I’ve officially been taking care of tortoises in the Herpetology department at my zoo for two years now. Over that time, I have to admit I’ve found some favorites.
For 2 years, my favorite adult tortoises have been the pancake tortoises, Malacochersus tornieri.
They are unbelievably cool. Instead of being rock-hard like other tortoise shells, the shell of the pancake tortoise is rather spongy.In the wilds of eastern Africa, they defend themselves by wedging tightly into narrow crevices in rock. Their conservation status in the wild is listed as Vulnerable, which means that their numbers are okay at the moment, but sudden loss of habitat will leave them in serious jeopardy. Without the rocky terrain, they cannot survive.
For two years, I have been wishing and hoping for babies from our two pairs to no avail. The females haven’t been the most maternal and have scrambled the eggs before they could be retrieved. So frustrating! Until now.
Last week was the best week ever. Within 24 hours, I finished my novel, hit a major blog milestone, and got to meet someone new and precious. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you Short Stack.
This species is interesting when it comes to hatching, too. The incubation range is anywhere from 99 days to about 237 days. That’s a huge range. Other species tend to be a little more predictable. This guy (gal?) hatched at the lower end of the range, which is what caught me by surprise. Personally, I wasn’t expecting Short Stack to make an appearance until April. I do love surprises!
Here’s some more exciting news. There’s another egg in the incubator, this one from the other pair. It has been candled and seems to be developing well.
So that’s my week. What exciting things are going on in your world?