Thursday, March 30, 2006
  So I introduced them last night.

Surprisingly, it wasn't a disappointment. When I set them down together, they both completely froze and stared at each other. Then began the head.. well, how to say? It's not bobbing. Let's just say that they were both moving their heads at each other much the way a fiddler crab moves his big claw over his head. Like slow-motion shaking. They did that at each other for 20 seconds or so, then Wailey started to walk away. Bjorn followed quickly. It was really cute.

I tried to figure out today what that could mean, but all the information I find on tortoise behavior only mentions head bobbing. Head bobbing is both a courting and an aggressive behavior. The only way you can tell it's an attempt to mate is that the head bobbing is not followed by attempts to flip the other tortoise. Oh, so romantic! Then again, the females are not exactly examples of hopeless romantics either: "Females show their willingness to mate by staying still. Otherwise, they just walk away."

Bjorn (who I am not sure is actually a boy) is about the size of Wailey's leg, so I don't know if it was really either; obviously Wailey could take Bjorn if he wanted to, and obviously Bjorn is not at the age where s/he is able to lay eggs. So, the head-shaking will have to remain a mystery for now.

Agh! The cuteness! Tortoise-speak must be very complex!

I forgot to tell you another bit of Wailey trivia: whilst in the pet shop, he fathered at least one clutch of eggs, so he's "viable". If Bjorn turns out to be a girl....well, baby tortoises are pretty cute, aren't they? =)

Thanks for the Wailey fix!
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I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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