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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mark you have posted many times expressing your views and have in the process been rude but worse still you have been misleading in your statements. Your observations in various posts are in italics. My observations are in black font.


Their age and size is irrelevant, they are reptiles not mammals. Hatchlings are independent from birth and live in the same conditions in the wild as adults.
Actually, they don’t. Mostly their in built aggression mechanism at hatching causes them to disperse from adults and one another. They are smaller and will seek out shelters that are smaller microhabitats often these are warmer. My young Spotteds will dig themselves into the very shallow mud well away from the adults. In less than a cm of water – same for the Emys. This mud gets warmer more quickly. Of course if you keep animals in small cages inside, you wont see this.

Room temperature is not a specific temperature it can be any temperature depending on time of year and heating of the room. Scientific studies of Musks in the wild show that in the summer, even in their northernmost range, they thermoregulate by choosing water of the correct temperature to keep their body temps at approx 74 f. 24 hours per day.
No I’ve read the paper linked below and it don’t say that. In the first instance they did not measure the preferred water temperature Tset but took analogues from several other species which ranged from 24 to 28 give or take 1*c. Had they gone to Ernst and Lovich, (Mahmoud 1969) they would have found the preferred temp is 24.14. It is an interesting paper but you have only extracted the details that serve your argument. They also state that those same areas that they were most frequently monitored were also the better areas for foraging. The colder open areas were also not visited more often because they were more susceptible to predation. The paper also said that the turts seeked cooler water in the height of the summer.

The paper also assumes that body temperatures Te were the same as water temperatures however Edgren and Edren (1955) found that body temperatures were higher when water was a low and lower when water temperatures were high.



You are taking technical papers as dogma; that they aint and even less are they a direct guide for turtle keeping in small enclosures. They are studies produced in order that a student can get a degree. They are often incomplete as a project but put many together then you have value.Thats what Jackson did.


Musk turtles that bask in captivity generally do so because their water is too cold. They hardly ever bask in the wild as they are almost completely aquatic. These are proven facts based on scientific research carried by professional bodies in the US. I have previously supplied a link to the research which I suggest you read. Just because musk turtles manage to survive at constantly lower temperatures does not mean that they would choose to do so if given a range of temperatures. Animals should not be made to live in sub-optimal conditions just because they can survive them.
Actually the paper states that the animals in Ontario are living in a thermally challenging environment - I would say that was sub-optimal. The conclusion is qualified, as the paper also states that correlation with a similar test in a more thermally conducive environment has not been done.

However, as your turtles are still alive, Austins Turtle Page and the scientists in the US, where the turtles occur naturally, have obviously got it wrong.


I know the research area a bit, having canoed the Thousand Island area at one end of the waterway and last year we did the Ottawa end looking for Turts. You should know that in summer the water is just like water in the UK. Shallow bits get hot and deep bits get cold. In the winter the local water becomes an ice rink and is full of skaters. Summer is short.


All I was saying is that in the survey I have based my opinions on (here is the link again -http://mysite.science.uottawa.ca/gblouin/publications/056_2011_musk_habitat.pdf ), when the turtles had a choice of temperature, they opted for the mid to high 70s and maintained this, when the environmental temperature allowed it, for 24 hours per day. Obviously this temperature could not be maintained for 24 hours per day if it relied on basking, hence my advice that water temperature should be higher than for the usual basking species, who raise their daytime temperatures higher than would be possible in the water. All I am saying is that if the turtles in the wild attempt to keep their temperature at least in the mid 70s, then surely it would be in their best interests to do similar in captivity, at the very least in the summer months.
So, in the wild, what do the turtles do in the fall as temperatures cool off? How on earth do they cope?


