By ANTHONY BOND
Tiny: This adorable trio of tortoise babies gave their owner a shock when they turned up months too early because of the unseasonably warm weather
This adorable trio of tortoise babies gave their owner a shock when they turned up months too early because of the unseasonably warm weather.
Tortoises usually lay their eggs in early summer and youngsters hatch around August.
But the warm winter confused one female so much she laid her eggs in November.
Early start to life: The warm winter confused the mother of these tiny tortoises so much that she laid her eggs in November instead of early summer
The tiny trio were born recently and are now enjoying an earlier than usual start to life for a tortoise.
Owner Sally Walker, from Waterlooville, Hampshire, said: 'Normally they go in to hibernation and come back in the spring.
'But because it was warm she produced eggs in November.'
Sweet: The size of the newly-born tortoise babies can be seen when they are lined up against this ruler
Ms Walker is now hoping to sell the new arrivals, the proceeds of which will go towards an orphanage in Africa.
Last year was one of the warmest on record and led to all kinds of strange happenings during the winter months.
The Royal Horticultural Society said earlier this month that the mild winter weather confused some flowers into blooming almost six months early.
Taking a ride: One of the babies takes the easier option of hitching a lift with a slightly larger tortoise
Daffodils, geraniums, hellebores, crocus and little pinks have all been seen well ahead of their normal arrival time.
The warm temperatures also confused some ladybirds in Watts Wood Nature Reserve, Lincolnshire this month.
They were tempted out of their winter refuge by weeks of unseasonably mild temperatures but found out to their cost that they had been tricked by nature.
Early bloomers: The snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey in Cambridge have flowered early due to the mild winter
Spot of bother: The warm weather confused these ladybirds which were tempted out of their winter refuge early but were later encrusted by a layer of frost
When the cold snap descended, there was no hiding place and they found themselves encrusted by a layer of frost.
The balmy temperatures in November convinced one female duck that it was spring and therefore time to give birth.
This led to Millicent, Margot and Mildred being born in a pond in King's Somborne, near Winchester, Hampshire.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
By ANTHONY BOND