Help indentifying please?

Discussion in 'Tortoises' started by DivaDena, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. DivaDena

    DivaDena Embryo

    This guy is at the local shelter, can anyone tell me what he is?
     

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  2. Cammy

    Cammy Administrator Staff Member

    Maybe a young sulcata? Can we get pictures of the plastron (belly) and head and thighs too? Might be able to give you a more definite answer if I can compare those to other species.

    Was he a "dump?" (As in, did someone just drop him off without contacting the shelter or leaving any info? I hate when that happens...) If you think it is a sulcata, I'll be more than happy to do a quick run-through of the basic care for you. Love those guys. Be warned, though: they get huge.

    Welcome to the forums, by the way!
     
  3. DivaDena

    DivaDena Embryo

    Thanks Cammy. so the story is, he was found and turned in, so we have no backstory on him. i know enough about sulcatas (and myself) not to take him if thats what he really is. but if he's something more reasonable sized, and i was able to research his care, i would take him. i dont have other pics avail.
     
  4. Cammy

    Cammy Administrator Staff Member

    Grrrrrrr, see that middle scute right above his head? It's called the nuchal scute, and it's ticking me off, because I'm pretty sure sulcatas don't have that...and now I'm going to obsessively look at tortoise pictures until I can give you a better answer. >:C
     
  5. DivaDena

    DivaDena Embryo

    AWESOME! thank goodnes for nucahl scutes! haha
    also, can you tell age by the rings? someone was guessing he was 25, which was why they thought he WASNT sulcata...
     
  6. Cammy

    Cammy Administrator Staff Member

    Where are you located? (Just a general area is fine.) I'm wondering if he is a wild Desert Tortoise...in which case he'll need to be returned to the wild pronto as it is a protected species. (Different states have different specific rules, but I'm pretty sure it's illegal to remove one from the wild in most if not all of the states they are found in.)

    There's not really an accurate way to tell age from the number of rings. The more rings, the more growth, but growth is highly dependent on the conditions an animal is raised in. So, for example, you could have a young tortoise who has grown quickly and rapidly (meaning more rings) due to perfect environmental factors...but then you could have an older tortoise whose growth was stunted due to poor conditions (meaning less rings). Generally, "more" rings means "more" age, but beyond that I couldn't begin to tell you the specifics of his age. Sorry!
     
  7. DivaDena

    DivaDena Embryo

    we're in the DC area so no, im pretty sure hes a lost or released exotic. :(
     
  8. Cammy

    Cammy Administrator Staff Member

    I'm still thinking desert tortoise here...it's just really strange to find one simply wandering around in D.C....but you never know, someone could have been keeping it illegally. They are illegal to buy or sell, but usually a free adoption is technically legal. You may want to get in contact with local wildlife authorities. They should be able to confirm if it is in fact a Desert Tortoise and can tell you what the next best step for the shelter to take would be. Like I said, a free adoption is technically legal, so you don't have to contact authorities as long as no one is going to be selling this little guy.

    I'm going to just link to the Chelonian Trust's care guide here. I hate to do that to you, but obviously these aren't common pets, so I really know nothing about them.

    http://www.chelonia.org/Articles/Gagassiziicare.htm

    Luckily for you, they don't get anywhere near as big as a sulcata, lol. This guide says they max out at a little over a foot (which is only half to a third of what a sulcata would grow to be). Judging by the picture, he's probably fully grown at this point. Granted, it's hard to tell size by looking at a picture...as I sit here squinting sideways at a ruler in my outstretched hand...Anyways, he's still going to need a very large living space, complete with heat and UVB lighting, and if he's anything like most tortoises, I'm sure he'll eat you out of house and home, so just make sure you can provide if you decide to take him.

    Soooo, yeah. I really hope I'm right, here...and if not, I give you full permission to go yell at JEFFREH for being a snake guy. Because that's just how I roll, yo'.
     
  9. DivaDena

    DivaDena Embryo

    haha too funny, ok thanks so much for your time!
     
  10. Cammy

    Cammy Administrator Staff Member

    No problem! =D
     
  11. lestat

    lestat Moderator Staff Member

    Can you get more photos? Whatever it is, it has signs of being a captive raised animal. Pictures of the head and tail region would help quite a bit. I forwarded the one picture to a chelonia rescue in Seattle.
     
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  12. shaynea

    shaynea Embryo

    thats def a sulcata but wasnt fed the right diet! i have one
     
  13. lestat

    lestat Moderator Staff Member

    That is NOT a sulcata. It is also NOT a wild tortoise. It's almost certainly in the Gopherus genus. Possibly a Texas Tortoise (gopherus berlandieri). It has some pretty bad captive growth issues. I've shown the pictures to Jerry Novak at PNW Turtle Works, and that's the best ID he's been able to come up with without better pictures. If you can post more pictures, I can have him take a look at those and possibly get a positive ID.
     
  14. lestat

    lestat Moderator Staff Member

    Also, what shelter is that tortoise at?
     
  15. jacobsipple

    jacobsipple New Member

    He looks like a forest hingeback tortoise to me
     
  16. lestat

    lestat Moderator Staff Member

    He doesn't appear to have a hinge though.
     

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