First of all well done for heating your pond, your turtle will be much more active and happier with the aditional warmth. As Lawrence says, you can turn the heater off on mild days but I would suggest it might be better just to lower the temperature to around 18 -20 thereby keeping the water at reasonable temp for the turtle if the weather turns cold. In the wild, a large area of water will change temperature very slowly, so even after several cold days, a lake or river will retain it's heat, thereby preventing a turtle having to deal with sudden drops in temperature. Changes in temperature in small ponds happen much more quickly (the smaller the pond, the quicker the temperature change) . I think this is the reason a lot of turtles died in hibernation last year. i.e. the water in insufficiently large garden ponds heating up after a few warm days and the turtles prematurely coming out of hibernation. So bring your turtle in for the winter to avoid the risk of it dying. Well done again for taking such good care of it.


Water heaters Answer in two parts
One ;- I’m a bit of a geek and have an interest in this stuff, today the peak solar radiation was 930w/m2 (call it 1Kw) of course in the summer it is much higher. For the purpose of discussion all of that radiation of which about 45% is infrared is collected one way or another as heat during daylight hours - then as it cools, all of it is given back to the sky. That’s why you were cold in Florida. Now if the water is capable of sinking 1Kw/M2 then reradiating it overnight, how do you suppose it will deal with a snotty little water heater in say on a 6x4 foot pool. Please talk to us when you have done the experiment in a reasonable sized pond. 1KW hour will cost about 15p or a pound for every 6 hours or so.



Like I said I’m a bit of a geek and for two years, every day I took water temperatures on the surface as well as the bottom of my 55 foot pond. In June 2009 I had temps move from 31*c to 15*c in three days. Convert that temperature change into energy loss with that mass of water and you will appreciate that human management of water temperature in ponds is impractical. Like Zekee said I hope you can afford it.


Two;- I have some 10 ponds outside, some small and some not. I have had them for a dozen years. I am happy to say I know most in the UK that have success in keeping turtles outside and to my knowledge none use heaters. I have hibernated them outside (and have had eggs from many) ; Painted turtles (all 4 subspecies), Box Turtles, Emys orbicularis, Cooter, Sliders including integrades, Musk turtles, Map turtles, Spotted turtles and Wood Turtles. Mostly these animals are from family Emydidae the same family as Emys orbicularis, Emys breed at the most northerly European latitude of 54 degrees if memory serves. I am at 52 degrees, radiated solar power therefore is the same and should be OK for the northerly American cousins. However we get more cloud.



I have had Musks in the big pond for-ever and even today one poked its head up whilst I was feeding the others. I had not seen him all year. I have other Musks in a shallower pond less than a foot deep that are doing just great. I had eggs this year outside just next to the Painted nest.
What do you keep outside and how long have you been doing so?



You did exactly the right thing with the drop in temperature. Ignore Stephen P, she has illustrated on numerous occasions that she knows next to nothing about the correct requirements of fresh water turtles.
I have known StephenP for many many years - ever since she posted about their first turtle. None of us are perfect and we do make mistakes but I for one would listen to her advice as it is honest and without agenda. I believe she has experience that warrants her being a moderator and we sometimes talk when there is a difficult subject in order to determine the best answer. Your comments above are nasty and what is worse though, is that the advice you have given is poor to the detriment of the good. Your estimation of the quality of your statements is without foundation.

Rom
 

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You are taking technical papers as dogma; that they aint and even less are they a direct guide for turtle keeping in small enclosures. They are studies produced in order that a student can get a degree. They are often incomplete as a project but put many together then you have value.Thats what Jackson did. [/FONT]

That is so true! I've had a few papers published myself that I knew to be fairly worthless.

Lorna
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ha ha ha Lorna you are such a liar! I cant believe anything you would do would be less than 100% even after a session at the med school bar.

You and I have seen many papers I guess, in our own fields of interest and the pointy questions just jump out at you. This particular paper was for Ottawa University, the study spanned only a year so it seems quite possible that it was a final year paper. The fact that so many assumptions were made and that no correlation is made to food availability which incidentally would have been in warmer water, also points to limited time and budget - we know about that.

