Monday, September 29, 2008

Chelonian Sibling Rivalry

Poor Nemo. Actually Nemo is picking up some good behaviors in the name of protecting his territory. Last night Brian and I were laughing like kids watching our kids. Yesterday afternoon, Lucy had taken up residence again behind the summer home which is Nemo's staked claim. Nemo was using her to try to climb on top of the summer home. Payback. ooh ah ha ha.

Last night, Nemo got to the spot first and snuggled in for the duration. Lucy had the same intent. Brian made the discovery and I followed the sound of his chuckling. In spite of all of Nemo's efforts to remain in his spot, Lucy had crawled into the blanket tunnel coming up behind Nemo. At first we just saw the blanket moving. Then we saw Nemo moving--not of his own free will. Lucy was pushing him! We couldn't see if she was using her head or her front legs. We have seen her move the basking log with her legs. But Nemo was being thrust out from his tunneled haven inch by inch until Lucy had acquired the coveted spot.

If turtles can express humiliation, Nemo was doing it. Ooh he was upset. I moved him over to be under the summer home on top of the heating pad but he would have nothing to do with it. He skulked off to behind his igloo.

Yesterday he went to his food dish immediately after I placed it near him and he even took a bit. I didn't need to force feed him. Yay! It was only a few bites, but that's what he gets in the syringes. Lucy, on the other hand, can and will consume a pile of lettuce bigger than she is plus whatever veggies are laying on the bottom of the dish. And she'll do that twice a day. She's so friendly...hungry. I've been feeding her a snack by hand about 10 pm. Last night she climbed on the basking log to visit me. I just meant to pet her but she started going after my fingers. Hope she starts eating cuttlebone soon and filing her beak down.

My last fun news is how Lucy responded when I cleaned up around her with a Reptiwipe (safe for reptiles) moist cloth. She started turning around following my hand like a puppy as I moved the cloth. When I pulled the cloth in my direction on the floor for that final swipe before tossing it, she ran toward me so fast chasing it. lol. Didn't know a reptile would do that. She is so fast. Slow and methodical are not the terms I would use for this little tortoise.

It's fun having the new diversion and watching Nemo become interactive, even if it's only for revenge and defense. At one point yesterday, both were behind the summer home snuggled in and facing each other with about an inch between their noses. hehe. This saga to be continued. This "face off" is happening in an area where I can't get a good shot with either the camcorder or the camera!