Tortoise stretching?

Flanman

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Sometimes I watch my male and female in the mornings, they’ll be sleeping usually in front of or next to each other under the heat lamp. Every morning I notice my male sometimes just goes from sleeping to fully hiding his face and front legs but not his back legs (before he sees me). He comes back out for a bit then goes back in after about half a minute. This goes on for about 5 minutes. Is this some weird sleep thing? Image
 
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Yossarian

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Its difficult to say here what causes behaviour like this. However, we do know that keeping torts in pairs is not suitable. They are solitary creatures, they dont pair bond, and they dont keep company with their mates. In the wild they come together briefly to mate, and that looks a lot like combat, then they go their own ways. The female can store semen inside her for a long time so she very infrequently needs to mate. Everything about torts is evolved for solitary lifestyle, they eat low value foods that are just laying around, another tort is a potentially life threatening drain on those resources. Most of what we call "bullying" is not even overt aggression. make no mistake, torts will bite and ram and hurt each other, even kill each other. but most bullying is territory and resource related, torts that follow and sleep with one another are not friends, they are competing for territory and one or both is trying to drive the other away. With a male and female, if that is confirmed, you have the added risk of the male mating too frequently with the female, this can literally kill her. I hope you take this seriously, I cant say for sure that your tort is hiding from the other one and that is what is causing it, but I would consider it a possibility worth eliminating.

The TLDR is, your torts need to be separated into their own enclosures full time.

Couple resources for you.

Why not to keep 2 tortoises together - a lesson learned the hard way | Tortoise Forum

Odd tortoise situation - bullying | Tortoise Forum
 

Flanman

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Its difficult to say here what causes behaviour like this. However, we do know that keeping torts in pairs is not suitable. They are solitary creatures, they dont pair bond, and they dont keep company with their mates. In the wild they come together briefly to mate, and that looks a lot like combat, then they go their own ways. The female can store semen inside her for a long time so she very infrequently needs to mate. Everything about torts is evolved for solitary lifestyle, they eat low value foods that are just laying around, another tort is a potentially life threatening drain on those resources. Most of what we call "bullying" is not even overt aggression. make no mistake, torts will bite and ram and hurt each other, even kill each other. but most bullying is territory and resource related, torts that follow and sleep with one another are not friends, they are competing for territory and one or both is trying to drive the other away. With a male and female, if that is confirmed, you have the added risk of the male mating too frequently with the female, this can literally kill her. I hope you take this seriously, I cant say for sure that your tort is hiding from the other one and that is what is causing it, but I would consider it a possibility worth eliminating.

The TLDR is, your torts need to be separated into their own enclosures full time.

Couple resources for you.

Why not to keep 2 tortoises together - a lesson learned the hard way | Tortoise Forum

Odd tortoise situation - bullying | Tortoise Forum

I don’t think this is “bullying” as you call it... They share food pretty easily and don’t crap on it either (usually a sign of territorial aggression or resource dominance). This just happens in the mornings when my male is waking up (which he almost always does before the female)
 

Sarah2020

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They look dry are you soaking them? Sometimes its good to block the entire view of the enclosure try putting some rocks and encourage sleep in different places. If they start lying on each other that is dominance by one if them. Unfortunately they can fight and bite so be aware and ready to act.
 

ZEROPILOT

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I don’t think this is “bullying” as you call it... They share food pretty easily and don’t crap on it either (usually a sign of territorial aggression or resource dominance). This just happens in the mornings when my male is waking up (which he almost always does before the female)
Eating together and sleeping together should both be avoided.
These are indeed indicative of bullying.
Most Russian tortoises "don't do" mild bullying and go right to battling and biting.
This will advance eventually. Possibly very quickly.
You've been warned.
Please do a search of tortoises kept in pairs on this forum and read some posts about members that DIDN'T get warned ahead of time.
 

Flanman

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They look dry are you soaking them? Sometimes its good to block the entire view of the enclosure try putting some rocks and encourage sleep in different places. If they start lying on each other that is dominance by one if them. Unfortunately they can fight and bite so be aware and ready to act.
I soak them once every two weeks, I’ve heard one weeek should I be doing it more? Also thanks for the advice about the objects blocking view. Should I give them a bit of space in each segmented area or just make it so there’s only room for one of them in specific places?

edit: makeshift solution seems to be working well (see attachment) 5D6C8D41 DBDE 41F5 A39E 262E02497519
 
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Sarah2020

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I soak 3 times a week for 30 to 40 mins at 35 degrees C. I watch them drink and poop so all beneficial. And keeps it out of the enclosure. Glad the stones are working and line if vision being blocked and their using it. If you have a second stone put it in.
 

Ink

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How big is their enclosure?
 

Guts

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Could be some kind of dominance posturing, these guys are not social animals and a lot of “milder” bullying goes unnoticed. I’ve seen these guys literally try to bite each other heads off and with that size difference I’d be seriously concerned about the larger one killing the smaller one.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Could be some kind of dominance posturing, these guys are not social animals and a lot of “milder” bullying goes unnoticed. I’ve seen these guys literally try to bite each other heads off and with that size difference I’d be seriously concerned about the larger one killing the smaller one.
Size for size, Russians are the Kings of damage due to fighting
 

Jan A

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Size for size, Russians are the Kings of damage due to fighting
I originally thought the advice was to separate these 2 into separate enclosures & if they still could see each other, to put blockages in their views so they couldn't see each other--not to keep them in the same pen w/ no wall between them. But I'm not the OP.
 

ZEROPILOT

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I originally thought the advice was to separate these 2 into separate enclosures & if they still could see each other, to put blockages in their views so they couldn't see each other--not to keep them in the same pen w/ no wall between them. But I'm not the OP.
I would separate them completely and never let them each see each other
 

Flanman

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Hi all - sorry for late response as I haven’t been keeping up to date with forum - to clarify the smaller one is the male and the larger one is the female. The male stopped doing his weird morning behavior and has gone back to normal routine. I gave them two more hides facing away from eachother and they’ve both claimed their own sides of the heated area. I also noticed the male has stopped breeding the female (he used to do this probably once every few days) and she is digging a lot more so I think she is gravid. Both of these tortoises are fully grown and sexually mature adults.
 
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