More on the way.

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion' started by Flaviemys purvisi, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Well today is day #66 of incubation for the 3rd and final clutch of ELN's for 2019's breeding season and there's already movement at the station. Both Clutches 1 and 2 hatched from day #78 and they've all already found new homes which just leaves me with these 5 to feed, so it looks like I'm going to get to turn my incubator off a week or so earlier than expected which is fine by me as it's been running non stop now since 24/10/19. It's been Autumn for just a week and the adult turtles are already at it again. Old incubator won't get much of a spell. LOL
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    The 1st one snuck out yesterday while I was at work bang on day #70. The second one is at work breaking out now.
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    This image below depicts typically how ELN's hatch... upside-down and completely folded in half from head to tail. ELN eggs split right down the middle of the top of the egg whilst short-necks break out of one end of their egg. It takes several hours for their shells to assume the normal shape after emerging from the egg. ELN's are folded end to end, (head to tail) inside their eggs whereas all short-necked species are folded in half the other way, (from the side.)
    For those who can't really see what's going on... the turtle's head is at the bottom of the photo and its backside and hind limbs are at the top of the egg and there's a fold/crease right across the middle of the plastron.

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    Only one left to hatch now...
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    Harvesting live food from several buckets of rainwater placed around the garden back in November last year.
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    First feed...
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    Takes them about 15 seconds to switch on to the movement and start smashing them.
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    2 weeks old now and adapting well to aquarium life.
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  2. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    I sold all my hatchies from the 2019 season within 2 weeks of advertising them... this lot was the last Chelodina longicollis clutch to hatch... just as the Coronavirus was really ramping up... I'm prepared to hang onto these guys for the long haul now as I literally couldn't give them away, no one is buying anything at all. I've had over 350 hits and only 1 inquiry in the last week. These 5 are growing on me though, the longer I have them, the harder it'll be to let them go when all this settles down. They may very well become permanent residents here in my reptile room. :D
    They well and truly recognise me now and follow me around like puppies.
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  3. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Great pictures and story :) I haven't had a turtle for the best part of 20 years, and you're making me long for the time when it happens again.
     
  4. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Hehe you know that old saying... "the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago... the second best time is now"?? Well the same logic applies for getting a turtle.

    I wish I'd planted half a dozen avocado trees 20 years ago!
     
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  5. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    If I hadn't just been forced to relocate and abandon my plans for the next 10 years leaving me bewildered and uncertain about what was going to happen from here, I'd be getting some turtles now!
     
  6. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    You can be like my mate, settle down in Blackburn and become an accountant... haha. He also keeps a pair of Mary river turtles in a 10ft aquarium in his living room. His parents (now both deceased) bought them for him from a Melbourne pet store as "penny turtles" 40 years ago... so they hold a lot of sentimental value for him.
     
  7. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Haha, I'll put the accountant in Blackburn idea on the maybe list. I remember seeing penny turtles at the markets when I was a kid (I miss those old community markets). Pretty cool he kept them alive starting as a 4 year old! I imagine they'd hold enormous sentimental value. What's the oldest you know of them living to?
     
  8. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    They're alive but severely stunted... about 1/3 the size they should be and pretty deformed... turtle husbandry has come a long way since those days... the female has to go to the vet every year to be induced to pass her eggs as she can't lay them normally herself and she only ever has 3-5.

    The oldest Mary or just the oldest Aussie freshwater turtle in general??
     
  9. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Yeah, all the old turtles I've seen from more than about 20 years ago are like that. Are those eggs viable?

    Feel free to tell me both I guess! What's the life expectancy of say, typical Chelodinas, Emyduras, etc (unless that's unknown or species vary significantly or whatever). Despite all these years dealing with reptiles and being very fond of turtles, and knowing quite a bit about a lot of reptiles, turtles are a group I have a lot of wholes in my knowledge of.
     
