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While it can also be part of the courtship ritual, tortoises do not wag their tail out of happiness (like dogs do). If you’ve got a tortoise then you’ve probably noticed that they wag their tails quite a lot. He also found that one type of tortoise the Gopherus agassizi used its tail in a rather unusual manner during mating. The tortoise tail hosts these two functions in one hole known as the cloaca. It's perfectly normal for some tortoise species to have a penis that is half the length, or more, of the plastron. Related article: How to tell if your tortoise is happy and healthy. We turned to a bunch of expert papers to try and find some better explanations of why a tortoise might wag its tail. However, this doesn’t mean that long tails wouldn’t, and we think there’s probably some truth in this explanation for many tortoises. My male sulcata walks with his tail to the side. Found in the southeastern U.S., the gopher tortoise is critical to keeping its ecosystem healthy. The front limbs have sharp, claw-like scales and are flattened for digging. However, signs of curiosity, excitement and not seeming depressed are probably good news. The male's carapace length can measure 4 feet (1.22 meters) and they can weigh up to 550 pounds (250 kilograms). By Stacey Venzel A turtle’s tail houses its reproductive organs, so without it, a turtle [...] Article by Super Fins. In the UK, all chelonians are "tortoises". An Aldabra tortoise weighing 672 pounds (305 kilograms) is the world's largest free-roaming tortoise ever recorded. The Russian tortoise are usually always imported into the United States as young adults between 4 and 5 inches. Differences between male and female Hermann’s tortoises are subtle. Another feature that is unique to cardigans, is their rounded ears. Urbanization and other threats, however, have rendered this species vulnerable to extinction. Your tortoise is not a dog and, as such, its motivations for tail wagging are a little more complex. It was inserted into the female and used to guide the male appendage inside. This sounds pretty likely given that animal courtship rituals are complicated and that, by and large, they often require quite a bit of effort to convince the female that the male has the “right stuff” to pass on to their offspring. Although some are slightly lighter, and others darker, most Sulcatas have the same typical yellow, tan, and brown color. So this ones for you Tom . Walter Auffenberg of the University of Florida, How tortoises communicate: Tort sounds, scents & posture. Like many bird species, tortoises can use a cuttlebone to chew or nibble on to keep their beak at bay. The tortoises do require fresh water for drinking at all times. Aldabras are one of the world's largest land tortoises. Related article: Do pet tortoises and turtles show affection? Mr. Auffenberg also got up close and personal with his tortoises and found that, surprisingly, a wagging tail can help a male tortoise to mount a female tortoise and retain its balance. Incubation is characteristically long in most species, the average incubation period are between 100 and 160.0 days. Log in. It’s not, really, in fact, tortoise tail wagging is altogether more interesting. Happy is a difficult thing to define when it comes to tortoises mainly because “happy” is a human emotion and it doesn’t seem to directly translate to tortoises. Favorite Answer. Tortoise breeders consider this to be the most outstanding signs of tortoise gender and it’s certainly easy to see once you’ve got a little experience with tortoises. More information... People also love these ideas . If they gallop up to grab a treat, they’re probably happy. Last Word on Why Stick Insects Curl their Tails Today. Back legs are skinnier and very long. Tortoises wag their tail to aid them with peeing and with mating. The most likely explanation is that it’s simply a function of how your tortoise normally walks. In the US, they are all "turtles". However, most reptiles do seem to recognize people who frequently handle and feed them. - The Super Fins. Join Yahoo Answers and get 100 points today. Back to top. How do you stop lizards from coming near your door. So, it’s simply not the case. They also have what experts describe as “club-like forelegs and ‘elephantine’ hind legs.” Tortoises eat some protein, usually in the form of crickets and mealworms. Turtles are very shy creatures, and when you see them in the wild they will usually be retracted in their shells, and you don’t usually see the entirety of their bodies, so what about their tails, do they have a tail that they hide? Could this be a early sign of a female ? This is often the person that returns to feed them. The length of a turtle’s tail is different among species and sexes. Karl-Anthony Towns tests positive for coronavirus, Company's single-dose vaccine deemed 'promising', Trump to leave D.C. just before Biden inauguration, U.S. state leads world in the rate of new COVID cases, Woman arrested in Capitol riot: 'I listen to my president'. Tortoises wag their tail to aid them with peeing and with mating. Get your answers by asking now. Males have longer tails with a well-developed spur. The Vet loves how easy they are to examine. Russia makes military move with Biden set to take office, Pro-Trump rocker claims he's 'destitute' after label cut him. The Russian Tortoise is native to more countries than just Russia. With that in mind, we think there are 3 signs of tortoise happiness that are reasonably reliable indicators of a happy tortoise: One thing that is fairly obvious is that a miserable tortoise is not a happy one. In particular, they seem to think it signifies that their tortoise is happy or that it’s having a poop. Animal Tails: explorations of the animal world through connections to literature ZooATL 2020 time in the water. So why does a tortoise wag its tail? It’s interesting to note that there are a lot of myths and theories around tortoises’ tail wagging. ANSWER: Many feel that they have not developed this emotion, as it does not naturally benefit them. If they don’t respond to new stimuli, they may not be very happy. Instead, stick to the coaxing method and only handle them when you absolutely have to. However, it’s worth pointing out that tortoises aren’t always consistent in their curiosity, you might need to try again later to be sure if your tortoise is not interested in something new. Males have larger tails than females do. We look at situations in which