Consider Yourself Warned

Too much cuteness is herein contained.

This Wednesday was the best Tortoise Day in the history of such events. Spring is here, and the breeding projects staff have worked for are coming to fruition.

Baby Indian Star tortoise. Notice anything about the neighboring egg?

I got to hold this baby. It was still sticky from the egg. I am in awe of these tiny little creatures.

Too much cuteness! Too much!

The hatching process is called “Pipping,” and it can take days. The babies break through the egg with a little egg tooth on the end of their nose. Once they have broken through, they sit and ponder the universe while absorbing the remains of the yolk sac that has nourished them for months.

Come on out! It's a big, beautiful world out here!

We see you in there!

I like your hat!

Just hatched. Notice how its carapace is flat at the back from being squished up in the egg!

A little bit of tortoise trivia: tortoises have belly buttons as hatchlings.

Baby tortoises have a belly button from being attached to their yolk sac. It will disappear over time.

I went back to the zoo on Thursday to try again for some pics that didn’t work out, and two more babies were ready to  meet the world.

Technically still in the egg, right?

And who is this special one? Stay tuned.

Coming soon to a Nearly Wordless Wednesday near you!


UPDATE: As of now, we have raised $1400 for desks and benches for the school in Madagascar. Only $600 to go! Thank you for your help in spreading the word on this project that will change children’s lives. If you missed the post, you can find it here.

44 thoughts on “Consider Yourself Warned

  1. Madagascar holds a special place in our hearts in this house. My husband is keeper at Duke Lemur Center. He helps care for the largest population of lemurs outside of Madagascar. Our dream is to be able to visit the island and see the lemurs in their natural habitat. If you are ever in our area, let me know, we will take you on a tour!

    • They can live for 80 years, depending on the species. And they’re expensive to keep and not always legal. They are often more responsive to people than you might think, though.

      And heavens, the babies can be so cute!

  2. So adorable! I could just eat ’em up! And I’m practically a vegetarian so believe me that I meant that figuratively. Thanks for sharing this as most people would never witness it otherwise.

    Belly button!

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  5. Wow, cute and fascinating! I have to agree that the tortoise bellybuttons win the Best Fact Ever award.

    I have always been impressed by the persistence shown by these little creatures in the hatching process…I got to attend a nighttime sea turtle hatching and it was an awe-inspiring experience.

    Thanks so much for sharing these!

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