  10. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    The eggs could be viable prior to X-rays being done but they're not fertilised.
    I know of a Chelodina longicollis that's 95... an Elseya albagula that's 90... several Elusor macrurus in their 60's. A lot of texts written on freshwater turtles say that 30-40 years is the upper expected life expectancy for most species... I recently read a paper that stated Bell's turtles live for 37 years... I laughed hard at that, but that's just not accurate at all. A turtle that's 30-40 is no older than a 30-40 year old human. Turtles don't live as long as terrestrial tortoises, but 70-80 years is easily attainable and they'll still be breeding at that age. A few species don't even reach sexual maturity until they're on the plus side of 30. My flavi's take 20 years. The oldest Emydura I've seen were krefft's and they were in their 60's and had extensive macrocephaly. This condition doesn't occur in all species.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
  11. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Right, so if I get turtles now and take care of them I won't have to worry about saying goodbye to them, but I'll need to make sure I have at least one kid who will be keen to take them on.

    How old to they typically mature at? Surely 20 wouldn't be normal for most species? Actually, it would be pretty cool to get a few species going. I think by the time I'm an old man it'll be a bit unusual to see wild native turtles in Australia, and eventually we'll have several species go extinct in the wild, thanks to our cute but destructive friend the RES.
     
  12. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Emydura if power-fed can reach maturity in 2 years. The fastest growing species in Australia is the Murray river turtles... sold in pet stores everywhere along the eastern seaboard and subsequently dumped in every major system as well. Basically... female turtles have to be 2/3 their adult size and males 1/2 their adult size. Under normal conditions species like Chelodina longicollis would reach maturity in 10-12 years... most Emydura in 7-8 years as with several Wollumbinia. Flaviemys purvisi are an ancient species... Living dinosaur... very slow growing... they take 20 years. Elseya albagula take longer again.
    All my turtles will outlive me by decades, (in an ideal world).
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
  13. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Chelodina longicollis is the one I grew up with and the only one I've bred (I obtained them as adults, no idea of their age). So 10-12 years under normal conditions, but I've seen them grow to that sort of size within 2 years. Would that mean they were mature at that age?
     
  14. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Yes if they reached 1/2 & 2/3 their adult size respectively within 2 years they would be sexually mature... the downside is their life expectancy would be substantially reduced.
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    This is the size of a normal 4 year old Chelodina longicollis under normal conditions. Over-fed captive specimens don't represent a turtle's normal growth.. just like with captive pythons.
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    The very same turtle now 10 years old is the larger female on the right. She is still only 2/3 her adult size and has at least another decade before she reaches her full size.
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    Well I just sold and delivered 2 hatchies to a bloke just 8km away from home so that was good, wasn't expecting to sell any of this last clutch any time soon. Leaves me with just 3 little ones remaining from the 2019 season.
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    And just sold the last 3... to the same guy who took 2 an hour ago... lol happy days!
     
  15. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    I haven't checked for over 10 years now, what's the legal situation with selling hatchling turtles? In Victoria it used to be illegal to sell them until they had a shell length of over 10cm. I remember hatching a clutch and being unable to keep or sell them all, I can't actually remember what happened (it was the best part of 20 years ago now) but I remember it being a completely horrible and ridiculous situation. Plenty of people wanted them illegally but I wouldn't go down that path, I think I found someone I could legally give them to. I stopped keeping turtles that year and haven't had one since. Other states presumably don't have such ridiculous laws and I'm guessing Victoria probably no longer does.
     
  16. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    They can be sold the day they hatch... it's unethical though to sell them before they're established feeders.
     
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  17. dragonlover1

    dragonlover1 Subscriber Subscriber

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    It's similar with dragons or snakes ,there are no hard and fast rules just general guidelines similar to dogs and cats. You shouldn't sell them till they are feeding well. I won't sell my dragons till they are at least 6-8 weeks old and feeding well. I want them to be healthy and to survive
     
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  18. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Exactly mate... I get my turtles going within a week and like to hang onto them for 2-3 weeks to make sure they're nice and strong.
     
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  19. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    I'm not sure about the current law, but previously there was a hard an fast rule of a 10cm carapace length in Victoria. There are vague laws about snakes and lizards which are more or less in line with common sense.
     
  20. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    No one would ever breed turtles if you couldn't sell them until they were 10cm... that takes 5-7 years with most species.
     
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