Tortois ID

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Tortois ID

Postby kinghero » Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:01 am

So The other day I was telling a guy at work that I am busy applying for tortoise permits so that I can buy Two from the zoo.

He then asked if I could ID his brothers two and I said only with picture of the top and bottom.

I have to say its a lot harder than I though, so I want to ask for your help and advice on how to go about it and what the ID is.

the Two
Image
The Big one
Image
Again the big one
Image
Bottom of the big one
Image


The small one
Image
Bottom of small one
Image

Please Teach me.
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Re: Tortois ID

Postby Sico » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:12 am

Those appear to both be Leopard Tortoises. It is hard to sex them in the pictures you have, but the smaller one appears to have a longer, thinner tail than the larger one which would suggest that the smaller is a male and the larger a female. The plastron (lower surface of the shell) in females tends to be flatter at the rear, with the males having an indentation over the joint of the femoral and abdominal shields, which aids them in balancing on the posterior shell of the female during mating.
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Re: Tortois ID

Postby kinghero » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:25 am

Thank you Sico.

My first thing (before even seeing the photos) was leopard tortoise as that's the most comin, however when I saw the pictures I doubted myself as all the pictures I have seen, indicates to a Dark shell.

also it looks like it has huge indentations on the shell between each spot, would that be normal on them ?

anytips on how to ID and how you came about this answer as I am still learning.

Thank you again for the assistance.
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Re: Tortois ID

Postby jka » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:37 am

Sico is correct that is a Leopard tortoise.

I think the younger ones are sometimes lighter in coloration then adults, the color got me thinking twice.

You can sex the tortoises with tail length unlike older specimens which have the indent in males, to help with mating. Some tortoises you can only sex with tail length and head size/shape, like Parrot-beak tortoises.
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Re: Tortois ID

Postby kinghero » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:09 am

Thank you JKA.

Also thought about the age and reason for being so light, but then I found pictures on the net of a small Leopard tortoise that's supper dark, and also with a greatly smoother looking shell then these.
So I though could it be food, I know some un-informed people feed them dog and cat food which they digest to fast and thus the is not good for them and also to high in protein.

or could it be a UV thing that maybe they are kept inside all the time with no exposure to light ?

Thanks again. :smt017
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Re: Tortois ID

Postby glasbyb » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:36 pm

My guess would be on Leopard tortoises due to the lack of a nuchal scute. The pyramiding of the scutes is not uncommon in captive specimens and can be diet related. The colouration is odd but very possibly due to geographical origin or artificial lighting. Unless they are exotic, then I am definitely stumped.
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Re: Tortois ID

Postby kinghero » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:30 am

Thank you all for your replies.
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Re: Tortois ID

Postby yagyujubei » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:05 pm

Both are leopards to me they look like Stigmochelys pardalis babcocki, not S. African pardalis pardalis. Pyramiding shells, larger one looks like it has a little metabolic bone disease. Extra scute on smaller one is usually found in too warm incubation temps. A little small to sex, but I would say two males.
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Re: Tortois ID

Postby Jamster » Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:39 pm

I would also say they are too young to sex, but they are definately leopard tortoises. As for the shell shape, a friend of mine owns a tortoise sanctuary here in PE with about 50 leopard tortoises being rehabed, 30 resident tortoises, about 50 hatchlings and 200 eggs being incubated. He showed me the leopard tortoises that are fed an unnatural diet such as bought veggies etc and end up with the tented scutes and by feeding on grass as they are supposed to they end up with smoother more rounded shells.
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Re: Tortois ID

Postby Unforgiven » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:34 pm

Just to add, the colour does look unnatural. But I have seen very big leopards all with very nice shells and all they eat is grass. The friend that has them has about 5 and just let's them roam his yard with no interference and no special food.
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Re: Tortois ID

Postby kinghero » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:16 pm

Thank you Guys, Love the feedback.
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