The paper also inferred that body temperature capability was a principle limiting factor to its range (was thermally challenging), in fact I understand from other studies in Germany on Emys, that it is the egg incubation period at given temps (sunlight availability) that is the limiter to range. Of interest was the graph showing that females prefered higher body temperatures in May and June but the authors thought the data interaction was not stastically significant.

There are many questions that I would have asked however its not unknown for one to think of the question just after publishing.

Today on a 20*c day my little spotted male was basking with a shell temp of 38*c. in a nicely sheltered spot. Perfect.

I hope the students got their pass as a lot of work was involved.

Rom
 

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To Romski

Interesting comments, well donr for backing them up with your reasons.

Firstly, yes I have been been rude to certain people with good reason, which i won't go into now ( a previous post which detailed some of the reasons was removed)

My response to some of your comments as follows (your comments in italics)

The paper also assumes that body temperatures Te were the same as water temperatures however Edgren and Edren (1955) found that body temperatures were higher when water was a low and lower when water temperatures were high.

I made no mention of body temperature, I stated preferred water temp (mid 70s 24 hours per day)

You are taking technical papers as dogma If published scientific papers can't be trusted, then what can? How can you accuse me of cherry picking parts of papers to back up my arguments if you can totally dismiss them because they don't fit yours?

So, in the wild, what do the turtles do in the fall as temperatures cool off? How on earth do they cope? I've never said turtles can't "cope" with lower temperatures, I said that keeping musk turtles in temperatures lower than the mid 70's during the summer months is less sub-optimal because in the wild (in Canada at least) this is the water temperature they seek out.

Re heating ponds - I congratulated the person on heating his pond as he was attempting to recreate the temps the animals would have in their natural environment. Costs are irrelevant to the argument. As are you comments re latitude. Latitude alone cannot be used purely as a reference to outdoor suitability for turtles as many other geographical features affect temperatures e.g mountain ranges, forested areas, air currents.

Re size irrelevance to hibernation survival Mostly their in built aggression mechanism at hatching causes them to disperse from adults and one another. They are smaller and will seek out shelters that are smaller microhabitats often these are warmer. My young Spotteds will dig themselves into the very shallow mud well away from the adults. In less than a cm of water – same for the Emys. This mud gets warmer more quickly.

I can't see the relevance of your comments regarding size and hibernation. I have no doubt hatchlings will avoid areas containing larger adults in general but they will obviously not hibernate in 1cm of water of they would freeze solid. In areas where they are forced to hibernate they will obviously do so in their first winter, they cannot avoid hibernation until they are a certain size.

What do you keep outside and how long have you been doing so?
Totally irrelevant question, I may have kept turtles properly for 6 weeks or improperly for 6 years.

the advice you have given is poor to the detriment of the good Nonsense, nothing you have written backs up that statement. My advice is based on reliable and documented observations of musk turtle behaviour in the wild. Please note I said Musk turtles, other species may be closely related but are not the same species so their behaviour is irrelevant.

Your estimation of the quality of your statements is without foundation.

You can't possibly know my estimation of my statements - your statement is pure conjecture.
 

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If I may comment......qualify perhaps as I am mentioned above.......my comment on heating outdoors.

I was suggesting to the original poster (who was talking about heating full time) that a heater could be turned off on mild days as it is effectively unnecessary.

My view being that in acclimatising an animal from indoor keeping to outdoor, gradual steps could be taken. Yet ultimately in my limited experience (with my Emys] I would submit is that a heater is not needed and could be very unhelpful to the animals should it fail. Much better they acclimatise naturally.

Some keepers hibernate outdoors, some indoors and others over winter indoors.

If done correctly then the animals live for years it wouldc seem and flourish.

Mark I did submit before that if a turtle can hibernate.......then surely that is due to a naturally developed ability to do so.....what else could it be but exactly that?

Plenty of turtle species have No hibernation capacity........others do.......is there not something obviously suggestive in that?

I think you are preoccupied with ideal temps.......which are important for sure. But are not part of a wild terrapins experience.......

