Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Open With Caution

Cuteness ahead. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

At the Zoo, March means the beginning of hatching season. Two weeks ago, I took pictures of this.

Look who's here! This is a Pyxis arachnoides brygooi from Madagascar.

Look who’s here! This is a Pyxis arachnoides brygooi from Madagascar.

 

I took this photo the same day. Most of these eggs are from three subspecies of spider tortoise.

Look at all those eggs!

Look at all those eggs!

Despite all being from spider tortoises, there is quite a difference in the size of the eggs. Sometimes the really, really little ones don’t hatch. Not always.

I call him Tater Tot. Because he's roughly the size of, well...

I call him Tater Tot. Because he’s roughly the size of, well…

He’s easily the tiniest brygooi I have ever seen. And he’s a feisty thing. When he was done with his photo session, he just walked away. Hiding in a shell is for weenies, right?

Small enough to fit in my pocket, but I won't.

Small enough to fit in my pocket, but I won’t.

 

How tiny is he? I’ll show you.

Gratuitous bellybutton shot! The tortoise on the left is the same subspecies and hatched only a day or so before.

Gratuitous bellybutton shot! The tortoise on the left is the same subspecies and hatched only a day or so before.

 

I’ll try to get some more shots for you today. Happy tortoise day!

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34 thoughts on “Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Open With Caution

  1. How cute is that – Tater Tot for the little bugger! I was interested in the writing on the egg shells – probably identification coding sort of like the tiny beaded bracelets we got as newborns in the 50’s.

  2. My goodness! So adorable! Is it a stupid question to ask about the belly button shot? In two shots it really looks as though they have a belly button and it’s closing together. Am I just seeing things or am I silly for not knowing that these little guys have them? (Feeling a little dumb) 🙂

    • I am fascinated by tortoise bellybuttons. If you go to the menu at the top of my blog and click “Tortoises and Turtles,” there’s a whole subcategory for bellybuttons.

      When a reptile grows in its egg, it feeds off of a yolk sac and is attached to it by an umbilicus. When the baby first hatches, its first job is to absorb the remainder of the yolk (sometimes there’s so much that it’s still on the outside of the body). Over time, the umbilicus closes. This week, it is barely visible (I’ll share pics next Wednesday). I never knew about tortoise bellybuttons until three years ago, and now I tell everyone I know!

  3. Hi, Tater!

    I’m with you. It would be a constant internal struggle not to take him home every week! He’s so BRAVE-looking with his little serious face! He would totally rule the Lucy’s Football roost and Dumbcat would bow to him as his master!

    • I am learning that if I don’t steal the tortoises, they invite me back to take care of them. I can do that. Right? He really is a sassy-pants. He walked right over one of his companions today.

  4. Awwwwhhhhh! I just want to put Tator Tot in my pocket and take him home! It’s incredible how he is just a perfect little tortoise – right out of the box, so to speak. What is the lifespan on these type of tortoises?

  5. Pingback: Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion | Clarissa's Blog

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