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Old 09-21-17, 01:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Talking Tortoise Playing With A Ball

I found this clip of a Russian tortoise playing with a ball and thought it was too awesome not to share. When he loses his toy under a cabinet he runs to his human for assistance.

https://www.viralviralvideos.com/201...bored-anymore/
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Old 09-21-17, 01:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Tortoise Playing With A Ball

That's adorable LoL. I'm curious if it's actually playing or has some other motivation.
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Old 09-23-17, 02:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Tortoise Playing With A Ball

I've since found a bunch of videos of tortoises playing with balls, toy cars, empty 7.62 NATO cartridges (really!), cat toys, people and other pets. Some come to people when called by name, when they need assistance, want food or are seeking attention. The Smithsonian noted that tortoises love to be petted, rubbed and scratched so this is considered an essential part of their animals' daily care. It has challenged my perception of the reptilian mind.

This study also found that they both exercise judgement and have very long, detailed memories. The study only ran for a year and a half so who knows how long they actually retain that information?

Animals remember the best food sources for over 18 months | Daily Mail Online

Mind blown.
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Last edited by SerpentineDream; 09-23-17 at 02:34 AM..
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Old 09-23-17, 11:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Tortoise Playing With A Ball

That is kind of awesome and makes me want a tortois now lol. But nah...holding out for an ackie moniter haha. Still, that is pretty friggin aweaome!
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Old 09-23-17, 02:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Tortoise Playing With A Ball

Stop.it. I am in love with him.
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Old 09-23-17, 07:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Tortoise Playing With A Ball

He seems more angry as in "Get out of my space" with mouth wide open trying to bite it? Not sure

Ackie monitor... yea, and Varanus prasinus ssp. They are just wow. But that space requirement, and daily care. Basically writing any holidays and freetime away. I'm a bit on the fence on that as I already need to hire a zookeeper practically once a week to come and take care of, well, a zoo here, when we are out
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Old 09-23-17, 10:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Tortoise Playing With A Ball

It could be a territorial response but I suspect he is attempting to pick up the ball. I noticed in a few videos that when tortoises were given balls that were small enough or pliable enough for them to grab that they would pick them up when they caught them... then usually drop them and go scuttling after them again. The one that was given empty bullet casings to play with would repeatedly pick them up and drop them on the hard floor, apparently pleased by the clinking noise this made.

We are getting a cherry head red-footed tortoise in the not too distant future and once it is settled in I will attempt to run some experiments with various different objects / toys. I'm curious to see if it really is play behavior. It certainly *appears* so.

I know zip about monitors though!
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Old 09-26-17, 03:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Tortoise Playing With A Ball

Russian tortoises are very aggressive and ram other animals to assert dominance. I'd assume that is the case for most interactions with balls from the more aggressive tortoise species. I have (perhaps had, my neighbor's horses got out of their pen and broke my tortoise fence while in my yard, letting my tortoise roam free) a sulcata tortoise that "played" with balls using the exact behavior he uses for aggression.

More social tortoises like redfoots or leopards may exhibit play.

And I certainly hope tortoises remember where their favorite food is, I'd love for my tortoise to come back home for cactus or mazuri before cold weather takes him out.
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Old 09-26-17, 04:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Tortoise Playing With A Ball

Really looking forward to seeing if my redfoot does go for toys. I'd heard they are a lot less territorial than many other species, particularly from the Testudo genus.

I sure hope your sulcata makes it home soon and none the worse for wear.
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Old 09-27-17, 07:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Tortoise Playing With A Ball

If he does make it home then I am attaching a GPS tracker to his shell with epoxy. Then I'll be able to track him within 30' if there's another escape.

In the mean time the provided study prompted me to leave a bowl of mazuri in its usual spot so that he'll find the food where he expects it to be.
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Old 10-03-17, 06:36 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Tortoise Playing With A Ball

Any sign of your wayward sulcata tortoise? Food disappearing, tortoise footprints, anything yet? Hoping for the best!
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Old 10-05-17, 09:28 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Tortoise Playing With A Ball

No real signs of him. They may get big but if they get into a field you could walk right next to them and not know that they're there. He was last seen heading into a 100 acre horse farm and the area I'm in is rural, thousands of acres of farms and forest. I'm hoping he's established a home territory and I'll catch him walking around before the weather turns cold.
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