Not meaning to be rude........:snake:

Lawrence
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Interesting comments, well donr for backing them up with your reasons.
Being patronising is not a good start, I have noted your signature and consider it as good advice but this occasion will be an exception.

Firstly, yes I have been been rude to certain people with good reason, which i won't go into now ( a previous post which detailed some of the reasons was removed)
You stated thatIgnore Stephen P, she has illustrated on numerous occasions that she knows next to nothing about the correct requirements of fresh water turtles. There is no good reason for such rudenessand it is unfounded.

The paper also assumes that body temperatures Te were the same as water temperatures however Edgren and Edren (1955) found that body temperatures were higher when water was a low and lower when water temperatures were high.
I made no mention of body temperature, I stated preferred water temp (mid 70s 24 hours per day)
That is untrue. You stated on 06-07-2014 post#11 they thermoregulate by choosing water of the correct temperature to keep their body temps at approx 74 f. 24 hours per day.


You are taking technical papers as dogmaIf published scientific papers can't be trusted, then what can? How can you accuse me of cherry picking parts of papers to back up my arguments if you can totally dismiss them because they don't fit yours?
That is untrue. I never said that technical papers cannot be trusted. I have loads of papers and notes as do my mates and we exchange them for cross reference. They are basic tools of understanding this complex subject, each providing a glimpse of the whole picture however some glimpses are distorted. For heavens sake don’t take technical papers as the gospel truth or complete. Some paper are written for passion of the subject, many are written as part of a career progression path with time and resource limits. Peer review should be rigorous but often it isn’t. Don’t be so naive to think they are all factually right. They are mostly a means to an end.


So, in the wild, what do the turtles do in the fall as temperatures cool off? How on earth do they cope?
I've never said turtles can't "cope" with lower temperatures, I said that keeping musk turtles in temperatures lower than the mid 70's during the summer months is less sub-optimal because in the wild (in Canada at least) this is the water temperature they seek out.
It is not proven that Musk turtles seek out warmer temperature for thermoregulation reasons.
-In the paper you quoted, there is no supporting field work ; that is a big omission. The animals/data recorders were visited only every two days, in the meantime we don’t know what they were up to..
-No evidence exists to discount the possibility that those warmer areas had more food thus were a more attractive foraging source – although this is alluded to in the paper.
-No evidence exists as to the levels of predation differences between the colder open waters and warmer shallower areas (being a discriminating factor), although this is also alluded to in the paper.
-To what extent was sexual activity a contributor to their time in warmer water or was it shallow water that was warmer?
-To what extent was the need to be at nesting site predisposing the animals to the shallower (warmer) banksides?
-What proportion of their time was spent on warmer land whilst nesting?
-The paper does not mention the level of water clarity; this will effect solar gain and thus water temperature.
-In the conclusion the paper mentions abundant vegetation including nymphaea and nuphar lilies, these plants actually block sunlight and reduce solar gain, the water underneath is cooler but does harbour more protection and food because of the nature of the leaf stem. What I have seen is water basking in mini- pools generated in floating plants or water debris, with no field work the exact mode of basking cannot be ratified.
-The lack of field work also questions the conclusion that they were solely thermo-regulating in water and begs for clarification on the level of direct solar basking undertaken. Solar basking was discounted at the beginning of the paper.

I have seen Musks in Ontario, Michigan, Maine, New Hampshire, Indiana, Wisconsin, Florida, New York, Iowa, Oklahoma and other places I’ve forgotten and I have seen them basking. The statement in the paper concerning solar basking could have been better and more accurately considered as it has been in other bodies of work. Its not that simple... Solar basking may also be used for other reasons; D3 synthesis and often forgotten... the anti-bacterial and anti-fungicidal value of solar heat and UV. Often animals emerge from hibernation with soft tissue damage that a spot of sun heals very effectively. Why the paper discounts the solar basking option completely eludes me.


Re heating ponds - I congratulated the person on heating his pond as he was attempting to recreate the temps the animals would have in their natural environment. Costs are irrelevant to the argument.
It was a silly recommendation.

