Box Turtle and Tortoise Discussion :: recent behavior

A general forum for those with an interest in land-based turtles.

Post Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 2:50 pm   recent behavior

Lately I've noticed some different behavior in Apollo, and wondered if you guys had any thoughts. In the last month or so, he's become way more outgoing! He rarely completely buries himself anymore, he does spend some time under his hiding spots but has been much less shy and spends more time out in the open. I took him outside and he actually roamed a bit rather than just trying to get under the grass!

For the last week or so, he's been spending the majority of his time in the water pan. He goes in and out throughout the day, then spends the entire night soaking. I thought that was a little odd since it's getting cooler out now, you'd think he would prefer to be near his heater or at least somewhere drier.

The other thing that's new is that early in the morning he tries to climb the walls of his enclosure, he just sort of stands up on his hind legs and scrabbles at the walls. He doesn't seem panicked or upset or anything, just seems to be what he wants to do. I'm going to email the rehabber if it could be normal for him, and he's just now settled in enough to do it. I'll also recheck temperatures when I'm out there tomorrow. But if this is ringing any bells for anyone, let me know!

Also, two questions that might be kind of dumb but which I couldn't find answers for in any of the websites and books I've read on boxies... First of all, do they shed scutes like aquatic turtles? I have no reason to be concerned about his shell, I'm just curious because nowhere was that mentioned. Secondly, Apollo's too young to have to worry about potential nesting issues, or even to tell the gender, but I wondered if there were special considerations for females, or if they'll just go ahead and lay eggs in their enclosure since it's dirt anyway?
Napoleon - Western Painted Turtle
Apollo - Eastern Box Turtle
Moxie - Painted Turtle Mutt
RIP Hercules


I heart my herpies!
User avatar
Posts: 1399
Joined: Jan 3, 2007
Location: central NY

Post Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 2:57 pm   

Is he eating alright? If so, is he pooping normally? Mine tend to sit in the water a bit longer to help them go. Not sure about the climbing. It's probably best to call the rehabber because he/she would be familiar with his habits/personality.

Boxies do not shed scutes. Not a dumb question at all! Growth rings will be visible, but no shedding.

I think as far as laying goes, they'll find somewhere humid/damp and just go there. If they have everything they need in the enclosure (hot, sunny areas as well as damp/humid shady areas, lots of hides/plant cover) they should be fine.
The things that come to those who wait may be the things that were left by those who got there first - Steven Tyler
User avatar
Posts: 3606
Joined: Apr 11, 2005
Location: Thorold, Ontario, Canada

Post Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:41 pm   

So cute that he is so active!

I can tell you that the "climbing-the-wall" behavior sometimes happens when you let them out frequently. They "remember" that they got to explore & want to do more of it. There have been times in Sheba's life where all she did was climb the walls & wanted to get out (and she was not gravid). Once out, all she did was walk and walk and walk on the carpet. Along the wall, over my feet, up one side of me, and down the other. I can only imagine that your little boxy is starting to get attached to you in the same way, and it is so darn cute to see! Does he respond to you or your voice yet when you have him out of the tank? If so, have fun with it.

The soaking is normal....he knows what he needs & is doing it. If he is basking more, he is getting a bit dehydrated & is soaking to get more water in his system at night when the light is off. As long as his shell looks healthy all the way around, I wouldn't worry.
Kristin's Pond! Starring:

RES = "Sheba", 21+ yrs. old
African Clawed Frog = "Prog", 10 yrs old
& "Kristin" as Momma
User avatar
Senior Member
Posts: 3232
Joined: May 11, 2006
Location: Farmington Hills, MI

Return to Box Turtle and Tortoise Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest