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Angulate Tortoises

- nesting & eggs p.2 -

Angulated tortoises (Chersina angulata) nesting outdoors under a heatlamp

Angulate tortoise nesting outdoors under a heat lamp during one chilly evening

Egg laying

Angulate / Angulated tortoise (Chersina angulata) females usually lay only one large egg. Occasionally, two eggs may be deposited. In those cases, the second egg could actually be a retained egg from a previous clutch. Older, more mature females can lay up to 6-7 clutches per year. Younger females may only lay 1-2 clutches.

Angulate / Bowsprit tortoise (Chersina angulata) laying en egg

Angulate tortoise about the lay an egg.

Angulate / Bowsprit tortoise (Chersina angulata) laying en egg

There it is!

Angulate / Bowsprit tortoise laying an egg

Another nest.

Angulate / Bowsprit tortoise just after egglaying

Notice how much the bony opening between the carapace and plastron (top and bottom shells) had to widen during egg laying to allow for the passage of the large egg. She had just laid her egg and the bony opening hadn't returned to normal size yet.

Angulate / Bowsprit tortoise, Chersina angulata

This shows how narrow the space between the carapace and plastron is normally, when she's not laying eggs.

Nesting indoors

Angulated tortoise (Chersina angulata) nesting indoors

Angulate tortoise nesting in an indoor nesting box filled with a soil / coco coir mix. She does not like to nest indoors. That day it just got so late, dark and cold outside that I decided to bring her in. Fortunately, she continued the nest digging indoors and laid her egg. :O)

Nesting outdoors

Angulate tortoise's muddy bottom after egg laying

A muddy bottom is a giveaway that she has been digging a nest hole. :O) While digging her nest, she urinates into the soil making it wet.

Angulate tortoise (Chersina angulata) laying an egg

Laying such a big egg is hard work. With each push, her head goes way in and then pops back out to start the next push. The pushing phase can last 15-20 minutes or even longer. Notice the previous test hole on the right. She usually digs several of those before she actually lays her egg.

freshly covered Angulate tortise nest

Freshly covered Angulate tortoise nest. The mama has just finished covering it and is leaving the site. As with all tortoises, the covered nest is well camouflaged. If you didn't see her digging, you wouldn't know there's a nest.

Angulate tortoise (Chersina angulata) nest

Same nest and egg partially uncovered. Soil around the egg is wet from mama's urine. Female tortoises often urinate during egg laying, presumably to soften the soil for digging.

Angulate tortoise (Chersina angulata) egg

Here's the big egg! Angulates usually lay only one egg at a time.

Angulate tortoise nest

Another Angulate tortoise nest. Notice the "tools of the trade." :O) I use the blunt rubber end of a pencil to soften the soil and a small paint brush to uncover the egg. You can already see the top of the egg.

Angulate tortoise nest

Angulate tortoise nest. The egg is very tightly wedged into the soil. It's difficult to dig the egg out without breaking it.

Angulate tortoise nest with egg removed

Depth of the nest. The egg has already been removed.

 

 

Related pages: Angulate nesting p.1, courtship, incubation, egg development, hatchlings

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