Behler Chelonian Center Update: June 2012
This June, two Forsten’s Tortoises (Indotestudo forstenii) and the first two Spider Tortoises (Pyxis arachnoides brygooi) since October 2009 hatched at the BCC. This brings the total number of spider tortoises hatched at the BCC this year to 11, including three P. a. oblonga and six P. a. arachnoides.
Temperature Dependent Sex Determination (TDSD) Research:
During the summer of 2011, staff at the BCC divided the eggs from one Burmese Black Mountain Tortoise (Manouria emys phayrei) clutch for incubation at three different temperatures. Data collection included hourly temperature and humidity records with HOBO dataloggers throughout incubation. This summer, James Liu returned from his studies at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine to participate in collecting the data to determine the sex of tortoises incubated at the three temperatures. In all, we performed endoscopic sexing of 39 yearling M. e. phayrei and can now report the temperatures that produce males and females. All of the tortoises recovered from anesthesia very quickly and are doing well. The results of this project will be published in a peer-reviewed journal in the near future.