Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Environment

One (of many) things I didn’t know when I brought Malti home was that different shelled beings need different types of care. For example, some tortoises thrive in desert environments. They like dry air with low humidity and high heat. Other tortoises, (for instance, red footed tortoises), hail from tropical climates. Wild redfooted tortoises liveContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Environment”

Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Veterinary Care

There are pros and cons to raising a tortoise from a tiny hatchling. The main pro is that you get to learn. Unfortunately, this is also the main con. I made a lot of mistakes in raising Malti, who was only just over a month or so old when she came home with me. AsContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Veterinary Care”

Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Diet

Malti loves to eat. I mean….she LOVES to eat. When I take her box turtle brother, Bruce, out of his enclosure and put him down on the lawn, he runs around on the lawn. When I take Malti out of her enclosure and put her down on the lawn, she immediately dips her head andContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Diet”

Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Size at Maturity

When most people think of tortoises, they think massive. Huge. Oh so big. Like a very small vehicle or a very large rock. In these cases, they are usually thinking about the giant Galapagos tortoises, which can weigh nearly 1,000 pounds at maturity and live 170+ years. Malti won’t ever get that big (WHEW). But….theContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Size at Maturity”

Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Girl Versus Boy

When I went to pick Malti up from her breeder, he presented me with a small plastic container. Inside the container were two VERY tiny tortoises. One of the tortoises was even smaller than the other, and quite quick while running and scampering around the little container. The other tortoise was a bit quieter, slower,Continue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Girl Versus Boy”

Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: The Shell

Scientists trying to describe what a red footed tortoise shell looks like often use terms such as “loaf shaped,” “bumpy” and “blotchy colored.” It is no mystery why scientists aren’t in demand to write for beauty magazines. To add (um) fuel to that particular (er) fire, the red footed tortoise’s formal scientific name, Geochelone carbonaria, translates toContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: The Shell”

Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Red Dots

It isn’t too challenging to figure out how the red footed tortoise got its name. There is the tortoise….and then there are all those red dots. Considering this species’ formal scientific name is Chelonoidis carbonaria, that gives us one more good reason to be grateful for simple, easy-to-pronounce common species names. While their common name suggests thatContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Red Dots”

About: Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises

Malti, a young lady red footed tortoise who lives here with Bruce, Pearl and me (their mama) here at Casa Feathers n Beak n Shells, has it on very good authority that red footed tortoises are very important beings. In fact, all tortoises – and turtles and terrapins, for that matter – are very importantContinue reading “About: Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises”

Tortoise Care Books & Resources

In the first few weeks after I brought Malti home, I spent most of my available free time: Panicking. Reading about red-foot tortoises on the internet. Checking her habitat every hour on the hour to make sure she was still alive. Super (scary) fun times. All that to say – while I am feeling more confidentContinue reading “Tortoise Care Books & Resources”

Tortoise Habitat

The topic of tortoise habitats is one that could easily become all-consuming. The websites and books on the Resources page here can help you locate economical, safe habitat materials and supplies (you can also see some great examples of different types of tort habitats). What I have learned thus far is: There is no one “right” way to setContinue reading “Tortoise Habitat”

Malti’s Redfoot Tortoise Munchies

Malti LOVES to eat. She wasn’t picky when I first brought her home, but as she grows she is discovering more about what she likes best and least. This has made providing a nutritionally balanced diet a touch more challenging for her mommy. Ideally, at least half her diet should consist of fruits and veggies.Continue reading “Malti’s Redfoot Tortoise Munchies”

What I Wish I Had Known (before bringing Malti home)

Don’t get me wrong. As of this minute, I wouldn’t change one minute of Malti’s and my time together. Except, of course, for all the times I screwed up. I would change all of the bad advice I listened to (some of it from so-called “exotic species specialist” veterinarians)! I would change my belief that, since keeping waterContinue reading “What I Wish I Had Known (before bringing Malti home)”

Malti in the Wild as a Redfoot Tortoise

Malti is a red-foot tortoise (Chelonoidis carbonaria). [Just to clarify in case you’re new to all this, tortoise = land turtle.] When I first brought her home, I was vaguely aware that her kind had not always been kept as pets. During our 15-minute hand-off meeting (I brought the cash, he brought the reptile), her breederContinue reading “Malti in the Wild as a Redfoot Tortoise”

Tortoise Versus Turtle

Malti is a tortoise. The day I first brought her home was about the same moment I realized I didn’t know the difference between a “tortoise” and a “turtle.” Then people started asking me, the new turtle-tortoise owner, “Hey, so what is the difference between a ‘tortoise’ and a ‘turtle?’” Awesome. “Hmmmm. Well, ummm, uh…..” So here are some basicsContinue reading “Tortoise Versus Turtle”

What to Do When Your Pet Turtle Goes Missing

On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Malti and I were out on the lawn together as usual for her daily play time. One moment she was there – the next moment she was gone. I share the full story of my search and our reunion in this blog post. But here, I want to share whatContinue reading “What to Do When Your Pet Turtle Goes Missing”

Turtle Lives Matter

Yes they do. No one knows that better than Malti’s mommy (aka me). One Tuesday, Malti went missing. We had been out on the lawn together as usual. One moment she was there – the next minute she was GONE. The next 6 days went by in a blur of pain + action. My momContinue reading “Turtle Lives Matter”

But She Is “Just” a Turtle

Oh boy. Let me tell you what. Being a turtle mommy, for me at least, has been like winning free tickets to the “learning curve rollercoaster” – that really fast, scary one I never wanted to ride in the first place. If you’ve been following Malti’s adventures here and on social media, you probably rememberContinue reading “But She Is “Just” a Turtle”

Malti’s Great Escape (& Her Mommy’s Great Search)

originally published on Malti & Me on May 16, 2016 Those of you who have been following Malti & Me for the past 2 years know that she came to me when she was just 1 month old, silver dollar-sized and scared of everything. Not anymore. Today, Malti is a feisty and fiercely independent 2-year-old….aContinue reading “Malti’s Great Escape (& Her Mommy’s Great Search)”


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