Thursday, January 10, 2013

Short video of Roz bobbing his head at Timmy

A Russian tortoise male bobs his head at a female as part of the courting behavior. Roz looks so funny when he does this. 

I like to imagine this is tortoise language for "How ya doin'?"


  1. I was looking through your blog about tort behavior and I was wondering if you knew why a Russian tortoise would constantly scratch at the corner of the tank glass. She will do this nonstop for about an hour....and I'm at my wits end! I thought it may be something to do with the habitat, but I have the right heating, UVB, substrate, hiding space and tank size. Could you think of any other reason she could be doing this? Thanks!

    1. This may be caused by a few things. How big is your tank? The minimum size for 1 tortoise is 2ft x 4ft, but bigger is always better. Even in my outdoor enclosure, which is 5ft x 30ft, I still sometimes observe the tortoises scratching at the edges. In the wild, they roam acres of land, so it's not surprising that in captivity they behave that way.

      Tortoises don't always understand that they can't walk through the glass. As reptiles go, tortoises can become quite wise, but they aren't smart, per se. My guess is that your tortoise is trying to walk through the glass, and you might be able to help her by putting a big rock or flower pot in the corner where she does this. I've put objects in most of the corners of our tortoise tables, and that way they walk around in the circle, rather than getting 'stuck' in the corner. :)

      I hope that helps.


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