught.(less protein). This could also explain why even within the same clutch we see slightly different degrees of pyramiding (from none to very very mild pyramiding). Because some hatchlings didn't get the correct ratio of protein to growth rate even though they were kept humid/hydrated.
    Next clutch I get are getting fed only one type of food per day, they will get the mixed diet over a week or two. This way each tort will have its fill on exactly the same foods.
  3. cdmay

    cdmay Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Anyfoot, could you post more photos of this big male in the red-foot forum?
    Thanks!
  4. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    Will do. It's a female Carl.
  5. cdmay

    cdmay Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    OK great. Don't know why I assumed it was a male...
  6. maggie3fan3

    maggie3fan3 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    They should be fed daily, wild blooms and weeds, leafs. If they were in the wild they'd eat daily. I used to have a 3-legged Gopherus agassizii, she'd catch bluebelly's off the fence and eat'em
  7. Crazy Tortoise

    Crazy Tortoise Member

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    Lol Toms probably pissed XD
  8. *debora*

    *debora* Active Member

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    Saved this very interesting thread for a other moment. Thank you.
  9. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    @Markw84

    Quick question.

    When we see a crevice between scutes before it fills in with new keratin, what are we actually looking at in the bottom of the crevice before it fills?
  10. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Craig

    I assume this is a thin, beginning layer of keratin. The scute (keratin) is protecting the epithelial layer beneath and I would not believe this would be exposed as the scute is spread with the underlying bone growth. I would think the keratin would be stimulated to grow with this separation and would continually protect the epithelial layer. At first it would be quite thin and gain thickness as the new growth matures. It is while in this thin, and pliable state, I believe the opportunity for pyramiding exists here at the seams with this new growth exposed. Drying stiffens and stops normal swelling of the keratin, and maybe possibly it partially damages or alters the character of the epithelial layer. But new keratin growth is force more downward as a result.
    Bambam1989 and Anyfoot like this.
  11. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    I agree Mark. We are zooming in on how the keratin actually grows now.

    I was thinking of three options on how it grows.
    1. Thin layer at bottom of crevice keeps growing until the crevice is flush with the carapace. (But how would it know to stop growing?)

    2. Thin layer at bottom of crevice keeps expanding with moisture until flush with carapace.(But how would it know to stop expanding?)

    3. Thin layer at bottom of crevice kept moist as bone grows to correct thickness it pushes supple thin layer that was at bottom of crevice level to carapace and hardens off.(this is the only method of the 3 that crevice width and depth would not affect carapace smoothness)
Similar Threads: CAUSE Pyramiding
Forum Title Date
Advanced Tortoise Topics Does diet contribute to pyramiding. Apr 6, 2017
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
Advanced Tortoise Topics What is the physiology behind pyramiding? Nov 22, 2013

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