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Leopard Tortoise

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Leopard Tortoise Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum
Reptilia
Order:
A group of animals within a class
Testudines
Family:
A group of animals within an order
Testudinidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family
Geochelone
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
Geochelone Pardalis
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to
Reptile
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats
Herbivore
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
40cm - 70cm (16in - 28in)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
18kg - 54kg (40lbs - 120lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
0.5km/h (0.3mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for
50 - 100 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Solitary
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Threatened
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Black, Brown, Tan, Yellow, Grey
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Scales
Favourite Food:Grasses
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Grassland and savannah
Average Clutch Size:
The average number of eggs laif at once
12
Main Prey:Grasses, Weeds, Flowers
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Cats, Dogs, Humans
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal
Large body size and protective, patterned shell

Leopard Tortoise Location

Map of Leopard Tortoise Locations
Map of Africa

Leopard Tortoise

The leopard tortoise is a large species of tortoise found throughout the African savannas. The leopard tortoise is the forth largest species of tortoise in the world, and is also the most widely distributed tortoise species in Southern Africa.

The leopard tortoise has a wide distribution in sub-Saharan Africa from Sudan to the Cape. As a grazing species of tortoise, the leopard tortoise is most commonly found in semi-arid areas including shrubland and grasslands.

The leopard tortoise is one of the world's largest tortoise species as they can grow to 70 cm in length and weigh about as much as a small person. As with other tortoise species, the leopard tortoise has a large shell which protects it's softer body. The limbs of the leopard tortoise are able to retract back into the leopard tortoise's shell so that no body part is left vulnerable.

The leopard tortoise is a generally solitary animal that spends the majority of it's time grazing on plants, which it can do effectively using it's sharp beak-like mouth. As with other tortoise species, the leopard tortoise is a long-lived animal species, often reaching 100 years old or even more.

The leopard tortoise is a herbivorous animal meaning that it only eats plants and plant material in order to sustain itself. The leopard tortoise primarily grazes on grasses, leaves, berries and flowers along with fruits such as the prickly pear.

Due to it's fairly large size, the leopard tortoise has few natural predators within it's African habitats as many simply cannot penetrate the leopard tortoise's high-domed shell. Humans are the primary predators of the leopard tortoise along with the occasional wild cats and dogs.

Leopard tortoises are not able to reproduce until they are at least 10 years old (known as reaching sexual maturity). As with other tortoise and even reptile species, the female leopard tortoise lays her clutch of up to 18 eggs into a burrow in the ground, which is quickly covered to protect her young from hungry passers-by.

Although there are thriving populations of leopard tortoises in more remote areas, when they are close to humans, the leopard tortoise populations are generally suffering, something which is primarily due to over-hunting by humans.

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First Published: 17th May 2010, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 17 May 2010]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 17 May 2010]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 17 May 2010]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 17 May 2010]

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