Cracker, The Indian Star Tortoise
On April 16, 2006, we produced our very first and only IST hatchling. We named him Cracker. This was a very special moment with a lot of firsts. Bashful, our very first tortoise laid her first clutch of eggs which produced our first ever captive-bred tortoise! This section shows Cracker, our first hatchling, and his mother, Bashful as well as our other adult Indian Star tortoises. We had Bashful since 1999 and here you'll see her growth up until she reached adulthood and produced her very own offspring, Cracker.
Our First Captive-Bred Tortoise
Date: Feb 14, 2010
On December 8, 2005, my female Indian Star tortoise laid 3 eggs. Though there were 2 male stars in the group, I didn't have high hopes that the eggs are fertile since this is their first clutch. But on April 19, 2006, as soon as I woke up, I took a peek at the egg container like any other day. I couldn't believe what I saw! One of the eggs was partly cracked and a tortoise head was peeking out! I quickly grabbed my video camera and a fresh mini-DV and took photos and videos all morning. I didn't care that I showed up late for work that day. I've been waiting for this moment since 1999!
This is Cracker, our first captive-bred Star tortoise still in his partially cracked egg. In the middle photo, you can see his yolk sac. The right most photo is with his mother where you can see the size difference. Adult female Stars aren't very big and lay an average of 3 eggs per clutch, and 1-2 clutches per year.
Photos of Cracker with his mother, Bashful
Date: Feb 12, 2010
Bashful and Cracker are both very special. Bashful is our first tortoise, and Cracker is Bashful's first hatchling.
Growth of a Star Tortoise Hatchling
Date: Nov 15, 2009
Cracker compared to my hand in a span of several months and years
Old Photos of Our Adult Star Tortoises
Date: May 4, 2009
On December 28, 1999, I got my very first tortoise which I named Bashful! Our Star tortoises took a long time to grow unlike our Sulcatas and Radiatas. It takes about 5 years for them to reach adult size, which is an average of around 5 inches for males, and 9 inches for females.
Scanned Pictures from 1999 to 2000
Date: May 4, 2009
Digital cameras were not yet popular back then so I took photos using analogue cameras and had them developed. Here are scanned pictures of our first few tortoises from 1999 to 2000. I had 7 Indian stars so I conveniently named them after the seven dwarves.
First Video of Cracker
Date: Mar 19, 2006
Since 2006, I kept a raw digitized copy of the video. I only uploaded this video when I built this website in 2010. It's not HD quality but it serves its purpose. So here it is!
Candling Indian Star Tortoise Eggs
Date: Feb 21, 2006
Shown below are pictures of Bashful's eggs in a process called candling. This is done to check if the eggs are fertile. All you need is a dark room, small LED light (which I bought in Tiendesitas for P100) and a camera. Too bad, I only had a camera phone back then. The pictures didn't turn out so clear. But you can clearly see the veins!