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Information and Articles

Information Center: 

*below the articles are cool information size charts. Fun Info. (if you have any cool infor or facts send them our way, we will mention you)




I will try and keep it updated. Please send me articles if you find any. Local ones, major ones, anything reptile related.

Articles: (click on the article link to read.)

Articles coming soon:

*The list is made by Danny; Egyptiandan as most know him.. (not sure where he got it or if he made it: found it to be interesting though:

Galapagos tortoise, Chelonoidis nigra-----------150cm

Aldabra tortoise, Aldabrachelys dussumieri------140cm

Seychelles tortoise, A. hololissa----------------100cm

Arnold's tortoise, A. arnoldi---------------------90cm

African spurred tortoise, Centrochelys sulcata---84.5cm

Yellowfoot tortoise, Chelonoidis denticulata------82cm

Leopard tortoise, Stigmochelys pardalis---------78cm

Redfoot tortoise, Chelonoidis carbonaria---------61cm

Asian mountain tortoise, Manouria emys---------60cm

Plowshare tortoise, Astrochelys yniphora--------49cm

Radiated tortoise, A. radiata--------------------45cm

Chaco tortoise, Chelnoidis chilensis--------------44cm

Bolson's tortoise, Gopherus flavomarginatus------40cm

Marginated tortoise, Testudo marginata----------40cm

Greek tortoise, T. ibera--------------------------38cm

Star tortoise, Geochelone elegans----------------38cm

Desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii---------------38cm

Gopher tortoise, G. polyphemus------------------38cm

Hermanns tortoise, Testudo hermanni------------36cm

Elongated tortoise, Indotestudo elongata---------36cm

North African greek tortoise, Testudo graeca-----34cm

Travancore tortoise, Indotestudo travancorica----34cm

Forest hingeback tortoise, Kinixys erosa-----------32cm

Celebes tortoise, Indotestudo forstenii------------31cm

Impressed tortoise, Manouria impressa------------31cm

Russian tortoise, Agrionemys horsfieldii------------28cm

Bowsprit tortoise, Chersina angulata--------------26cm

Burmese Star tortoise, Geochelone platynota------26cm

Home's hingeback tortoise, Kinixys homeana-------25cm

Texas tortoise, Gopherus berlandieri---------------23cm

Bell's hingeback tortoise, Kinixys belliana-----------22cm

Speke's hingeback tortoise, K. spekii---------------20cm

Geometric tortoise, Psammobates geometricus-----20cm

Pancake tortoise, Malacochersus tornieri-----------20cm

Lobatse hingeback tortoise, Kinixys lobatsiana------17cm

Natal hingeback tortoise, K. natalensis-------------16cm

Karoo cape tortoise, Homopus femoralis------------16cm

Spider tortoise, Pyxis arachnoides------------------15cm

Tent tortoise, Psammobates tentorius--------------15cm

Egyptian tortoise, Testudo kleinmanni--------------14cm

Serrated tortoise, Psammobates oculiferus---------13cm

Flat-tailed tortoise, Pyxis planicauda---------------12cm

Parrot-beaked tortoise, Homopus areolatus---------12cm

Boulenger's cape tortoise, H. boulengeri------------11cm

Namibian tortoise, H. solus------------------------10cm

Speckled tortoise, H. signatus----------------------9.5cm

Sulcata Information:

Here is some information about sulcata tortoises, this was put together by multiple people, and was sent to me so i can pass it along. 

I use purina sunfresh layena wetted with pure aloe juice and mixed in with greens and chopped fresh or wetted dry-grass. That simple, more or less. I mix in wetted grassland too for a different source of a different roughage/fiber.

Long fiber mean whole lengths of grass that can be seen in the fecal, so it is relative to the tortoises' size.

Long fiber is mission critical to gut health in tortoises.

I get the crumbles. Mazuri has not been well recieved by my tortoises.

I don't want them eating globs of stuff no mater what it is.

I use romaine and escarole store bought, and mulbery and hibiscus grown as the substrate for these other concentrated foods.