As are you comments re latitude. Latitude alone cannot be used purely as a reference to outdoor suitability for turtles as many other geographical features affect temperatures e.g mountain ranges, forested areas, air currents.
My point was that in the UK the solar power is available. We have a maritime climate which brings with it clouds. Franck(1988) determines that some 40 days at 25*c are needed for successful environments. We in the UK get the sun, however it is blocked by the clouds..a lot. Despite that my animals do OK and this year I have had loads of eggs.

Re size irrelevance to hibernation survival Mostly their in built aggression mechanism at hatching causes them to disperse from adults and one another. They are smaller and will seek out shelters that are smaller microhabitats often these are warmer. My young Spotteds will dig themselves into the very shallow mud well away from the adults. In less than a cm of water – same for the Emys. This mud gets warmer more quickly.

I can't see the relevance of your comments regarding size and hibernation. I have no doubt hatchlings will avoid areas containing larger adults in general but they will obviously not hibernate in 1cm of water of they would freeze solid. In areas where they are forced to hibernate they will obviously do so in their first winter, they cannot avoid hibernation until they are a certain size. “Their age and size is irrelevant, they are reptiles not mammals. Hatchlings are independent from birth and live in the same conditions in the wild as adults”.
That is untrue and a twisting of the text. I never mentioned hibernation and neither did you. Hibernation is another complex matter and neonates are another even bigger complexity. That subject deserves many pages in its own right. My comments remain valid for younger the animals.

they cannot avoid hibernation until they are a certain size.
What does this mean?

What do you keep outside and how long have you been doing so?
Totally irrelevant question, I may have kept turtles properly for 6 weeks or improperly for 6 years.
I agree, I was trying to evaluate your experience on the subject.

the advice you have given is poor to the detriment of the good Nonsense, nothing you have written backs up that statement. My advice is based on reliable and documented observations of musk turtle behaviour in the wild. Please note I said Musk turtles, other species may be closely related but are not the same species so their behaviour is irrelevant.
That is untrue.. When JP posted 10/8/2014 #35 she did not mention species and when you replied 11/8/2014 you did not mention species either. You posted. You did exactly the right thing with the drop in temperature. Ignore Stephen P, she has illustrated on numerous occasions that she knows next to nothing about the correct requirements of fresh water turtles.

I asked JP about the species kept in a later post and as I have had them all in my outside pond for years, I feel your advice is not founded on experience or anything else for that matter. All of them by the way, I have seen in Chicago and Wisconsin together. There they have periods of cold at -20F lasting months. They are cold bitter winters. A few degrees drop is no big deal. Depending on the genetic source of the animals some will be preparing for hibernation now.

The data source you quoted was a limited study of 22 animals on very a small reserve at the most northern part of Musk turtle range around which I have probably paddled. The study was not supported by extended field work and was an analysis of the readings taken from a data logger. The conclusions reached did not explore or explain other significant factors that would have impacted the results. The study does not explore the impact geographical variation and species variation could have upon the subject matter. In short you were misguided in using this paper in the way you have and you were leading others up the garden path by doing so.


Your estimation of the quality of your statements is without foundation.

You can't possibly know my estimation of my statements - your statement is pure conjecture.
That was an uncalled for comment and I apologise, I don’t need to make observations on your judgement.
Rom
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

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fao Romski

Excellent rebuttal post Romski, you have caught me out on a couple of inaccuracies, well done, I can't argue against facts. Although I would argue with several other comments you made if time and inclination permitted (especially your comments on the veracity/omissions of the paper I have quoted from) but it's a Friday night and lager and loose women are calling.

I would like to clear up one query re: "they cannot avoid hibernation until they are a certain size. What does this mean?" Many posts on the forum suggest that it is unsafe to hibernate turtles until they are a certain age and size. What I was trying to say is that in the wild, where the climate forces them to hibernate, turtles of all ages and sizes (including that year's hatchlings) must hibernate or die. Smaller or younger turtles cannot avoid it and I am so far unaware of any proven correlation between age/size of turtles and success/failure of hibernation.

