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Posted by nathana on May 02, 2003 at 12:18:10:
In Reply to: indian star tortoise, pattern deformity? posted by Miss_Marbles on May 02, 2003 at 00:23:21:
I've only ever found one adult male turtle/tortoise with an extra/irregular scute that was male. I've seen or caught MANY that were female. The male was a wild eastern box turtle we checked out by the side of the road.
In the wild you can get wild temperature fluctuations. Sex is determined in a relatively predictable timeframe, but I'm not sure that scute formation is, and it would likely be later in any case. What I am trying to get at is to suggest that in the wild, perhaps the sex can be determined by temperature, then the temperature rise (heat waves? cold snaps? shade tree falling down in storm? many ways...) and thus result in malformation.
In an incubated egg, that is highly unlikely, since we don't mess with our incubator temps, but set them and keep them constant (other than some folks working with spider torts doing some new things). So the level that causes increased chance of having the deformity is the level at which the egg is the whole incubation, including the time of sex determination.