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Tortoise aggression


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#1 Guest_Tortoise talk_*

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 02:48 PM

Hi everyone

We have been given two tortoises by an elderly friend. One tortoise is about 50 yrs old, the other about 80 yrs old, both female.
They have lived together in a shared house in the garden for decades.
I built them a new house recently.
This spring, I have noticed for the first time, the older one repeatedly "butting" the younger one in an aggressive manner. She draws her head right in and then butts the other one with the protruding part of her shell (the part which is beneath her neck when her head is out).
Do you know of any reason why she displays such aggressive behaviour? I have never seen her do this during the previous two years.
And is it likely to injure or distress the "victim"?

Cheers

AW

#2 Guest_jadums_*

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 05:16 PM

are you sure they are both def. females?

If they are then it could be that the aggressive one is about to lay eggs and so their beahviour changes

#3 Guest_Tortoise talk_*

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 09:03 PM

We were told that they are both female, so I can't see how one could be having "babies" - unless tortoises are capable of having immaculate conceptions?

Alan

#4 Guest_jadums_*

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 10:32 PM

No didnt say babies, but they can lay eggs that are unfertalised if other torts are present although think this is only with male presence. :)

Can you post a pic of the underneath of each tort, how long are their tails? Are either of them concaved underneath or are they flat?

#5 Guest_Tortoise talk_*

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 08:37 AM

Thanks for your reply.

Sorry don't have a digital cameral at the moment.
The one showing aggressive behaviour has a shell underneath which is slightly more concave than the other one, and the tail is slightly longer than the other one. But they aren't hugely different.

Alan

#6 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 11:04 AM

Hi Alan,

How lucky you are to have those two tortoises (I'd love an older tort)! Without pictures of the tails from underneath we can't confirm sex, but it does sound as if this is mating behaviour, and that the smaller one is male. Just keep an eye on them, and if one actually injures the other, you might have to separate them for a while. Also, put in extra little hiding places in your enclosure (flower pots on their side, little houses) so that the one being harassed can retreat for a break.

Nina
http://pets.groups.y...rotectionGroup/
http://pets.groups.y...roup/Turtlesco/

#7 Guest_Tortoise talk_*

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 02:57 PM

I have had it confirmed that both of them are definitely female, they have both apparently laid eggs in the past.

So if this butting is "mating behaviour", do I conclude that the one doing the butting hasn't worked out that the other one is not male (even though they've shared a house and garden for decades)?

I think that the smaller and younger one is getting distressed by the aggressive behaviour of the other. I can separate them when I see it going on, but I can't police them all day!

Concerned of London,

Alan

#8 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 05:14 PM

Hi Alan,

I've heard that two females will occasionally do this to establish dominance. It could be that the new setting for them means they need to establish territories. It would be a shame to separate them, so keep an eye on them for a while, providing lots of hiding places, and see what happens. Obviously if one inflicts actual injuries on the other then you might have to separate them. Maybe another little house for them might help. Good luck!

Nina
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#9 Guest_jadums_*

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 03:40 PM

When I got a new adult female hermanns last spring my normally placid female tort became very aggressive towards her. As Nina said it was a dominance thing. I thought that maybe she had eggs because this can also be a sign that a female is getting ready to lay but she was checked y the vets and no eggs. They get on well now. It took about a month to settle down tho

#10 Guest_Tortoise talk_*

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 08:23 PM

Thanks for your comments Nina, Jade

Maybe it is some kind of territorial thing. But I'm rather surprised, cos I've never seen them do that before (during the previous two years).
Do you think that they can damage the other one's shell by the butting, or is it not as serious as that?
But even if not, it must be distressing for the "victim".
What I'm doing at the moment is "sin binning" the aggressor whenever I see her butting the other for any prolonged period, I put the aggressor into a raised flowerbed for half an hour or so, which she can't climb out from. I'm not sure if she realises what I am doing and why, but at least it gives the victim a break.