Once again, well done on well presented rebuttal (not that I agree with a lot of it). I look forward to further debates.
 
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fao LawrenceJMitchell

Lawrence, disagreeing with me (or anyone) isn't being rude. I take no offence with anyone challenging my views as long as they are backed up with reason, as you have done (as with Romksi, that doesn't mean I necessarily agree with you).

Regarding temperatures, which has been my main bugbear with captive musk husbandry in the UK, I will re-iterate the rationale for my views. Although musk turtles can indeed survive in a wide range of water temperatures, down to a couple of degrees above freezing, in their native environment when presented with a temperature variant, they actively seek out a water temperature of around 76f, 24 hours per day for a period of at least three months (based on what I believe to be an accurate and well documented scientific experiment). Therefore, in my opinion, preventing a musk turtle from obtaining these parameters in captivity, is not providing the optimum conditions. I have yet to see any valid arguments against this view.

Mark
 

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Has anyone done research into long term captive care?

If 24'c is their optimum temp in the wild that they can only achieve for a few months in the year at best, I wonder if there would be adverse effects from keeping them at that optimum permanently? Ive heard faster growth, possible internal organ damage and retained scoutes as possible side effects, but has anyone proven this?
 

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I would like to clear up one query re: "they cannot avoid hibernation until they are a certain size. What does this mean?" Many posts on the forum suggest that it is unsafe to hibernate turtles until they are a certain age and size. What I was trying to say is that in the wild, where the climate forces them to hibernate, turtles of all ages and sizes (including that year's hatchlings) must hibernate or die. Smaller or younger turtles cannot avoid it and I am so far unaware of any proven correlation between age/size of turtles and success/failure of hibernation.
QUOTE]


Maybe not turtles, but I imagine your thoughts on tiny tortoises hibernating in the wild are similar. Having worked at a sanctuary in Turkey, where the babies, although penned from the road, were allowed to hibernate naturally, it was found in spring that all emerged unscathed. These tiny hatchlings were marked for ID purposes and were weighed and checked over in the spring and found to be fit and well, despite most being only a few grams in weight. Short of predators digging them up, there is not much to prevent them from having a successful hibernation. I have a friend who has a sanctuary in the Channel Isles. One spring they found a baby tortoise, which had definitely not been counted with the others. It had hatched, late summer and stayed underground to hibernate, quite successfully and was fit and well and grew as normal. I hibernate all of my babies, even those a few weeks old and have not lost one to the practise. Anyone who thinks it is unsafe, is clearly not fully understanding the 'workings' of chelonian, or maybe just scared of doing it.
Hope that was of some help ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Mark,
Thank you for your answer. I agree that the median temperature would be circa 24. There will be variation with geography and with subspecies (I know there are no subspecies) But temperatures do go up and down and a personal view is that a circadian rythm is part of normal life out there. However some of the best breeders in Europe do provide more clinical environments very successfully.

I have offered some words on hibernation that will shortly be posted I hope. The hibernation of neonates is really complex. Tortoises although having similar physiology have different challenges to our wet water friends one of which is oxygen availability and lactic acid management. Hibernation is still not understood; there is work out there which when put together starts forming a picture of sorts.

Paul suggested books; Jackson was a professor in a US university and with his students over some 20 years or more, produced very many papers. I had just started putting them together when blow me, he retired, then he produced a book summarising all his work in a brilliant and easy to read way. Jackson - life in a shell.
It is stupidly cheap
http://www.amazon.com/Life-Shell-Physiologists-View-Turtle/dp/0674050347

Cheers
Rom
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Has anyone done research into long term captive care?

