Today Rover did something I’ve been waiting to see: he scratched his shell by wiggling his bum against a hard surface! I might have accidentally delayed this development by training him that booping my nose through the terrarium glass gets him back rubs. Usually when he’s desperate for back rubs he pushes against the glass in Read more about Intentional environmental interactions[…]
Rover’s a huge fan of cozy spaces. When I first got this cave, he wouldn’t stick around in it for any length of time. At some point he decided he was big enough that it juuuust qualified as a valid sleeping space. But it’s still preferable to squeeze into an old shoe. Even when he’s not Read more about Cozy spaces[…]
When Hermann’s tortoises are very little, they have a few natural predators. But as they get bigger, they’re not very susceptible to predators anymore. They don’t worry quite as much about their safety. This has been evident in Rover’s behavior. When he was little, he strongly preferred a cave where he could dig a little cozy indent Read more about Snooze fest[…]
Until a couple weeks ago, I thought Rover disliked swimming. Still, in my search for continued enrichment I provided him with a boat on warm water. One day he climbed over the side and started swimming cheerfully around the tub, peering around through wet eyes. After a quick search, I found that kiddie pools only Read more about Swimming: further explorations[…]
Last year, when Rover was less than a year old, I gave him the opportunity to swim. He flailed a bit and decided that was not for him. He refused to try it again over the next couple days. Since then I’ve made sure all his water was at a wading depth. Recently in an effort Read more about Swimming[…]
Today I learned that Rover doesn’t mind if I lift him and brush his tail clean with a toothbrush. So tolerant!
I recently bought an insect toy for Rover. I removed the fluffy cat-attracting bit, set them both on the bathroom floor and closed the sliding door. Rover finds it noteworthy when it passes by, but they leave each other to their explorations. Today I learned just how insect-like the little thing could behave, as it wended Read more about The insect toy[…]
Rover is only interested in balls when they’re moving. When a ball stops I reach in to move it again, but he thinks hands are the origin of All Things Good and forgets about the ball when he sees my hand. So I got an automated ball. Sadly this one moves out of Rover’s sphere Read more about The automated ball[…]
I got Rover a detailed toy tortoise. After a ton of sniffing at the head and a confused-looking nip at the shell, he decided to show dominance by standing on it. I think there might be something weird about the paint, though, because he started nipping lightly at the part of his leg that is Read more about The tortoise figurine[…]
Most animals don’t recognize their own reflections in the mirror, and reactions tend to range from fearful to aggressive to dismissive. I just had to try it with my tortoise. The result is best described as “self image issues”.