Sunday, November 9, 2014

Lady's first egg hatched today!

Lady's first egg finally hatched! She is a healthy and perfect little Russian tortoise hatchling, and weighs 16g.
Finally out! 
This wee baby had NO hurry to get out of her egg. She didn't pip until day 68, and then she sat in there, looking out of the little hole she had made, for 3 days! When we came home from church today, she was finally out of her egg.

The lopsided shape will even out in a few days
She was rolled diagonally inside the egg, so she is still quite lopsided, but that will even out as her shell hardens, and she'll be a normal little oval baby. Look at her little nuchal scute (it's the one right above her head) - it's split in half, making it look like a perfect little heart!

16 g of pure cuteness
She is dark, and very domed. Her Mom and Dad are both sunflower yellow with black markings, and very domed, so she's going to be a beauty!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Dissection of a failed tortoise egg

Yesterday my son and I dissected a Russian tortoise egg that had stopped developing and dried out. Inside we found moldy icky stuff, but also a tiny blue tortoise fetus about 1.5cm long. It was truly amazing to see how fully formed it was, with tiny claws, little scales, closed eyes, a stubby tail, a little beak, and all the scutes on its shell.

My fingernail and the foot of a tiny penny-sized tortoise fetus from a failed egg.
Since not everyone enjoys reading about or seeing pictures of this kind of thing, I am not creating a blog post about it here. However, if you would like to see pictures (no gore, just a tiny fully-formed penny-sized blue tortoise fetus), here is a link to my article on the Tortoise Forum: "Egg dissection"