If 24'c is their optimum temp in the wild that they can only achieve for a few months in the year at best, I wonder if there would be adverse effects from keeping them at that optimum permanently? Ive heard faster growth, possible internal organ damage and retained scoutes as possible side effects, but has anyone proven this?
Somewhere I have a couple of papers that cover the physiological changes that happen through the hibernation process including hormonal changes that facilitate reproduction. Many would support that a hibernated animal will reproduce more successfully. In contrast I have also met folk that have not hibernated and produced successfully. Clarebear those other symptoms are more likely be to do with the quality of husbandry.

As a keeper there is no doubt that hibernating your valuable animals is stressful and dangerous for both animal and keeper.. Its not because the animals cant do it, its because we are not proving the right conditions.

Rom
 

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Somewhere I have a couple of papers that cover the physiological changes that happen through the hibernation process including hormonal changes that facilitate reproduction. Many would support that a hibernated animal will reproduce more successfully. In contrast I have also met folk that have not hibernated and produced successfully. Clarebear those other symptoms are more likely be to do with the quality of husbandry.

As a keeper there is no doubt that hibernating your valuable animals is stressful and dangerous for both animal and keeper.. Its not because the animals cant do it, its because we are not proving the right conditions.

Rom
Hibernating Water and Box Turtles | Gulf Coast Turtle and Tortoise Society
The attached article gives some sound advice and indicates the value of periods of dormancy in reptiles.
For those who breed a range of Reptiles and Amphibians, the importance of seasonal cooling and dormancy which is required for many species to reproduce successfully.
To better understand the subject:
Seasonal Cycles in Testicular Activity, Gonadotropin, and Thyroxine in the Painted Turtle, Chrysemys picta, under Natural Conditions
PAULLICHT," GARY L. BREITENBACH,~ ANDJUSTIN D. CONGDON~
*Department
of Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, and Division of Biological Sciences, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor,
i‘Museum of Zoology and Michigan 48109
 

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Mark
Glad to hear no offence was taken with my remarks.....as none were intended.

I do not know a great deal about Musk husbandry having never kept them.

I understand and accept both specifically and in general terms, the point you make about optimum temperatures. In so far as making things as environmentally comfortable for the animals concerned.

My opinions on hibernation are not from personal experience. More they are from my view that any animal (turtle, bear, squirrel etc) that has the capability to hibernate, demonstrates that it has evolved in such a way that it can naturally deal with cold periods.

Incidentally, when I was looking for some European Pond Turtles(not that easy to get hold of) I did come across a breeder who was just tucking his less than a year old juveniles away for winter hibernation outdoors. He advised me that they would be available to purchase providing they came through their winter sleep.

I subsequently acquired some Emys from elsewhere, again very young. That were being kept indoors.

The following Spring the breeder who had hibernated outdoors got in touch, stating all of the Emys had come through the winter. I was happy to hear this but having already found my turtles didn't buy. This I conclude demonstrates that even the youngest turtles may be faced with a cold spell in the wild and this can be replicated domestically. I agree that size doesn't have to be a requirement before hibernating.

Lawrence
 

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Mark,
Thank you for your answer. I agree that the median temperature would be circa 24. There will be variation with geography and with subspecies (I know there are no subspecies) But temperatures do go up and down and a personal view is that a circadian rythm is part of normal life out there. However some of the best breeders in Europe do provide more clinical environments very successfully.

I have offered some words on hibernation that will shortly be posted I hope. The hibernation of neonates is really complex. Tortoises although having similar physiology have different challenges to our wet water friends one of which is oxygen availability and lactic acid management. Hibernation is still not understood; there is work out there which when put together starts forming a picture of sorts.

Paul suggested books; Jackson was a professor in a US university and with his students over some 20 years or more, produced very many papers. I had just started putting them together when blow me, he retired, then he produced a book summarising all his work in a brilliant and easy to read way. Jackson - life in a shell.
It is stupidly cheap
Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle: Donald C. Jackson: 9780674050341: Amazon.com: Books

Cheers
Rom
I look forward to reading your posts on hibernation. I actually got a copy of Life in a Shell a couple of weeks back, following a recommendation from another poster on the forum but haven't got around to reading it yet.
 
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