we think humans would be happy and then see what the tortoise does. 5. this is for the US, not the UK (thanks oikos!). Leopard tortoise females can lay eggs year round. At Garden State Tortoise, we have been very successful at producing this subspecies yearly in the U.S., and we have launched the first North American Regional Studbook for Testudo hermanni hermanni. But the young I have walks with its tail down . About 1 in 3,000 tortoiseshell cats are male making them incredibly rare. Surely, it’s just your tortoise getting its tail out the way of its poop? Tortoises when under stress, illness or injury can become clearly depressed. It’s definitely not a display of happiness though, as It might be with a dog, and it’s a bit harder to tell when a tortoise is happy. Ar$e-pipe losers? No matter the sex of a human baby by the end of the pregnancy, all babies start … You can sign in to vote the answer. Often, for older tortoises, you can use the length of their tail to determine their sex. Explore. Although female turtles do not have a use for their tails, scientists assume female turtles still have tails for the same reason human males have nipples. However, there are ivory and albino morphs that are much lighter in color. He has studied a wide range of tortoise species and he came to two conclusions: the first being that the tail can be used as a tactile device in courtship. And if they’re not acting depressed – they probably are happy. They have been known to survive in the harshest of conditions. This might be true if the tortoise was to cock its tail to one side of its body or the other whilst pooping but wagging it would drag the tail back and forth through the poop rather than keep the tail clear of poop. The Horsefield/Egyptian tortoises are readily available tortoises that are not known to be endangered tortoises, like other species. Have you seen little sulcatas walk with there tails down ? However, in some species the ratio of the tail to the tortoise is simply not large enough to have any real impact on the tail. Some turtles use the tail to assist with mating and protection. The female's carapace can measure 3 feet (91 centimeters) and can weigh 350 pounds (159 kilograms). Females generally have flatter plastrons and males tend to have longer tails. 14. Size of the tail varies with species and sex. Furthermore, with stick insects that have spines on their legs, you should avoid doing this altogether as it is easy to get nipped because of it. Fact 9 They store their sperm and produce fertile eggs three years after the last mating. We can kind of understand why owners might think that pooping was a reason for tail wagging. I so totally agree with Barb, not one of my tortoises or turtles will pull their head in when I "pet" them. Females can lay eggs even without a male partner to fertilize them. Tortoises have a classic example of a mutualism symbiotic relationship with some species of Galapagos finch. They thrive in numerous middle eastern countries including Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and even western provinces of China.. Their natural habitat includes the desert and barren regions of these countries. So, we would note that while we believe tortoises can be happy – we can’t prove that they can be happy. So, if your tortoise is acting depressed – they may well be depressed and that means they aren’t happy. Hermann’s Tortoise Indoor Enclosures . However, males of most species have much longer tails than the females. How do you think about the answers? Hermann’s Tortoise Care . Now, it’s important to note that different species of tortoise have different lengths of tail – so, you need to be sure that you’ve got two tortoises from the same species if you want this to work but a male tortoise of the same species as the female ought to have a much longer tail, the female’s should be short and stubby. Sadly, tail wagging is not one of those signs. So heres the question don't females walk with there tails down ??? I mess with all my chelonia. So even if they are quite … They say that if we try to do this, we may mistake the real feelings of animals for feelings that we’d like them to have, instead. Yes, all tortoises have tails. Species. Can't they take the heat? ? This is a shame because it would be quite nice if tortoise happiness could be easily measured like this. What's the prop that a star took home from 'That '70s Show'? The eggs are left unattended, and depending on the species, take from 60 to 120 days to incubate. But there have been recorded instances of tortoiseshell cats being male, caused by a genetic mutation. WHAT DO I DO? Males have longer tails than females. The tortoise tail hosts these two functions in one hole known as the cloaca. Tortoises have stubby, elephant-like feet and heavier, domed shells. Many tortoise owners seem to associate their tortoise’s tail wagging with behaviors that it’s not actually related to. Well-fed males, raised on a healthy diet, mature at around 5 years of age and females at 7 years. The thinking goes. Related article: How tortoises communicate: Tort sounds, scents & posture. This is, probably, for the best. This makes these tortoises among nature’s more peculiar love makers. Proper Hermann’s tortoise care is all about replicating the habitat and lifestyle these reptiles are used to in the wild. Reports: NFL star under criminal investigation in Colo. Trump businesses in ‘hole’ even before riot fallout, Police find chemicals to make explosives in RV park. So why does a tortoise wag its tail? Baby Sulcatas are born at around two inches in size. Pinterest. Note: However, we have noticed that our tortoises wag their tail just before they pee – more on that later. It might sound odd from a human mating perspective, but tortoises aren’t people and what floats their boat, is unlikely to float yours. Do pet tortoises and turtles show affection? My snake just regurgitated its food then started to eat it again, even though the rat is half-digested!! The tails on female turtles never go through such a growth spurt. It do mean she have againt hatred to the him or not? You may be wondering why and if this is something akin to when a dog wags its tail at a human being? Firstly owners need to remember that tortoises cannot swim, unlike turtles and terrapins. In other words, there are actually 2 simpler questions that need to be answered, making up the main question: 3. what's the difference between a turtle and a tortoise? 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