I also feed out snails and slugs fed on the grassland and layena for meat. Always a size that encourages whole animal consumption. Snail's shells have high calcium content. Cleaning snails up for gut content takes about a week or so.

These are concepts that I don't want to dicker over on TFO. But am glad to talk about one on one.

I worked at the philly zoo when somebody's name used our collection as a beta test site for special diet testing. I learned much from her, and a few others.

I have been given mazuri which looks like yellow dog food chucks, and when I look at the image on the bag that LLL post for sale it looks more like a pellet. I do not know what is the true mazuri maybe.

On the Layena, a woman, Kay Booth wrote a book "40 years with tortoises" where she raised a few generations of Cal Desert Torts on Layena. I talked about it with a reptile nutrionist, she gave it a thumbs up. less than $20 for a 50 # sack beats the 'tortoise' diets. And Purina, under one label or another, largest commercial animal diet company that makes so many specialized foods, they are good at it.

I had sorted out a quantitative mix, but I grew tired of measuring everything, and I found a qualitative method.

The dry wetted or fresh grass do not ad volume to the amount of food prepared, nor does the layena or grassland.

I cut up the "greens" romaine, escarole, mulberry, and hybiscus to the total volume that I will feed out. The proportion of these is always different. The green grass or wetted dry grass is added till no more will stick to the "greens". Then I do the same with the layena and/or the grassland diet.

Start with the big particles to fill the total volume, then fill in with the next biggest particles, and so on. This qualitative method, when I did the math creates a variable diet with a protein content of about 20%.

The snails tip that up, but also ad much calcium. I offer a few to each tortoise that would eat them in the wild, per week.

Does this make sense?

I've been thinking about my narrative to you, and relating that to procedures described in some scientific literature I've read, and had to follow, and it seems like maybe I should elaborate a bit more.

So I have two dish pans, those plastic open top containers that people wash dishes in. A hand held water sprayer and scissors and kitchen knife. 

I first go harvest whatever I am going to harvest, and soak it in tap/cold water. I place the layena/grassland into a cup and fill to 2x depth with the pure Aloe juice. While these things are soaking I will chop the grocery greens and place into the other dish pan. The harvested greens are then giggled in the water to dislodge whatever dust may have collected on them. If this includes green grass or hibiscus or mulberry leaves makes no difference. I grow the grass and hibiscus myself, but use mulberry from plantings around the apartment complex I live in, they all get dusty. 

I then place the wash harvested greens on the counter to drain.

If I use dry grass, like what can be bought, I will use a water sprayer to wet it all. This serves two purposes, it makes it stick to the greens better, and when I cut it up, it does not shoot bits of grass everywhere. I cut it into a variety of lengths by bundling up a handful and cutting it with scissors, 1/8 inch to about two inches, the majority at one inch. I cut up the leaves so they are a similar particle size to the grocery greens, and cut the green grass to the same length as the wetted dry grass.

So all the ingredients are now ready, I mix the grass into the greens until no more will stick to the greens, I figure that out as as much is on my hands and the sides of the dish pan, as is on the greens. Then I tumble in the layena/grassland. You will see it collect on the bottom of the dish pan when no more will stick to the greens.

I wear latex gloves doing all this, holdover practice from lab work. 

When I portion the food out I use two methods, 1) put it on a paper plate already in the enclosure from the day before, until the plate needs to be replaced with a new one, 2) or I portion it out at the counter on a new plate. I feed species that are a bit more omnivorous last, like manouria and hingebacks, scrape the crumbs and sticking grass from the dish pan and put it on top of those salad portions.

I feed very nearly everyday. The gap days are when what is usually eaten throughout the day before has leftover on the plate of about 10 to 20% of the fed out volume of greens, not the smaller particles.

There are not many indicated gap days, other wise I still make some diet, but don't serve all the animals. I do skip at least one day a week no matter what to pull all the paper plates and do a spot clean, always wearing latex gloves that are washed or replaced between each enclosure or group.

Some groups are in multiple enclosure, as I will rotate males through to their own enclosure or placed with alternate groups of females. That "something new" male or female, has much appeal.

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