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Old 16-08-2008, 06:18 PM   #1
ThomasClan
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Smile How does a shell grow

Ok Ok, it may seem a daft question, but I have googled it and still can not find the answer I want. How does a tortoise shell grow? Just wondered as three of my lovely tortoise have awfull shells due to not being kept correctly before I got them, so I would love to know where to look where the new growth would be. So I can see if they are improving with their new environment and diet. Knowledge is helpfull also in keeping a healthy tortoise and to avoid the pitfalls of Pyramiding shell rot et etc.

Sorry to sound silly but I tried the search on this forum and most posts were either about pyramiding, shell rot etc.

Anna x
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Old 16-08-2008, 06:28 PM   #2
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If you look between the scutes of any tortoise, you can see a white line. This is the new growth. The shell is made of keritin just like our nails.
You can reverse the damage done previously, but as the new growth comes through you can see its flatter.
When you get excellerated growth, the scutes grow to fast and thats what causes the pyramiding.
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Old 16-08-2008, 06:33 PM   #3
ThomasClan
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Thank you Sandy, and I take it a flat tortoise is one who has not had enough food and Uv to develop. I did find the bit about Keritin on the net and understood that bit but not exactly where the shell develops. That has sorted my question, many thanks. Next time I will try a less silly question it was just bugging me why I could not find the answer.

Anna X
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Flower, Bill, Petal and Ben Tunsian Tortoises
Alfie & KC Rottweillers
Bramble Border Terrier x Jack Russel
Jay JRT Old lady of 16 (17 this year)
Bilbo the Rabbit old man 9 years
Oh and the Hamsters Thunder and Lightning (I must be mad)
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Old 16-08-2008, 06:40 PM   #4
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No question is silly Anna, if you need to know you need to know<g>.
Yes flat torts (except pancakes of course<g>) usually have had no UV or calcium etc.
I have seen some horrible deformaties in torts, because of bad husbandry, its such a shame.
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Old 16-08-2008, 06:46 PM   #5
ThomasClan
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It is awfull, but because of this great forum, lots of other tortoises are being given a much better life, a credit to all of you involved. I know my own would of not survived for much longer the way they were being kept, now they are really happy and healthy, due to the great advice I have been given and read.

xx
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Flower, Bill, Petal and Ben Tunsian Tortoises
Alfie & KC Rottweillers
Bramble Border Terrier x Jack Russel
Jay JRT Old lady of 16 (17 this year)
Bilbo the Rabbit old man 9 years
Oh and the Hamsters Thunder and Lightning (I must be mad)
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