Friday, March 20, 2009

Galapagos Tortoise video

This is a video of a Giant Galapagos Tortoise
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Two headed Tortoises

This picture is of a double headed tortoise, it proves that two headed creatures a myth but a startling reality. This angulate tortoise was discovered in western cape south africa.It has two heads which are joined separetly to a shared body. Both heads feed on leaves, grass and rabbit pellets. This species grows bigger than 22 centimetres. It also has a lengthened straw coloued shell with raised sheilds.
Males grow larger than females, they are more shy, usually retreating into their shell.When its scared, the heads move in different directions as it is confused. They dont drink freqeuntly instead they drink a large amount of water at one time. This is the second reported case of its kind in south africa in over 20 years, the other one was discovered in the early 1980s. There is a total of 43 species of these reptiles in the world and 13 of them can be found in south africa.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Galapagos Giant Tortoises

I personally find Galapagos Giant tortoises most interesting. The main attraction of the island are these giant tortoises. No one knows how many giant tortoises there were originally but estimates show that there were probaly around 100.000 were hunted in total over the centuries. Persecution still continues on a much smaller scale; more than 120 tortoises have been killed by poachers since 1990. The tortoises go on a incredible journey and it is known that tortoises can float easily in sea water. Although Galapagos tortoises are classified as just one species, scientists cannot be sure whether the fourteen races they recognise actually belong to several different species.
The tortoises have very large shells made of bone. Physical features(including the shape of shell) relate to the habitat of the species. You can tell the difference between male and female as the males have a longer tail and a shorter and concave undershell, they are also larger than females. The tortoises are slow moving reptiles with an average of long distance walking speed of 0.3km/h, they can move at a surprising speed for their size. They feed on grass covered plains. In the dry season they climb back and feed on grasses of the mountain meadow.
Being cold blooded reptiles, the tortoise bask for two hours after dawn. The tortoises are herbivoroues which mean they feed on cactus,grasses,leaves,vines and fruit. Tortoises can go along time without drinking.
Mating occurs at anytime of the year, though the seasonal peaks are between January and August. The male tortoise sniffs the air when seeking a female,bellows loudly and bobs his head.Their concave shell base allows males to mount the females from behind. It brings its tail which houses the penis into the female's cloaca. After mating, the females journey up to several kilometres to reach nesting areas.The young emerge from the nest after 120-140 days. Sex can be determind only when the tortoise is 15 years of age.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Different Types of Tortoises

The most common pet Tortoise is the Herman.Herman tortoises may also be called mediterranean tortoises. The Herman lives up 75 years or more.
Its sizes varies from 6-8 inches. Its diet usaully consists of green leaves, grasses and vegetables(cabbage,brocoli,carrots and cucumber) and fruits.(apples,grapes and melons) The herman needs to live in warm living conditions from around 27-30 degrees. They also need to hibernate
The Leopard Tortoise are around 16-18 inches and weigh about 40-50 pounds. The Leopard tortoise usaully lives for around 50 years or more. They have a high fiber diet which includes grasses and greens, small amounts of vegetables may be offered too. They need to live in warm temperature condititions between 27 to 32 degress. If your keeping a lepord tortoise as a pet you will probaly need to keep them indoors for part of the year. They do not hibernate but may slow down in colder months.

The russian tortoise lives for around 50 years, and get anywhere between 4-8 inches long.They should be fed grasses,flowers,leaves and a variety of greens. Do try to avoid fruits if you can. Russian tortoises enjoy burrowing, their heat living conditions arent as high and should usually be between 20-24 degrees. They dont tend to like being indoors for to long, though they must be taken indoors as they hibernate.

Red footed tortoises can also be called savanna tortoises or cherry heads. They live up to 50 years and sometimes longer. You can buy dwarf red footed tortoises that are a length of 10-12 inches, or else you can buy a normal red footed which often reach a length of 16 inches or more. They are omnivores and tend to eat a wide variety of foods. Though you must to careful not to overfeed them. They eat, green leaves,grass,vaegetables,fruit,cat food and now and again its good to feed them a bit of red meat. This tortoise prefers a humid climate of around 18-21 degrees. A large enclosure is needed if your keeping a red footed tortoise as a pet. They do not hibernate.

Sulcata Tortoises may also be known as the African spurred tortoise. They can live until 80-100 years, sometimes even longer. They are said to be the longest living tortoises. They are very large weighing between 80-110 pounds and their length is usually 24-30 inches. Their herbivorous which means they need a high fiber/ low protein diet. They eat mainly grasses, small amounts of leafy green vegetables can be ok. They enjoy being outdoors and need a stronge large fence as they enjoy borrowing. Though at night it is advised to keep them indoors, since their so large a shed is often advised. They do not hibernate, but do enjoy climbing which leads them to fall on their back which can be dangerous at times. So you must keep a close eye on them is theres anything they can climb on nearby.

Difference between a Tortoise and a Turtle

Tortoises and Turtles look very simular but infact they are different reptiles.

Turtles live in or near water and have adapted to swim by holding their breath under water. They may live in freshwater, ponds or the ocean. They also have flatter backs than tortoises. During cold weather they burrow in mud.

Tortoises live in hot weather conditions and store their own water supply and walk on sandy grounds. Tortoises are a type of Turtle. They come in a wide range of colours, shapes and sizes. Their feet are hard which allows them to climb rocks.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Blog on Tortoises

Hey I'm Niamh Lynn,

This is my blog on Tortoises..


Tortoises are land-dwelling reptiles, their shell protects them from other predetors.Tortoises can vary from sizes from 2 centometres to 2 metres.They are very independent animals.Tortoises can be intresting pets, they dont need much attention but because of their size they can be quite a challenge. They need a variety of food, which includes calcium and phosphorus. They are also very clean animals, and enjoy a bath once in a while. Tortoises live for a very long time(normally anywhere between 50 to 100 years) which means if you have them as a pet you must be prepared to provide care for a lifetime.