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 nearly two years together. Except, of course, for all the times I screwed up. My brave Malti at nearly 3 months old, doing her best to weather her mommy’s “baby tort care learning curve.” (June 2014) I would change all of theContinue 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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