Cheers,
Alan

#11 Guest_Tortoise talk_*

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 06:25 PM

If anyone is able to tell the difference between male and female tortoises by looking at the underside of the shell, then I can send a picture of my two (I borrowed a friend's digital camera).

I don't think that I can attach pictures to this forum, can I?
I could send the pictures as an attachment to an email . They are now definitely displaying standard tortoise "mating behaviour", but I'm rather confused because I have been assured that they are both female.

Cheers,
Alan

#12 Guest_terrypin_*

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 08:31 PM

hi i think we need to establish exactly what species or sub species these torts are because you could have a potentially lethal combination ie spurthighed butting hermans this can take years to really be fatal or can happen fairly quickly depending on how aggressive the sub species is could you borrow a digi camera ASAP you really need to know what you have regardless.
terry

#13 Guest_Tortoise talk_*

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 10:47 AM

Hi Terry

Thanks for your reply.
I have some digital pictures of the tortoises now, which I can send as an attachment to an email.
If you send me an email (to alan.wilson999@ntlworld.com), I will send you some pics.

Alan

#14 Guest_terrypin_*

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 06:23 PM

hi Alan if you email me a picture of the plastron and tail section of both tort,s together i will post them on here for you and we can try to Id them.excuse the pic just testing .
terry
http://i4.photobucke...ypin/New016.jpg

#15 Guest_Tortoise talk_*

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 08:24 AM

Hi Terry

When I go to send you an email within this forum, I don't see any opportunity to attach any attachments.
Please tell me how to do this,
or send me an email on the normal email system (my email address is on my last message) and I will reply with the tortoise picture attachments.

Cheers,
Alan

#16 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 08:58 AM

Hi Alan,

You can load pictures with your message on this site. If you click Reply to an email, then just below the box where you write your message there is a box headed Attachment, and it says 'Click here to choose your file'. Click on that, and then click on Browse in the box that comes up. Browse through your pictures til you find the one you want and then attach it, and make sure that the box labelled .jpg is ticked (not the one that says .html, because some of us can't see the .html pictures). Good luck.

Nina
http://pets.groups.y...rotectionGroup/
http://pets.groups.y...roup/Turtlesco/

#17 Guest_Tortoise talk_*

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 09:27 AM

Hi Nina

As you can probably gather, I am no technological expert, but I am in the habit of sending emails with attachments etc.

I don't know what mistake I am making on the forum, but if I click on the Email icon on the left hand side, there is no opportunity for an attachment.

If alternatively, I click on Reply to a message on the forum, when I try to attach (by selecting Browse, select file, Open, tick JPEG, Upload file) - it comes up with error message "Script error".

Alan

#18 Guest_terrypin_*

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 12:12 PM

hello again Alan i have sent you an email you are welcome to send an attachment i must admit i got the error message as you did so i cut and pasted the html off my photo bucket picture to see if that would work and as you saw it did i will post your pictures for you if i can i feel we need to identify what tortoises you have before we can suggest anything to understand this aggression.
terry

#19 Guest_terrypin_*

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 04:04 PM

hi alan i am posting your pictures as we can see they are large spurthighed females i would say of the same sub species looking at the spurs and the size of these girls i think possibly whitei although to be sure we may have to see the carapace either way they are not hermans so this is in the wrong section but they are females so i cant see this being sexual unless one or both are gravid.as has already been said it is possible this is territorial in which case things should calm down in a while.perhaps someone else has an opinion now we have photos.i must say they are lovely looking old ladies and a pleasure to see.
terry
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#20 Guest_lloyd_*

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 08:42 PM

l.marsh
when i got 2 torts i have a herman 7 and a horsfield i av had a week and the first time i had them the male hermqn rammed and shot out like cannon at hors but then next day they get on fine people say dont mix but they only minx in house kitchen butb get on fine noww so shunt worry i think its a look whos bigger thing




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